This week Label caught up with Action’s Equality and Diversity Officer Kathryn Freeman to discuss some of the Equality and Diversity projects within Action.
As E&D Officer for Action, Kathryn Freeman hopes to raise awareness of the various projects Action has to offer despite some being intimidating at first. Working with at risk individuals, she has found them to be fun and very rewarding. During her time in office Kathryn has volunteered at Open Doors, Abbeyfields working with elderly people with dementia, Lip Reading and Glebe House.
“Action projects are a really good way to get involved with the wider community of Loughborough as well as the Union. Equality and Diversity projects are those that work with vulnerable groups of people and try to help improve their quality of life by volunteering; most projects require basic training, briefings and a DBS check, making volunteering accessible to all students. Volunteering has the power to make a real change with the people we volunteer with.” – Action Equality and Diversity Officer Kathryn Freeman.
Label also had the chance to talk with the Project Leader for the Glebe House Project, Demi Lee Baker:
Glebe House is an Action Project that provides drama, arts and craft workshops for adults and children with learning difficulties. The project aims to provide enjoyable activities that give individuals the chance to try something different. Volunteers help an experienced staff team in planning and facilitating activities as well as getting involved themselves.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of the project?
Seeing people join with the workshops, usually they’ll come in shy and hesitant at the beginning of the session but it’s really great to see everyone get involved and they seem to really enjoy the workshops.
What is the most challenging aspect of volunteering at Glebe House?
Getting everyone involved and choosing the right workshops for the individuals you’re working with to make sure they’re enjoying the session as much as you are.
Why did you choose Glebe House?
I thought it was a nice opportunity to get involved with the community and it’s really nice to give them something tangible to take away from the workshops. We’re also in the process of helping them make a sensory room, which should be really good when it’s finished. I think Glebe House is a great opportunity to develop the skills you already have as well as developing new ones.
Why did you get involved with Action?
We get to use our own ideas to help people, you really grow as a person and it’s great for personal development being able to help others.
What is your best moment from volunteering at Glebe House?
One of the sessions last year there was a very poor volunteer turnout and I ended up being the only one there and had to run the session but it was a great little accomplishment for me when I realised I had successfully run the session for the group.
Action is full of numerous opportunities to help the community. The only real requirement you need to meet is be a warm, engaging and friendly and you will have a great time volunteering. Action is about what you bring to the project, so if you bring a smile and a good attitude you’re guaranteed to bring someone else a smile.
Be sure to look out for the next instalment of “Keeping up with Action”, where Label will be looking into the Abbeyfields project next week and seeing what volunteers get up to working with elderly people with dementia.