Volunteer Opportunities
Access Lewisham
Befriending
DIY/Decorating
Gardening
Happiness & Wellbeing Programme
Mental Health Drop-ins
Shopping Scheme
Wheelchair Assistance
Independent Travel Training Project
Access Lewisham

Access Lewisham

Travel assistance Scheme

Access Lewisham is an accessible and affordable Travel Assistance Scheme for Lewisham residents who have difficulty or are unable to use public transport.

Volunteer drivers and passenger assistants use minibuses and cars to support people to attend college, day centres, medical appointments, to access groups and community activities. We also provide one off journey requests to visit friends and family no matter where they are in the UK. In addition, volunteers can escort people shopping and assist people in their wheelchairs.

How to Access this Service

Access Lewisham is available to all residents of the Borough of Lewisham however requests for support must come via social services or other statutory agencies such as

  • Health service professionals
  • Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and other organisations
  • Church representatives

Anyone wishing to make a referral must complete the form below and be able to confirm that the individual is not capable of using public transport without support. Please contact Stephen Oldfield Stephen@vslonline.org.uk 020 8291 1747, if you would like more information or advice on completing the form.

Journey Requests

Once the referral is accepted by the VSL, the service user can call Access Lewisham to request a trip. These can be regular weekly, fortnightly or monthly trips or one off requests. It is best to give a minimum of 5 days’ notice before the trip to allow time for a driver to be found from our volunteer team. The VSL endeavours to meet all requests, but it is not always possible to accommodate all journey requests, particularly if these are made at short notice.

A charge is made to cover the cost of petrol, volunteers time is given freely. This is based on the distance of the entire round trip from the drivers’ house to collect the service user, take them to the appointment and return home. A minimum charge of £5.50 is made for trips of 10 miles or less, all other journeys are calculated on VSL’s mileage rate and will be agreed with you in advance.

Access Lewisham Criteria 2015

Access Lewisham Referral Form 2015_Fill Online

 

Befriending

Befriending

The waiting list for befriending is currently closed. We accept referrals for telephone befriending and the group befriending in Deptford only.

View Lewisham Boundary in a larger map

VSL offer 3 different options for befriending:

Home visits, telephone befriending or group befriending.

The VSL befriending scheme matches volunteers with service users based on shared interests, the individual’s needs, and the volunteers’ motivation and availability.

Initially a volunteer will visit a service user for an hour each week, on a day and time suitable to both. However, as a relationship develops, a volunteer may visit a service user for longer.

The VSL befriending projects can be accessed by Service Users from Lewisham Borough.

If you are not sure if you fall within our catchment area, or live on our borders, please contact us on 020 8291 1747 or atinfo@vslonline.org.uk for advice.

The telephone befriending is a great option for those who enjoy a weekly chat with one of our Telephone befriending volunteers. Sessions can last between 5- 30 mins depending on the need of service user and availability of volunteers.

Group befriending takes place in the Pepys Resource Centre in Deptford. This is a wonderful option for service users in SE8; SE14; SE16 and some parts of SE 13 who are keen and able to leave their house. There is limited option of using VSL transport or escorting volunteers. We meet on alternating Wednesdays for chats, board games, keep fit, arts and crafts and walks.

Group Befriending Flyer

How to Access this Service

Service users are usually referred to us by social services, health services or other professional bodies, but families can also contact us direct if they want to arrange befriending visits. Individuals can also refer themselves. When making referrals please complete the form as fully as possible. When requesting a befriender or shopping/escort volunteer it is particularly important to give information about any medical conditions and hobbies and interests as this helps us match services users and volunteers.

You can complete the referral form below and email to info@vslonline.org.uk , or if you prefer you can call the Volunteer Coordinator on 020 8291 1747 and give this information over the phone.

Download Referral Form

DIY/Decorating

DIY & Decorating Scheme

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VSL matches volunteers for one-off tasks to people in Lewisham, the tasks vary greatly e.g. putting up a shelf, assembling flat-pack furniture, fixing a loose hinge, tiling a bathroom wall or painting a hallway. VSL volunteers have a wide variety of talents and are willing to be called upon to help. VSL volunteers are handypersons, but are not necessarily qualified or skilled.

We charge a small fee depending on the task for our services.

Please see the map below for our catchment area. If you are not sure if you fall within our catchment area, or live on our borders, please contact us on 020 8291 1747 or at info@vslonline.org.uk for advice.

