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Volunteers complete Museum project

23 March 2007

Getting involved in volunteering in your local community can be both exciting and daunting for people, regardless of whether or not they have aphasia.

Colin volunteers at London Fire Brigade Museum

Colin Green with the finished display 'Women in the Fire Brigade' with Museum Curator, Lucy Price.

Over the past two years, through a project called 'Connect Volunteers: Inclusion Campaign' Connect has run a number of volunteering groups for people with aphasia. The aim is to give support and guidance to people with aphasia in accessing volunteering opportunities and to raise awareness of aphasia amongst community organisations.  Participants with aphasia have rekindled old interests or developed new skills and interests by getting involved in volunteering. Importantly, they have gained the confidence to enable them to re-engage with life again.

Colin Green started volunteering at the London Fire Brigade Museum a year ago. Colin's first volunteering job at the museum was to help staff at the museum sort out their vast archive of photographs. More recently Colin has worked with another volunteer with aphasia, Michael Hussey, and with museum staff to develop themed displays for the museum.

Lucy Price, museum curator, of the London Fire Brigade Museum, said “We have really enjoyed working with Colin and Michael. They have done a great job in tackling this project – a project we just didn't have the time to complete ourselves. We have also learnt a lot about aphasia and would be delighted to welcome more people with aphasia here at the Museum”.

People with aphasia have become volunteers in a wide range of volunteering organisations. These include Bankside Open Spaces Trust, Volunteer Centre Southwark, Listening Books, Talking Newspapers and local museums.

The experiences of people with aphasia who have been volunteering as a result of the Access to Volunteering Groups have been monitored and recorded. These experiences have been shaped into two new Connect ideas guides. 'How to Volunteer' is a guide for people with aphasia who need help and guidance about how to access volunteering opportunities. 'How to include people with aphasia as volunteers' will give guidance to organisations who wish to recruit volunteers who have aphasia.

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To find out more about volunteering for people with aphasia - Volunteering - A guide for people with aphasia 

Volunteer cover

Want to recruit volunteers with aphasia but need help getting started? See Volunteering and Aphasia - a guide for organisations recruiting volunteers with aphasia