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Volunteering programmes

For many people, volunteering offers an ideal stepping stone into long term employment.


Some people really want to work and have a lot to offer an employer but lack the confidence needed to put themselves forward. A lack of confidence can be completely debilitating, eradicating all sense of ability or worth, leaving the prospect of starting a new job seem like climbing a mountain.

The Thames Reach Volunteering and Employment for Life scheme (TRaVEL) helps people to build confidence by developing basic skills and gaining work experiencing in a safe and supportive environment.

The TRaVEL scheme has two elements: an eight-week classroom based course to develop basic skills, such as communication and teamwork and then a two-month volunteering placement to put what they’ve learned into practice. Each participant receives dedicated support from the course tutor and a placement ‘buddy’.

At the end of the scheme, participants are helped to identify their next steps, which could be more volunteering, education or training courses, or starting to look for suitable employment.

Volunteering into Employment

Volunteering into Employment (ViE) provides on-the-job experience and training through a six-month work placements. On these placements, participants develop self-confidence and learn new skills while strengthening their CVs and acquiring a reference for future use.

Placements involve two days of volunteering a week, preceded by a short training period at the Thames Reach Employment Academy.

Participants receive support and encouragement, and access to additional employment and skills training programmes, throughout their placement in an effort to find and sustain paid work.

Thames Reach volunteering programmes are funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

Read about other Thames Reach employment and skills services