Linda has been volunteering with our Supporting People Enablement Team (SPET) since October 2014, supporting tenants to engage with their local community.
“I retired early to help take care of my parents. They passed away within six months of each other, so I needed something to occupy my time with. My sister, who works for East Kent Mencap, suggested I join as a volunteer and work on a one-to-one basis with some of the members. That’s when I met Joyce, a tenant in one of the charity’s independent living properties.
I didn’t have much experience of working with people with a learning disability, but was aware of the work that East Kent Mencap does through living in Thanet. I find my knowledge of the local area helps me to suggest activities to Joyce when we go out in the community.
We’ve recently joined an art class in Margate, as Joyce is very creative. Being able to support her to take part in activities such as this is very satisfying as it makes me feel I’m making a positive contribution to her life. Joyce is so appreciative of my support, as I am for the opportunity to support her; I feel as if I’ve made a good friend.
The work that East Kent Mencap and its SPET team do is inspiring, but the charity is always in need of more volunteer support. Without someone like me to help, Joyce wouldn’t be able to take part in these community activities, as she does not receive enough funding for this type of support.”
To find out more about volunteering with East Kent Mencap, click here.[Siobhan O’Gorman, February 2016]