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Mental health volunteering opportunities in focus for students

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October 22 2015

Students have been finding out how they can make a difference to the lives of people with mental health issues through volunteering.

Glyndŵr University hosted a mini version of its Glynspired event, where charities visit its Wrexham campus to sign up student volunteers, but focused solely on mental health.

The event was attended by representatives from the Alzheimer’s Society and MHC, a mental health care provider with locations across North Wales and the North West of England.

Glyndŵr University careers team also provided information on opportunities through the A Degree of Responsibility (ADOR) project, a National Lottery funded initiative designed to support graduates by creating work experience opportunities in the community.

Angela Corbett, from Glyndŵr University’s Careers Centre, said: “Glynspired is a hugely successful event for us which really engages the entire student population in volunteering opportunities which will boost their work experience.

“We decided to start running smaller, more focused events in between for students from particular subject areas and this was the first one. We were delighted with how well it was received and we’re already looking forward to the next one in November.”

MHC are able to offer students placements in a range of roles, with previous volunteers going on to secure full time employment and build a career within the company.

Sean Holcroft, registered hospital manager at MHC’s St David’s Independent Hospital in Corwen, said: “We are an expanding company and we’re always looking for new people at lower levels, such as students at the start of their career, who we can train and develop. We’re able to give them the platform to work towards an NVQ which provides them with a pathway for their career.

“There are lots of career opportunities with MHC for those who then go on to secure a post with us. For students on courses such as social work, youth and community and psychology, we hope we’re able to provide the right opportunity to support their studies by giving them experience working with the kinds of people who they will working with when they graduate.”

Becca Williams, volunteer officer for the Alzheimer’s Society in North Wales, said: “We’re looking for volunteers to help people living with dementia to give them a good quality of life.

“Specific roles include taking people with dementia out of their home to enjoy different activities and Dementia Red, a new initiative which will see us have a presence in GP surgeries, providing support to people with any worries after having seen a doctor. And we’re always looking for volunteer fundraisers for initiatives which will raise money to support the work of the Alzheimer’s Society.”

Glyndŵr University will continue to hold monthly mini-Glynspired forums until the next main event in March 2016.

For more information on volunteering roles with MHC email recruitment.admin@mhc-uk.com, or for the Alzheimer’s Society email volswales@alzheimers.org.uk or call 01978 755906.

Contact Lucy Jones for more information on volunteering with ADOR on 01978 294428 or email l.jones@glyndwr.ac.uk

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