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Volunteers put their best paw forward

Published: Monday, May 13, 2019

Last week we proudly presented Ysgol Gwenllian with some brand-new outdoor resources. On their return to school after the Easter holidays, pupils were treated to the surprise of brand-new pencil planters, mud kitchens and outdoor staging areas. The equipment was handmade by volunteers from Mencap with support from the Burns in the Community team as part of the Better Tomorrow scheme.

The Better Tomorrow programme is made up of several projects, working with people in the community to prevent social isolation and to give them the opportunity to reclaim their independence. The groups offer a safe environment for people with conditions such as Autism and Aspergers, and those living with the aftereffects of having sustained a brain injury. By participating in these groups each individual has the chance to learn new skills and to build confidence in a social environment.

As a part of the Better Tomorrow scheme, Mencap volunteers have been taking part in weekly sessions to develop life skills such as gardening and woodwork. This project gives volunteers the chance to work with like-minded people, gain practical skills and feel independent. The skills developed can be used for further volunteering or employment.

Community Project Officer, Chris Cray leads the project and commented, “We have been working closely with the team at Mencap and it has been great to see how their skills have come on in the last few months. From cutting, drilling and assembling, to painting the structures, each volunteer has played a role.”

“To see how their confidence has developed has been great. One volunteer has become so confident and skilled that he now volunteers with Burns in the Community. It is a pleasure to work with them.”

Having spent time on other projects for Burns, the team wanted to put their new skills to the test and give back to the local community.

Ysgol Gwenllian Headteacher, Adam Barnett said “The pupils (and staff) were astounded to see the new resources. It would have been impossible for us as a school to complete this work and we are very thankful for all your hard work.”

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