We have a dedicated focus on volunteering and our front-line volunteers help our service users build confidence by helping people express themselves through art or embracing online services. Our volunteers even help customers find places to live, cope with crisis and enjoy a range of community activities to engage socially and develop their wellbeing. Anyone with time, enthusiasm and commitment are encouraged to get involved.
Find out more about volunteering with Centra.
Simon Cook runs IT classes for residents of Centra Support’s Older People’s Housing Schemes. Simon is a certified Microsoft Systems Engineer and regularly volunteers with Centra Support getting tenants familiar with the online world. Some residents have come from not knowing how to turn on a computer to using YouTube, email and Skype.
“You bring something new to their lives and the individual contact really appeals to me. It’s the people that drive me.”
Simon’s classes originate from Centra Support’s Digital Inclusion (DI) days, where customers could drop in with their laptops, iPads and mobile phones and get help using them. It’s these DI walk-in days that ignited interest among residents to learn more about the digital world, so Simon began teaching weekly classes at various schemes.
Simon is getting interested tenants like Joyce and Shirley to complete the online training, ‘Learn My Way’. This takes users through the basics of using a computer, the Internet and email.
“Everything is online nowadays and learning how to use the Internet also keeps you more connected to your family.” – Shirley
The work of volunteers like Simon shows the huge difference that can be made to the lives of older people through Digital Inclusion. Centra Support continues to address digital exclusion amongst older people and is recruiting more ‘Digital Champions’ like Simon.
Volunteers Sue Monk and Antoinette Spencer run the ‘Creative Minds’ art sessions at the Old Fire Station in Holloway. It’s a fortnightly class attended by members of Centra Support’s Service User Art Group.
As well as participating, the group are given an opportunity to learn more about various artists and movements and use this as a basis to create their art projects.
"It’s great, just being able to express myself”- Patrick
The artwork the group created for their Utrillo project was eventually showcased in an eye catching and colourful calendar entitled “Masters in Disguise”.
How to volunteer
You can volunteer for as little as a few hours per week to suit your own availability, and you can stay for a few months or a few years.