The TRaVEL volunteering scheme helps homeless and vulnerable people
to build their self-confidence, develop new skills and find opportunities for suitable employment.
TRaVEL participants attend an eight-week volunteering training
course, which covers skills usually sought after by employers, such as communication and the ability to work as part of a team.
They then spend two months working two days a week as a volunteer for Thames Reach.
The volunteer placements vary to match the skills and experience of
each participant. Previous jobs have included administration and
reception duties, gardening, and events organising.
During their placements, volunteers are given support from their
supervisor, the TRaVEL tutor, and a ‘buddy’ within the office with whom
they can share any concerns. They also have the chance to talk about
their experiences in a peer support group that meets every fortnight.
At the end of the scheme, Travel participants are helped to identify
and achieve the next step forward in their lives. This may be to do more
volunteering, take up education or training, or start looking for suitable, fully-paid employment.