Volunteers needed to help people with disabilities get active

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The Southern Trust is looking for volunteers who can spare a few hours per week to help people with disabilities to get involved in physical activities at their local leisure centre.

As part of the Trust’s ‘Fit 4 U’ Project, volunteers are needed in the following areas: Armagh, Dungannon, Craigavon, Banbridge, Newry and Mourne to support project activities, such as bowls, archery, golf, fitness suite and other physical activity programmes.

The Project aims to empower people with physical/sensory disabilities to improve their health and wellbeing through participation in a range of day time physical activity and leisure opportunities to include: archery, boccia, new age kurling, fitness, tennis, boxercise and golf.

Activities are held in Dungannon, Armagh, Craigavon, Banbridge, Newry and Mourne leisure centres.

The role of a volunteer is simply to support and encourage participants e.g. meet a group at the Leisure Centre, guide a person who is visually impaired, provide practical assistance such as opening doors, helping with activities and encouraging participants, escorting a person with a disability into and out of Leisure Centre. Activities take place each week, but it is entirely up to you as a volunteer how often you wish to volunteer. Volunteers are entitled to claim out of pocket expenses including travel.

As a volunteer you would be making a significant contribution to enhancing the lives of people with disabilities. A few words of encouragement and a little help can make a big difference for someone with a disability.

Carolyn Agnew, Head of User Involvement and Community Development, Southern Trust said: “Volunteering is a two-way process which benefits both the volunteers and our organisation. The Southern Trust is committed to supporting volunteers and we do this by providing training, developing fulfilling volunteer roles, reimbursing out of pocket expenses and formally recognising the very valuable role that volunteers play in enhancing the experience for those who use our services.”

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Mairead Casey, Fit 4 U Co-ordinator on Tel: 028 3741 2129 or email mairead.casey@southerntrust.hscni.net