Building confidence- Joe’s Story

Joe lives with a learning disability and autism, and has a real passion for social media and photography. He was referred to Community Learning Works by Carers Count, where he was volunteering, helping with social media and photographing events.

The staff at Carers Count felt that Joe had a lot of potential to further develop his skills, and gain new experiences, however he sometimes lacked confidence when it came to dealing with new situations.

Volunteering Kirklees and Community Learning Works (both projects managed by Third Sector Leaders), supported Joe to develop his skills and confidence through a variety of volunteering placements.

This included an exciting opportunity at Kirklees Local TV, where he had some fantastic opportunities to develop his skills in photography, film and communications skills. He also volunteered on a marketing project with Bagshaw Museum and Batley Smile, before going on to use his photography skills to volunteer at Oxfam Online and with a rugby club.

Alongside his interest in photography, Joe also wanted to build on his personal experience as a carer for his grandma who has Alzheimer’s and gain some voluntary work which lead to part time work. Volunteering Kirklees was again able to help with ideas and contacts for possible placements.

Joe has just gained a part-time weekend job filming rugby videos for Brighouse Rangers and doing their social media and YouTube channel.

During the week, he volunteers as a befriender with a dementia support group in Heckmondwike, run by the Denby Dale Centre,He is learning new skills all the time and becoming more confident dealing with new situations.

Last year, Joe won a Kirklees Council Adult Community Learning Award for his dedication to volunteering across many communities in Kirklees.

Joe said: “I’m very happy about the weekend job and I will still be looking for some part-time work during the week. I will also be doing a Memory Walk to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society later this year.”

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