Will has set up a couple of community projects with the help of two YouCan grants after first raising money for the foundation himself! A floating support worker in Buckinghamshire, Will works with customers who have mental health issues and learning disabilities and wanted to help those who live in social isolation.
He said: “I didn’t just want to apply without having helped the cause. I came up with the idea of a triathlon and a team of ten colleagues got involved in swimming, running, walking and cycling. I am thrilled that we raised the highest amount ever achieved by colleagues for YouCan – a total of £750.”
Having done ‘his bit’, Will was successful in gaining two grants for £600 which has enabled him to create two community meetings – one monthly and one fortnightly – specifically focussed on preventing social isolation. “The area I cover is quite rural with spread out villages so it can make socialising more tricky. I am pleased that the group that come along are really enjoying a couple of hours together. Having two groups means that we can offer a more fun, social group as well as a more informative one.”
Customers attending the Aylesbury group have got involved in board games and arts and crafts and have got on so well that they arranged a night of bowling together (paid for by themselves) and want to incorporate this into future get-togethers.
Adult learning has got involved in the more informative group which runs in Wycombe and is looking to offer a variety of sessions including ‘art for expression’, budgeting, cooking on a budget, stress management and confidence courses.
Will concluded: “It’s great as people are now interacting with others they wouldn’t normally know and forming real friendships.”