Cassandra, an Exemplar resident, starts volunteer role – a big first!
18 November 2019
The Platform, Exemplar’s service-user run shop and café in Quarryfields, our complex needs care home, now has its first graduate: a service user who volunteers in a community organisation.
Twice a month, Cassandra serves bacon-and-egg sandwiches, coffee and tea at the Balby Brunch Club, a community café in a Doncaster suburb near Quarryfields.
It’s a small step for Cassandra – but a giant leap for her confidence.
“Being a volunteer has given me the confidence to do so much more in all parts of my life,” she says.
Finding a fit
Cassandra previously volunteered in a charity shop and café but didn't feel fulfilled.
“They made her cups of tea and she sat and watched other volunteers,” says Heather Johnson, Quarryfields’ education coordinator. In 2018, Heather started up The Platform to boost residents’ skills.
But now, thanks to custom-made food hygiene and health and safety courses put together by Heather, Cassandra’s putting her newly-learned skills into practice.
“I know we can count on Cassandra,” says Heather.
“She is excellent at so many things: customer service, maths for the money side, baking and sewing.”
Home to 23 younger adults, Quarryfields provides specialist nursing care for people with complex needs including autism, learning disabilities, and mental health conditions.