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The Platform, a pop-up coffee shop initiative set up by our education team at our specialist care home in Doncaster, Quarryfields, have recruited their first external volunteer, Oliver, from local autism and learning disability education organisation, The Hesley Group.
Providing voluntary opportunities for residents at Quarryfields, volunteers help to run the onsite café, make teas and coffees, designing uniforms and creating menus.
Keen to extend their services to others who could benefit from volunteering at The Platform, Tracy Smith, Quarryfields’ occupational therapist contacted the Hesley Group, a service which provides specialist educational opportunities to young people with autism and complex learning disabilities, to recruit their first external volunteer, Oliver.
The café also transforms every three months into a new initiative where volunteers can learn new, transferable skills including growing vegetables and recycling materials to turn into crafts, all of which are sold in The Platform.
Heather Johnson, Education Facilitator at Quarryfields, said: “We are really pleased to have Oliver join us at The Platform on a 12-week placement. Since we first set up The Platform we have witnessed the positive impact the volunteer opportunities have had on our residents at Quarryfields.
“We believe that we offer invaluable learning opportunities in a unique setting at The Platform so we are really enthusiastic about opening up our service to others from outside of Exemplar and making connections in the community.”
Oliver said: “I came to visit in December and really enjoyed it, I like gardening and baking and I get to do a lot of that here. I also help out in the café including writing the new menu cards.”
Oliver joined The Platform at the start of January and will complete a 12-week placement.
One of Exemplar’s 26-care homes across the country, Quarryfields on Woodfield Road in Balby provides specialist nursing care for younger adults who live with complex nursing needs including autism, learning disabilities, and mental health conditions.