As part of CATALYST Level 1 Qualification in Volunteering, Equality and Diversity CATALYST participants visited a local residential home in which they assisted staff with various activities.
Some of the participants went outside to the garden where the staff and residents were preparing plants and planting them into troughs and displaying them around the garden. Each participant worked with a resident to discuss which plants would fit and colour co-ordinate together then chose various plant pots, planted then watered them and selected a space in the garden for them to grow and bring the garden to life.
Other participants helped inside where they took part in a pampering day for the older ladies by doing a mini manicure pamper session. Each participant went around the room socialising with each individual resident and this included cleansing the hands, removing the old nail polish, buffing and cutting the nails and applying fresh nail polish. The participants were able to use and work on their communication skills as they interacted with the various residents and staff. They thoroughly enjoyed their time in the home and asked could they go back in the future. One participant stated that she would love to go into this line of work in the future when she is ready for employment. Staff and residents stated that the participants were very helpful, kind and very interactive and they would love to have the participants back in the future.
Another volunteering opportunity that a small number of participants took part in was the Kilcooley Women’s Centre Health and Well Being Fair. They were very helpful and got to know the staff and various other participants on other programmes within Kilcooley Women’s Centre. They were given tasks that challenged their communication skills and self-confidence. One participant was asked to go around the stall holders and ask each of them would they like a beverage or food as they were unable to leave their staff. She was also asked to sell ballot tickets to the 150 visitors of the Health Fair. This participant did very well interacting with everyone and although she has very low confidence, all staff praised her for how well she did and how helpful she was throughout the event.