Volunteers play such an important role here at Coldwell- we have met some lovely people who have worked so hard for us- especially during our busy summer months, and we have kept in touch with many of our volunteer placements. We have two different programmes running here- ‘Friends of Coldwell’ is where anybody who is at a loose end or wants to help out can come along and offer their services- usually on a weekly basis. This can be anything from gardening to helping us change the beds and cleaning. One friend of Coldwell- Peter Smith is now leading guided walks on a monthly basis around the local area followed by a bacon butty in the cafe.
Secondly we work alongside Learn Direct who recruit people who have been out of work for over six months. We offer voluntary work placements for 4 weeks, where the individuals do a variety of work, training, qualifications and job searches. As well as playing an invaluable role in the work we do at Coldwell they also gain experience, new skills, references, confidence and friendships. The type of work they do here is varied day to day. One volunteer has sanded down and re-stained our cafe tables, others have redecorated bedrooms with paint kindly donated from George Boocock in Nelson. We have also had plants and craft materials donated by friends of Coldwell- Rosalyn and Edmund- as a result of which the gardens are now much improved and the volunteers have gained gardening skills as well as sun tans!
During our busy summer months we really couldn’t have managed without our volunteers helping with the quick group turnarounds and huge amount of catering required. Nearly all of our volunteers have learned to bake simple recipes which they can replicate at home with their own families. Many of our volunteers have since gone on to find employment- the best phone calls we get are from our new friends who ring and tell us they have been offered a job, often as a result of the skills, confidence and references they have gained from their experience at Coldwell.