Volunteering for a local charity can be a great way to boost confidence levels and gain new purpose if you have been out of work for some time.
 
That’s the advice of Donna Davies, Work and Health Support Manager with the Work and Health Programme in the Midlands, an employment support programme commissioned by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). It is designed to improve employment outcomes for people with health conditions or disabilities and those unemployed for more than two years.
 
“If you have been unemployed for a while,” said Donna, “looking for volunteering opportunities with a charity will enable you to gently get back into a work-like environment and begin to build up skills again, feel more confident and be able to include up-to-date references on your CV.”
 
“John”, a client of Donna’s who had been out-of-work for many years and was experiencing depression, was accepted as a volunteer with Age UK. He has now stepped up his volunteering role to five days a week and is undertaking shopping trips and collecting prescriptions for vulnerable people who are self-isolating due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
 
“John is really enjoying his role, feels fulfilled and is happy in his volunteering work,” added Donna. “He sounds so very positive about his life now. He is hoping that he may find paid employment with Age UK when the restrictions are eased and the charity can open their shops again.”