Help us Join our team of superhero volunteers The Disability Resource Centre needs you There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer at The Disability Resource Centre. Whatever your skills and experience or time you have to give, we would love to hear from you. We have a range of opportunities across our services to support people with disabilities, carers and family members. To apply to become a volunteer then please read our Volunteer Charter and Policy. Please send your application using our Volunteer Application Form. Email your completed application form to [email protected]. If you have any questions then please call or email our HR Officer who will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please call 01582 470900 or email us for full details. We always encourage disabled people and people with long term health conditions to join our team of volunteers. Find out what it is like to volunteer for The Disability Resource Centre by reading our Q&A interviews. Q&A with our volunteers We asked Usha to tell us a little about her role here at The Disability Resource Centre. Q. What's your typical day at The Disability Resource Centre? A. Coming into the office and helping with calls for Advice Central. This would often be clients needing advice from their Citizens Advice Bureau but were unable to contact them. The advice ranges from benefits, housing, legal, consumer and many more. If I am able to assist them by looking up information or signpost them to an alternative organisation then I do. I also get involved with benefit checks, maybe recommend other benefits that a client could be entitled to or sometimes just a discussion with them if they already have all they can claim. During down time I do our customer satisfaction surveys. I have yet to get a negative response from any of our service users. Q. What do your employers/ prospective employers’ say about your volunteering at The Disability Resource Centre? A. My time here is very much appreciated by employers due to my background and knowledge of government benefits. Q. What's the most rewarding thing about volunteering at The Disability Resource Centre? A. The most rewarding aspect of volunteering is knowing I can share my knowledge. I am able to find other sources of information for clients (and colleagues) and make a real difference. Q. What are the most challenging parts of working as a volunteer at The Disability Resource Centre? A. The most challenging part for me was learning the database. I am good at learning hands-on, so I did learn it pretty quickly. Q. What professional skills have you gained while working as a volunteer at The Disability Resource Centre? A. I have picked up lots of skills having worked in a professional background for a number of years already. However since most of the clients here have some disability or care for someone with a disability, I was further able to use my empathy and compassionate skills. Q. Have you got any advice for a new volunteer, that's just starting? A. New volunteers should try to be open minded. I believe if you are lacking in confidence then volunteering here is a good way to start meeting people, in a work environment. I would also suggest that new volunteers be honest about what you can do and ask if you cannot. Sometimes keeping it to yourself can make you anxious and everyone here is willing to listen and help. Q. What assistive technology or gadget or website or app can you recommend and why? A. www.gov.uk is a great website for information. There is usually a contact number if you need to make further enquiries. We will be adding more interviews to this page soon. Tishy Thomas has cerebral palsy and she recently joined our team of volunteers and said: "I started at The Disability Resource Centre on Tuesday the 31st of July as a volunteer. I'm helping with their social media and Grey Matters event for older people, on a Thursday morning to promote what they do. I really enjoyed myself on my 1st day at The Disability Resource Centre as a volunteer. Everyone that I met is very friendly and welcoming. They all made me feel so at ease. I would recommend anyone to be a volunteer at The Disability Resource Centre because it is a fantastic opportunity". Michael talks about his voluntary work. YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLw9Lo6mSeE If you have any questions then please call or email our HR Officer who will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please call 01582 470900 or email us for full details. Feel good every day The Disability Resource Centre is a user-led charity, run by disabled people for disabled people. We provide a range of free services empowering people of all ages who are affected by disability or health conditions to fulfill their potential and aspirations. We help disabled people, carers and families across Bedfordshire and Luton. Our services include information and advice, welfare benefits advice, specific support for carers, personalisation, direct payments services, equipment for daily living, support groups, training for personal assistants, support for employers of personal assistants, training in personal development and IT, employment courses and support for employers of disabled people. Whether you would like to meet new people, provide support to local residents or gain valuable work experience, please contact us to talk through opportunities that are available. We will find a role that is right for you. Why volunteer? There are lots of benefits to volunteering, using your skills to help others or developing new ones, Do something you enjoy whilst supporting a cause you care about.Whatever your reason, we would love to hear from you. Gain work experience Volunteering gives you the opportunity to develop core skills – such as working in a team, effective communication and problem solving. You can also expand your vocational skills including IT, Customer Service and Advice skills Meet new people Volunteering is a great way to meet people. Join our friendly team who really value the contribution you make. Access to training Whilst at The Disability Resource Centre you can access our training programmes as part of your induction, training package and wider work of The Disability Resource Centre. There will be plenty of opportunities to learn new things. Develop your transferrable skills Skills you gain in volunteering can be transferred into other situations or roles, even helping those looking for paid employment to get back to work. Enhance your CV Volunteering experience can demonstrate positive personal qualities such as motivation and helping others. Your CV can show what you have been doing, key skills, roles and responsibilities. Volunteering can help fill skills gaps in your CV and show what you can do. Do something you enjoy If there is something you enjoy doing, why not share it? Do you enjoy talking to people, researching online, designing marketing material, fixing things or helping others? Build your confidence Meeting new people, trying something new and entering new situations can build your confidence and self-esteem. Meeting others in similar situations and talking to people can have positive benefits. Corporate volunteering We appreciate all the organisations that provide staff time to come and volunteer at the Centre to make a difference to those using our services. Whether it is volunteering your areas of expertise, or doing something completely different, it is all appreciated.We can work with you to explore opportunities that meet the needs of your organisation, its Corporate Social Responsibility and support to our service users. Join the team The Disability Resource Centre welcomes applications from disabled people, those with learning disabilities, carers or those with an interest in disability issues. We believe in Empowering people of all ages who are affected by disability or health conditions to fulfil their potential and aspirations. If you would like to volunteer with us please call 01582 470900 or email us for full details.