We encourage people, with personal experience of disability, and mental health issues, to be actively involved in the planning, managing and delivery of our services.
Grampian Opportunities vision is a fully inclusive community where everyone has the opportunity with support to take up, retain and progress in learning, volunteering and employment. Although a relatively small organisation, we regularly benefit from an average of 40 - 50 volunteers. We encourage people with personal experience of disability and long term conditions to be actively involved in the planning, managing and delivery of our services. Roles are varied with opportunities across admin, craft activities, driving , IT and group work. Working groups include support roles with GO Dynamix, our Personal Development, and the Strength and Balance group. Our most recent project is a listening ear service and ten volunteers are currently completing an induction to this role. Our Board of six volunteer trustees and an associate member guide the work of the organisation and support our staff team and volunteers deliver our services. We have really valued their practical and virtual support at this time.
As we moved to work from home we had expert help for volunteers and members to help us set up equipment and learn the new skills needed to use different online platforms. There has been extra work and we have all had to adapt in order to continue to deliver support. As well as supporting people already connected to GO we have had a number of new queries and referrals, including some through the Grampian Coronavirus Assistance Hub.
As well as working and volunteering with GO, we know that the team have taken up a wider range of volunteering roles individually and sometimes with the support of GO. One of our Trustees made scrubs, some volunteers made scrub bags, a team led by one member of staff in a volunteering role are making craft kits for adults and children, laptops and IT equipment has been loaned or repaired and a sewing machine and gardening equipment has been loaned so that others can use their skills to support our community. Volunteer driving roles have also continued when appropriate.
A number of groups work from the GO Office in Inverurie when it is open. This includes the Peer Support group Inverurie (PSGI), The Learning Disability Group of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire and a Care Family Meet group. The volunteers who help these peer support groups have continued in those roles. The ongoing volunteer support has included regular calls to chat, support with shopping, online meetings, food deliveries, providing food vouchers and wellbeing packs.
Communication and staying connected has been important to the wellbeing of many at this time. A big shout out to all those who give their time freely to make a difference and help others.
Thanks from Grampian Opportunities.