After doing some volunteering at Southend’s Homeless Charity, a group of ‘Can Do’ers were inspired to think of other ways to help their community...
In January they started putting their ideas into action, first by working with 'Make Southend Sparkle' to clear litter from a local skate park and surrounding areas. Next they chose to go to their local Dementia Care Home to visit the residents and learn more about what it is like to live there. They felt nervous about going into this environment as it was new to them but felt proud after for trying this new experience.
Another activity the group carried out was creating toiletry hampers for Fair Havens Hospice. The adult’s hospice was in great need so the participants assembled one male and one female toiletry hamper including hand written poems, which they donated to the nurses who shared their thanks on behalf of the patients.
To reflect on and share their achievements, the participants held a Can Do celebration party, inviting their families and the directors of Step Down to present their volunteering experiences to. This also gave them the opportunity to practice what is needed to host a party, including shopping, food preparation, decorating and writing invitations. One of the participants went on to represent Southend at the Can Do National Steering Group meeting. Even though he had only recently completed his Building Communities project, being well supported throughout gave him confidence to attend and he was keen to be part of a group where he could express his thoughts on autism awareness and disability equality.