Scottish disabled people set to benefit from hundreds of new volunteering opportunities

16 August 2017

Can Do volunteers Alisha Beth Darren Katy Naomi with Babs the dogDisabled people across Glasgow, Fife and Dumfries are set to benefit from hundreds of new volunteering projects from Leonard Cheshire Disability Scotland, with the charity targeting young people in particular.

These new opportunities, launching from Monday 21 August, will support disabled people to gain life skills while volunteering in their community. 

This comes as part of the charity’s Can Do volunteering programme for 16-to 35-year-olds. Leonard Cheshire Can Do works directly with disabled people on specialist projects, supporting disabled people to develop transferable life-skills through training and volunteering in their community.

Stewart McDonald MP for Glasgow South said:

‘I’m delighted to offer my wholehearted support to the launch of the Can Do programme in Glasgow, which will enable young people with disabilities to volunteer in their local communities.

‘All too often in the past, young people with disabilities have been denied the chance for personal growth and development and have observed their communities from the sidelines.

‘Can Do will change things for the better. [It will bring] more community involvement, more opportunities for self-development and more chances to build personal independence and self-confidence.’

Since 2015 the charity has run Can Do schemes in Edinburgh and in its most recent year it supported 144 disabled people there.

As well as boosting skills and confidence of disabled people, such placements break down barriers to employment by raising awareness about disability and educating organisations on working with disabled people.

30-year-old Fiona Scott took part in Can Do in Edinburgh and said:

‘With Can Do I did new activities and went to new venues. I abseiled, cycled, went bowling and painting and lots of things!  

‘I am now on the Can Do Steering Group and I went to a conference about disability employment in Manchester.’

Jemma Shaw, Can Do programme manager said:

‘Following on from the success of Can Do in Edinburgh we are delighted to have the opportunity to expand further in Scotland and work with more young disabled people and support them in reaching their goals.’

The new and existing Can Do projects in Scotland are possible thanks to funding from Howdens Joinery, the charity's partner. 

Media enquiries

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  • Leonard Cheshire Disability’s volunteering programme Can Do is led for and by young people aged. In addition to the schemes available in Scotland, it supports disabled people aged between 10 and 35, across 16 locations in England (12 locations) and Wales (4 locations): Manchester, Portsmouth South Yorkshire, Wrexham, Gloucestershire, Birmingham, Rural North Yorkshire, Newport, Rural Gloucestershire Southend-On-Sea, Merseyside, Cardiff, Newcastle, Bristol, London, Swansea
  • A recent evaluation of the Can Do project found that: 

    • 94% of Can Doers gained skills to help in their future
    • 68% of Can Doers are keen to take up further volunteering, training and/or employment
    • 87% of Can Doers confidence has improved
    • 100% community organisations felt more confident working with people with disabilities 
  • Howdens Joinery is the UK's largest manufacturer and supplier of fitted kitchens, appliances and joinery products from local stock.