Back in 2008 we only had a handful of volunteers. Now we’re bursting at the seams with over fifty Orb volunteers. In fact it’s not unusual to see nine or ten different volunteers coming and going through our doors every week. Our hard-working, talented and generous volunteers put in so much time helping us that their effort is the equivalent to three extra full-time staff at Orb!

Bricks and mortar

Portrait of Leon

Leon

If volunteers are the bricks then our funders are the mortar. And our friends at Attend get a special mention because they help make volunteering happen. Their support, advice and funding meant we could take on Leon – the friendly face of our volunteering project. Attend support volunteering in health and social care. They offer resources and support networks to small independent charities like Orb. They’ve helped us apply for grants and even hooked us up with an architect to make better use of space in our new premises.

One-to-one

There’s something really special about volunteering at Orb. Not only do people get to use their skills and talents for a good cause. But because there’s so many volunteers here, we can give our members better support through one-to-one mentoring. That makes Orb really unique. A classroom situation for some of our vulnerable members just wouldn’t work.

One-to-one support at Orb is fuller and more attentive. We nurture individuals who have slipped through the net of mainstream mental health services.

Funding from Attend, our other partners and help from our volunteers makes Orb what it is. That’s flexible one-to-one support for vulnerable individuals that’s as unique as they are. Together we bring out the best in isolated members of our community, inspire confidence and creativity. We give people a strong foundation so they can grow to the next level.

Shining volunteer stars

Here’s just a few of the people who give their time, skills, talent and so much more back to the Orb community:

  • Ann teaching photography
  • Ed and Danny, students from Leeds Metropolitan University volunteering in the music studio
  • The two Davids and Christine running our IT classes
  • Claire in charge of our computer network
  • Sharon running our art classes

Back in the old days, it used to be tough matching volunteer support with our members’ needs because we were so stretched. Now, thanks to Attend, our other partners and our volunteers, we’re spoilt for choice and Orb is the noisy, bustling hive of creative activity it should be. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

This blog article was written by Chris Kenworthy: copywriter and photographer