Thames Reach awarded funding for volunteer programme

Funds from Big Lottery to provide ongoing support for people completing volunteer programmes

Thames Reach awarded funding for volunteer programme

Thames Reach has received an award from the Big Lottery Fund to finance the organisation’s new volunteer progression programme.

For a number of years, Thames Reach has been running two distinct volunteering programmes, TRaVEL (Thames Reach Volunteering and Employment for Life), which helps participants work towards a long-term goal of employment, and ViE (Volunteering into Employment), which offers hands-on volunteering opportunities for people closer to finding work. Although both programmes are an integral part of the support offered by the Thames Reach employment and skills team, in the current economic climate they were becoming increasing difficult to sustain.

The programmes are much valued as they work not only with participants who are already receiving support from Thames Reach, but also those from partner organisations and the wider community. Over the years, there have been some outstanding results from participants who have attended both programmes, with many going on to volunteering placements and employment, both within Thames Reach and externally.

The new funding from the Big Lottery, which will last for five years, gives Thames Reach the opportunity to continue running these valuable programmes, and also to develop the support that’s offer to homeless and vulnerable people in London. The organisation is now able to offer longer-term support to help participants achieve their goals by continuing to work with them after the end of their volunteer course and placement. Thames Reach is delighted and proud to have received this funding and looks forward to working in partnership with the Big Lottery.

Thames Reach service user Ben, who recently completed the TRaVEL course, commented on how the organisation’s volunteer programmes have helped him:

“I came from rehab, I’ve been on drink and drugs all my life. Lisa, who runs TRaVEL, she’s shown me a lot of compassion. She’s really helped me a lot, supported me to go on and do things I’d never thought I’d do.

“Now I’m with London Street Rescue, helping homeless people in similar situations to where I was 18 months ago. I’ve also got a wellbeing certificate from City Lit. Thames Reach has been life changing for me.”

Learn about Thames Reach employment and skills services