Ahead of International Women’s Day tomorrow, we are excited to announce that our programme is expanding to support more young women, aged 16-25, to engage in volunteering and social action opportunities in Greater Manchester.
Every year, Step Together helps over 300 wounded, injured and sick Service Personnel and Veterans across the UK rebuild their lives, through one-to-one support and active engagement in the local community. In partnership with the Ministry of Defence and Help for Heroes, Step Together provides volunteering support to all Personnel Recovery Centres.
While I was handling criminal cases as a barrister, judge and in the Court of Appeal, I was aware that the critical time for offenders is the period straight after they leave the system. People with a history of convictions must find an ‘anchor’ to make that change to a life without crime. And the longer it takes them to find this anchor or purpose, the more likely it is they will return to prison.
Earlier today Karen, Volunteering Project Manager in Manchester, and her client Mooch joined the Volunteer Centre Manchester on their monthly radio show, VCM FM, on North Manchester FM. They were both interviewed about the work of Step Together and the impact volunteering has had for our clients.
People on release from prison need more personal support, someone to turn to. Without it, that person will likely be back inside. I know this, because I have seen it throughout my career in the prison service.
This week is #iwillWeek and we are celebrating our support for the #iwill campaign. We are sharing our pledge and highlighting the impact of our programme supporting disadvantaged young people to change their lives through volunteering.
Mooch is helping us with our Christmas appeal by sharing his story, so we can help others like him. Our new video shows how, with Step Together’s support, Mooch has turned his life around through community volunteering.
Sophia is in care and has been most of her life. Before meeting Step Together she struggled to fill her time and was very quiet in new situations. Volunteering was not something Sophia had ever thought someone like her could do. She didn’t know anyone who volunteered and she was uncertain about it.
Lorna is based in Tedworth House and works on our programme supporting wounded, injured and sick (WIS) service personnel and veterans. She talks to us about her role at Step Together, as well as sharing a few interesting facts about herself!
Every month an estimated 14.2 million people in the UK formally volunteer, improving our communities, supporting others, and together making a phenomenal contribution to the country’s economy. Volunteer’s Week is a national annual campaign to celebrate the difference volunteers make and thank them for their contributions.
Congratulations to Elaine, our Volunteering Project Manager and a previous client, who has received a Community Safety Award from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue for her valuable voluntary work on their Safe Drive Stay Alive roadshow, which she has been a part of for the last 4 years.
Step Together was created in 1994. We chatted to our founder and trustee, Roger Potter, who tells us his inspiration behind setting up the organisation and how volunteering, as a catalyst for change in people’s lives, has always been at the centre of everything we do.
Rachel was on a course at Tedworth House, a recovery centre for wounded, injured and sick service personnel, when she first met Elaine from Step Together. Elaine had done a presentation to the group about volunteering and Rachel thought it would be a really great way to fill her time whilst she was signed off sick with a variety of health issues.
Struggling with learning difficulties, Stefan was bullied throughout his childhood. His parents divorced when he was 19 and feeling as though his life was spiralling out of control, Stefan took an overdose. For many years, Stefan was addicted to alcohol; he was in and out of employment and would steal to fund his drinking habit. This caused a great deal of pain to his family and himself.
Step Together is pleased to announce our participation in Oodles Charity Credits. Oodles is a micro donation platform that rewards donors for helping charities and showing their support on social media.
We are proud to be supporting women to take action and make positive changes in their lives and the lives of others in their communities. On International Women's Day, we are celebrating women's journeys, the challenges overcome and applauding their achievements.
Sue has managed our work in schools and with disengaged young people in Dumfries and Galloway since 2010. She talks to us about her role as Volunteer Project Manager, including memorable moments and achievements. We also asked her about her New Years reolutions!
Mike met Elaine from Step Together in January 2016 at Tedworth House, a recovery centre for wounded, injured and sick service personnel. He had become reclusive, rarely leaving the house, and had withdrawn from the support being offered to him. After getting to know Mike and his interests, Elaine discovered he had a passion for the outdoors.
