Ste secures dream volunteering role thanks to the LEAF Project

Kirkby resident Ste has secured a weekly volunteering role with local charity Wheels for All, thanks to the LEAF Project.

The LEAF Project has developed from an exciting new partnership between Mencap Liverpool and Alternative Futures Group (AFG). The project is about enabling people with a learning disability, living in Liverpool and Knowsley, to volunteer in their community.

Ste, who is supported by AFG, was referred to the LEAF Project because he wanted to find a volunteer opportunity in his community. Ste decided mechanics and helping others would suit what he was looking for so LEAF Project Co-ordinator Hailey Wood helped Ste look into volunteering at ‘Wheels For All’, part of the Halewood-based charity Cycling Projects.

The Wheels For All initiative is about making cycling accessible to all – they have made a wide range of adapted bikes, as they believe it’s possible for anyone to benefit from the joys of cycling, regardless of ability. Ste’s role is to support people to use the adapted bikes and also to maintain them. This might be putting air in the tyres or even taking apart donated bikes ready for them to be recycled. This role is perfect for Ste as he gets to get his hands dirty but also help other people!

Kevin McCann, from Halewood Wheels For All, explained: “Ste has been a breath of fresh air for our Wheels For All sessions. His enthusiasm really rubs off on everyone around him, from the distance he travels to the hard work he puts in when he’s here – he’s become a valuable member of the team.”

The volunteering opportunity with Wheels For All has had a real positive impact on Ste’s life, as he now has something positive to look forward to on a Friday. Ste has also told the job centre about what he has been doing at Wheels For All as proof that he enjoys being active and is making a positive contribution to his community.

When Ste was asked about his new volunteering role, he said: “I truly like working at Wheels For All – it makes me happy seeing other people who come to ride the bikes happy, and I would love to do more things like that in Kirkby.”

Project Co-ordinator Hailey added: “I couldn’t believe how quickly Ste got involved and how helpful he was towards others. I am very pleased that Ste wants to continue as a volunteer, as it is having a really positive impact on his life right down to planning his money so that he can organise travel to his volunteer role.”

If you are interested in going along to Halewood Wheels For All to use the adapted bikes, the sessions are available, between 10am – 2pm, each Friday. For more information, contact Hailey Wood, LEAF Project Coordinator, on 07914 716 322 or email hailey.wood@mencapliverpool.org.uk. In addition, if you would like to get involved in the LEAF Project, and volunteer in your community, please contact Hailey.

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