About The Work-Link Project
WORK-LINK, a Hinckley based Charity, provides an “Open Door” project specifically designed for people who wish to enhance their prospects by volunteering. The Project provides, meaningful opportunities helping unemployed individuals, who for a variety of reasons, are not ready or able to embark on a more formal training/educational programme or to directly enter the employment market. The Project is an integrated scheme catering for a wide variety of people, many of whom have special needs, including mental ill health.
The Background To Work-Link
Starting Up: The initiative came from the Hinckley Volunteer Centre who saw the need for a Project to help people who were wanting to make changes – get out of the house; make new friends; feel useful; learn new skills; build their confidence and self-worth. Work-Link was founded in 1986 with around 18 individuals attending per week. We are currently funded for 70 volunteers.
Another Satisfied Customer
Rationale: The Project is based on principles of self-help and empowerment. Everyone is treated equally with respect and is valued for their contribution, no matter how small. For many, the experience of being respected and accepted for who and what they are is a new one. Having a role within the community, albeit unwaged, is very important. The confidence gained through new experiences, the support and advice given, has an enormous impact on their ability to have greater control over their lives.
“Help Yourselves Whilst Helping Others”: This statement embodies the spirit and values of Work-Link and is the theme on which the Project is based.
Target Group: While open to everyone, the main target group has become adults with Mental Health problems and/or Learning Difficulties. Our role within the community is a “Stepping Stone” - post hospital, day centre, unemployment, loneliness and isolation, and pre “open” volunteering, further education and employment.
How The Project Works
The Setting: The Project is based in Amity House, which is in the centre of Hinckley. Amity House hosts our warehouse of donated goods and a suite of offices. Our shop in Regents Street Hinckley is light and airy and customer centre focused.
Activities: All the jobs involving volunteers have a real purpose. For instance In the Recycling Department volunteers are taught moving and handling. In our office area we offer daily supervised tuition on computers and general office equipment, and in our shop volunteers are taught customer service skills.
Work-Link has built on the experience gained over many years to become the professional organisation it has become today, offering an invaluable service to the local community.