The Ripple harnesses the energy and dedication of a large body of volunteers who together with a small staff team deliver a broad range of services and activities developed in partnership with local people and in response to local need. Each month over 80 people of all ages, cultures and abilities freely volunteer their time and talents and last year over a 100 different volunteers contributed 5514 hrs to projects and services delivered by the Ripple.
The Lunch Club, Friday Club, Listening Place Project, Healthy Hub Walking Group and Parent/Carer Toddler Group are delivered entirely by volunteers with the support of our Volunteer Manager.
The Hub Grub Café would not be able to run without the commitment and passion of a team of volunteers who help to prepare, cook and serve high quality, low cost, nutritious food and home baking on a daily basis and create a welcoming friendly atmosphere. The Ripple Food and Development Worker supports this team through planning, training and supervision, ensuring they have everything required for the smooth running of the café.
Our Ripple volunteers come to volunteer for a variety of reasons. Some use this opportunity to build a purpose to their day, increase confidence, reduce anxiety, feel part of their local community and make new friends. Others want to learn new skills and get back into the swing of a routine to help future employment plans. Some join to improve their English speaking skills and others have the time and want to give something back to their community.
While a huge part of volunteering is giving freely of your time and talents there are many proven benefits to volunteering. A number of our volunteers have recently skilled up in attending dementia awareness training and become Dementia Ambassadors within the Ripple. Others learned how to use our newly acquired defibrillator and café volunteers regularly undertake REHIS food hygiene certificated training.
Through volunteering we know that friendships are made, a persons sense of isolation is reduced and feeling of self-worth is increased. Volunteers are more active which has a positive impact on their health, they feel more included in the area they live in and often go on to become involved in other community activities. For people seeking paid employment having a current volunteer position on a CV can be advantageous, showing a willingness to work. We have also been very luck to welcome English language learners from Edinburgh College to our café team to help them progress with English in practical terms – and the community has eaten their delicious contributions to our menu.
Our organisational survey in October 2016 showed the following:
100% of our volunteers felt of value/valued since volunteering at the Ripple
97% feeling they had learned new skills
90% feeling more connected to their community.
If you are interested in volunteering for the Ripple please don’t hesitate to give the Ripple Office a call on 0131 554 0422 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.