How to Access this Service

Service users are usually referred to us by social services, health services or other professional bodies, but families can also contact us direct if they want to arrange befriending visits. Individuals can also refer themselves. The organiser will assess if individuals are eligible for this service.

You can complete the referral form below and email to info@vslonline.org.uk , or if you prefer you can call the Volunteer Coordinator on 020 8291 1747 and give this information over the phone.

Apply for this role online

Gardening

Gardening Maintenance

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The Gardening scheme operates from the beginning of March until the end of October and assists people in Lewisham. We match volunteers with service users for general gardening maintenance. Tasks might include: pruning, weeding, mowing a lawn, trimming a hedge or planting seeds, plants or bulbs.

Volunteers are helping hands and not necessarily qualified gardeners. VSL has all necessary basic gardening tools, like lawnmower, spade, fork and trowels.

Service users include elderly people who can’t manage their gardens anymore, people with limited mobility or physical disability, or with a mental health difficulties where using their garden space could improve the quality of life.

Each service user receives a one off visit after an initial garden assessment for approximately two hours and can then request a monthly visit, as this service is very popular. When possible service users are encouraged to work alongside volunteers, and enjoy their gardens.

We ask for a donation of £15 per session where service users can afford this.

Please see the map to the right for our catchment area. If you are not sure if you fall within our catchment area, or live on our borders, please contact us on 020 8291 1747 or at info@vslonline.org.uk for advice.

How to Access this Service

Service users are usually referred to us by social services, health services or other professional bodies, but families can also contact us directly. Individuals can also refer themselves. When making referrals please complete the form as fully as possible, adding a list of tools that service users have, and also if there are any pets.

You can complete the referral form below and email to info@vslonline.org.uk ,or if you prefer you can call the Volunteer Coordinator on 020 8291 1747 and give this information over the phone.

VSL Gardening Application Form

Do you want to volunteer?

If you wish to volunteer for the Gardening scheme, then please view the flyer below.

Download Gardening Volunteers flyer

Or Apply Online now

Happiness & Wellbeing Programme

Happiness and Wellbeing Programme

The 'Creating the Happiness Habit' programme is a FREE 6 week happiness and wellbeing interactive workshop programme for people who are dealing with issues such as depression, anxiety and stress.  

The aim of the programme is to provide participants with a toolkit of sustainable and research proven ideas, exercises, information and support enabling people to improve their own happiness and mental wellbeing, and live a more fulfilled life.  It is delivered in a friendly and informal group setting, with the opportunity to share stories and learning, and the space to practice the techniques taught.

Each workshop is based on a different subject and can include: Building Resilience; Cultivating Optimism/Positive Thinking; Mindfulness and Taking Notice; Challenging Limiting Beliefs; Positive Approaches to Stress; Developing Positive Relationships; Direction and Purpose (Goal Setting and Action Planning); Building Confidence; Being Active.

During 2016- 2017 the 'Creating the Happiness Habit' Programme is focusing on providing workshops for older people living in the London Borough of Lewisham.

If you have any questions on how to access this programme, please contact VSL’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Lead, Julia Coggins via email dropins@vslonline.org.uk or by calling 020 8291 1747.

How to Access these Services

Service users are usually referred to us by social services, health services or other professional bodies, but families can also contact us direct if they want to arrange befriending visits. Individuals can also refer themselves. When making referrals please complete the form as fully as possible. When requesting a befriender or shopping/escort volunteer it is particularly important to give information about any medical conditions and hobbies and interests as this helps us match services users and volunteers.

Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator Sarah Thompson, services@vslonline.org.uk 020 8291 1747, if you have any questions.

To apply to be a volunteer click here

Mental Health Drop-ins

Mental Health Drop-Ins

VSL runs drop-ins within the borough of Lewisham in partnership with the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, for people with severe and enduring mental health issues.

The aim of the drop-ins is to promote social inclusion and reduce isolation; they are for people to socialise, connect with others, or just sit, relax and read quietly. Volunteers work in teams to run drop-in sessions, socialising with service users and creating a welcoming, warm and friendly environment.

No referral or appointment is necessary, just drop in our volunteers are waiting to welcome you!