After years of uncertainty and little hope for change, Dylan has decided to go back into higher education this year and has reflected on how, with Step Together’s support, he has been able to take positive steps towards a better future. This is his story:
1. More than 650 vulnerable people received intensive 1:1 support. Step Together clients are those at the margins of our communities. Isolated and disengaged from society, your support has meant we have been there to help them build a more positive future.
Mike was facing challenging circumstances that seemed insurmountable. A former offender, he had found himself in a cycle of substance misuse, homelessness and also struggling with mental health issues. Support from Step Together and a well-matched volunteering placement, has enabled Mike to regain his confidence and feel more positive about his future.
With Christmas fast approaching, we are excited to announce that we are well over half way to reaching our Christmas Appeal target and would like to thank everyone who has donated and supported the appeal so far.
Last month, we commissioned an external evaluation of our Rehabilitation through Volunteering programme which supports wounded, injured and sick (WIS) service personnel and veterans across the UK. The programme helps these individuals to make significant change in their lives through 1:1 support and active engagement in local community volunteering placements to aide their recovery and transition into civilian life. The feedback has been extremely positive and we wanted to share some of the results with our supporters.
Jill has been working for Step Together since February 2015. Alongside her day job, Jill also volunteers at a homeless night shelter. Jill will be trekking the Great Wall of China next week to raise money for Step Together and the Greater Manchester Homeless Night Shelters.
Earlier this year, Jim was nominated to be the recipient of the funds raised by the BBC programme, Street Auction, sending him and his family on a dream holiday to Canada in recognition that despite significant challenges, Jim has turned his life around and helped his local community through hours of volunteering. Totally unaware that he would be the beneficiary of the money raised, Jim immediately offered to help on the day and was running the cake stall with his family when it was announced during filming.
Coming to terms with an impending medical discharge from the military, can be a demoralising and daunting time for service personnel. With his confidence rapidly decreasing, Scott found himself facing this difficult challenge, uncertain of how to move forward. With Step Together’s support, volunteering has been the turning point Scott was looking for and he is now well on his way to building a more positive future.
Deprivation and family breakdown are two major causes of homelessness amongst young people in the UK. Thomas is one of the many young people who have found themselves on the street following family difficulties, with little going for him and a seemingly impossible task to get his life on track. With support from Step Together to secure a volunteer position as a Youth Worker, Thomas now feels he belongs somewhere and is looking forward to a brighter future.
Over the next couple of months our Volunteer Project Manager, Jill, will be completing her final preparations and training for the ‘Charity Challenge’ trek, before flying to Beijing on the 22nd October. She will be climbing over 10,000 steps and covering a distance of over 100km of the Great Wall of China to raise money for Step Together and the Greater Manchester Homeless Night Shelters, where she volunteers during the winter months.
Last week we held a very successful staff conference at our head office in Bristol. Our outreach team travelled from all over the UK to attend the two-day event, which provided a brilliant opportunity for the whole team to share knowledge and experiences and discuss the future direction of Step Together.
Every day we help people facing significant challenges take positive action to change their lives. So when faced with a trade mark challenge only 2 weeks after changing our name, we knew we had to lead by example and do our best to achieve a positive outcome from the difficult situation in which we found ourselves.
There was great excitement in our head office this morning when we received delivery of our new suite of marketing materials. It was great to see our new brand brought to life in print. These will primarily be used by our outreach workers to promote their services to clients and referral agencies. We are incredibly grateful to the OCS Family Foundation for securing the pro bono support of the OCS Group UK Ltd who designed the leaflets, posters and fliers – and we are delighted with the outcome!
The Step Together Volunteering team are delighted to share the news that leading public transport provider, Stagecoach Group has kindly offered to support us during 2016. Step Together and Stagecoach are both experts at connecting people and communities – and as such natural partners.
On 1st March 2016, WWV will be relaunched with a new name. This is an exciting change for the charity, and we feel the new identity better represents the focus and achievements of our work, as well as our ambition to reach further. Please revisit our website in March to learn more about us, our clients, and the difference we make to people's lives.
WWV has relocated our central office to central Bristol. This is an big change for us, as alongside significant cost savings we will be more accessible to staff and visitors and better connected with other voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations.