College's credit to volunteers

SCHEME: Students at Weymouth College Hair and Beauty with their tutor Gill Lenga, second from far right. Also present are volunteers from the Directions

SCHEME: Students at Weymouth College Hair and Beauty with their tutor Gill Lenga, second from far right. Also present are volunteers from the Directions

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Dorchester reporter

WEYMOUTH College has been showing its support for a community volunteering scheme.

The Community Credits scheme sees volunteers working with the Volunteer Centre Dorset earn credits by becoming a mentor or buddy for people with learning disabilities.

They can build up credits through volunteering their time and then use them at various leisure facilities and other businesses in the local area such as the Osprey Leisure Centre, RSPB attractions, Pitch and Putt at Lodmoor in Weymouth and Ann Maries’ Zumba classes.

Weymouth College has agreed that volunteers can use their credits towards the cost of hair and beauty treatments, theatre tickets for college productions and places on leisure courses.

Schools officer Peter Vowles said: “Weymouth College is pleased to support such a worthwhile scheme.

“It helps the local community while bringing in new customers to the college.”

Day services officer Jo Robinson said that among those to benefit from the scheme were those who attended Directions, a satellite unit of the Ridgeway Community Resource Services based in Dorchester Road, Weymouth.

Directions aims to direct people into learning, voluntary and work experience opportunities as well as continuing to develop independence skills.

She added: “We have been part of the Community Credits scheme since it started in April 2013 and the opportunities to access activities users within the community has been excellent in boosting their confidence and self esteem.

“The added bonus in receiving payment for their time has enabled many of them to start spending, Weymouth College being a particular favourite for hair and beauty treatments.”

Community credits manager Siobhan Davis said it was fantastic that Weymouth College is supporting the scheme.

She said more and more businesses are now coming forward to get involved, which will greatly enhance community engagement for those with learning difficulties.

For more information on how to get involved contact Siobhan by calling 01305 269214 or 07918 639014.

More details about the scheme are also available online at volunteeringdorset.org.uk

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