To apply to be a volunteer click here

Details of drop- ins are listed below:

Monday and Friday from 10 - 1pm at the Lee Centre
1 Aislibie Road, Lee, SE12 8QH

Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from 1-4pm Saturday 10-1pm
at the Compass Centre 32-34 Watson Street, Deptford, SE8 4AU

Thursdays 7-9pm at the Grove Centre
4 Jews Walk, Sydenham, SE26 6PL

Shopping Scheme

Shopping Scheme

Our shopping scheme helps service users in the borough of Lewisham, who are unable to do their own food shopping. Volunteers usually shop for service users once a week or once a fortnight (depending on the service user’s needs).

Some volunteers may have access to a car, but generally we can’t accommodate large bulk orders, it is more to keep stocked up on those essential items.

Please see the map below for our catchment area. If you are not sure if you fall within our catchment area, or live on our borders, please contact us on 020 8291 1747 or at info@vslonline.org.uk for advice.

How to Access this Service

Service users are usually referred to us by Social Services, health services or other professional bodies, but families can also contact us direct if they want to arrange shopping help. Individuals can also refer themselves. When making referrals please complete the form as fully as possible. When requesting a shopping/escort volunteer it is particularly important to give information about any medical conditions, hobbies and interests as this helps us match services users and volunteers.

You can complete the referral form below and email to info@vslonline.org.uk , or if you prefer you can call the Volunteer Coordinator on 020 8291 1747 and give this information over the phone.

Download Referral Form

To apply to be a volunteer click here

Wheelchair Assistance

Wheelchair Assistance

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The VSL Wheelchair Assistance scheme matches volunteers with service users living in Lewisham. Volunteers are given initial wheelchair pushing training and are then matched with a service user to take them out in their wheelchairs once a week or once a fortnight (according to the service user’s needs).

Our service users are from all walks of life and may face a wide range of issues. For example a young person with a disability or an older person recovering from an illness or surgery, they may want to go shopping, to the library, or maybe visit a local park.

Please see the map below for our catchment area. If you are not sure if you fall within our catchment area, or live on our borders, please contact us on 020 8291 1747 or at info@vslonline.org.uk for advice.

How to Access this Service

Service users are usually referred to us by social services, health services or other professional bodies, but families can also contact us direct if they want to arrange wheelchair assistance. Individuals can also refer themselves. When making referrals please complete the form as fully as possible. When requesting wheelchair assistance it is particularly important to give information about any medical conditions, hobbies and interests as this helps us match services users and volunteers.

You can complete the referral form below and email to info@vslonline.org.uk , or if you prefer you can call the Volunteer Coordinator on 020 8291 1747 and give this information over the phone.

Download Referral Form

Befriending Referral Form

To apply to be a volunteer click here

Independent Travel Training Project

 

Independent Travel Training Project

This 12 session programme supports individuals of all ages to build confidence in road safety and independent travel through a tailored one-to-one coaching service.

Volunteer Travel Coaches introduce safe travel to individuals using journey planning and travel in real time and includes:

  • personal safety
  • use of Oyster passes on Public Transport – bus, train, underground and trams
  • road safety
  • increased confidence and self-esteem

This service is available to all young people and adults. An initial assessment identifies suitability.

The tailored service also offers unit accreditations to reward and recognise learning and progression.

How to access this service

Independent Travel Training (ITT) is available to all residents of the borough of Lewisham. Parents/guardians can refer as well as schools, colleges or anyone who works with individuals who may benefit from the service.

Contact Chaz Hullen chaz@vslonline.org.uk 0208 291 1747 (7.30am – 3pm Monday – Thursday) for a referral form or more information.

What happens next?

Once the referral form has been received, you will be contacted to organise a meeting to discuss the project further and complete an initial assessment with the trainee. Sometimes, the volunteer Travel Coach will also attend so that you know who will be working with you/child.

Information and guidance is also offered about Oyster and zip cards.

Want to Volunteer?

Make a difference, become a Volunteer Travel Coach!

This role is rewarding, energising and you can make a lasting impact by supporting someone gain skills for life while building their confidence. You don’t need any experience or qualifications, all the training is provided.

You will receive a variety of training and support through workshops and mentoring:

  • safeguarding
  • working alone safely
  • 1st Aid
  • boundaries and Confidentiality
  • effective communication skills
  • one-to-one travel training training
  • shadowing

Volunteers actively engage and participate in team meetings and external training opportunities. Volunteers are encouraged to develop skills necessary for this and other roles; they also support your CV, promoting your excellent time keeping and consistent attendance in this role.

You will be available during the school hours from 8am and 4pm at least 2 days a week.

See task description below for more information and/or apply for this role online