Tracy was referred to the Into Work Service because she wanted to volunteer in the community. She wanted a role in helping people and to build her skills and confidence. Her ultimate goal is to then look at getting paid work.
Initially, the Into Work Team did some travel training with Tracy. This was so she could become familiar with the bus routes in the area where she recently moved to. The team created travel cards with the bus number on. These included where to get on and off. Tracy carries these with her in case she needs to refer to them.
The Into Work Team did research about volunteer opportunities for Tracy and made links with SPARK Community Space. SPARK had recently set up a community space in Fratton Way, so it was perfect!
SPARK is a project which helps people in reducing social isolation.
SPARK is a place to belong; a place of welcome and friendship; a place for healing and rebuilding; somewhere for people to rediscover their value and self worth and to ‘spark’ themselves back into life
Tracy is continually supported by the Into Work Team. We started by helping her go to SPARK and meet with the volunteer coordinator. She then did a taster session. This went well and so she did her paperwork and started volunteering.
They have a café, charity shop, games area and various spaces for people to meet up and socialise. They also hold various groups there, which have includes arts, crochet and even yoga!
Tracy is still volunteering in the café, helping take orders, serving food and clearing tables and is really enjoying it. She’s grown in confidence since starting at SPARK and fits in really well with the team.
Tracy said about her volunteering:
It gets me out the house, keeps me busy, I’m learning new skills and meeting people. I like making new friends