Simon has been working with David of Autism Anglia’s Norfolk Opportunity Centre to find some volunteering opportunities within the Dereham community, where the site is based. 

Before the pandemic the site was always looking out for volunteering opportunities that the people we support could do. As Covid hit, these opportunities diminished somewhat and as the world has been readjusting, some opportunities have arisen! 

David, who works for the Norfolk Opportunities centre, was browsing online when the idea of volunteering crossed his mind again. The Norfolk Opportunities Centre have a wonderful allotment which is maintained by people we support. Dereham has a community fridge where businesses and people can donate food which is nearly past its sell by date and the Norfolk Opportunities Centre gives some of its produce to this fridge.  

From this generosity, David was able to get in contact with some members of the local council and enquire about any volunteering opportunities for people we support. 

As it happens, Simon was able to start delivering leaflets all around Dereham once per week. Simon now goes into shops, talks about the leaflets and even has his own volunteer card! His confident and professional approach to this role has seen the charity / council partnership give Simon the responsibility of keeping their notice board up to date and tidy.  

This has really pushed Simon and his confidence – before this opportunity Simon would likely have struggled to go into shop and introduce himself. Opportunities such as these can have a massive impact on the people we support’s quality of life and can lead to incredible personal development. 

Kate Hancock, Chief Executive at Autism Anglia said:  

“The teams in Norfolk do a brilliant job of sourcing these opportunities with Chris working in McDonald’s and now Simon having some real community responsibility.”  

“We are so proud of our staff who go above and beyond to make a difference, and even more proud of the people we support who continue to grow and develop daily.” 

If you are a business who would be interested in offering some opportunities to people we support around Colchester and Dereham, please get in touch. Our support workers do this for fulfilment and the feeling that they have made a difference and getting involved in the community has that same impact on the people we support.  

Well done Simon and David!