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Shpresa’s volunteering programme aims to:
1. Provide high quality training, supervision and support to volunteers
2. Offer work placements that develop the volunteers’ skills, confidence and self-esteem
3. Develop routes into meaningful and sustainable employment
4. Develop a dialogue with employers, raising their awareness of the skills and experience within the Albanian speaking community
We currently provide:
• Work placement
• Practical support
One woman said she joined the Shpresa Programme as part of the Volunteering Project where she did interpreting and translation for Albanian-speaking women accessing mental health services. This experience inspired her to study psychology. She now has a degree in psychology and is planning further post-graduate study as well as being on our board of trustees.
“‘I came to Shpresa in 2002, and helped with the Albanian classes, I have done training, and worked in the office. I really found my confidence. I was inspired by them, especially by the Project Director’"
A, attender of the Volunteers focus group
One woman in her early 40s told us about how involvement with Shpresa had given her the experience and confidence to get employment in the voluntary sector. She initially joined as a service user, then later became a Board Member and Treasurer. She took part in a great deal of training via the Shpresa Programme and became a volunteer helping with financial aspects of the organisation. She now has two part time jobs as finance workers for two voluntary organisations. Her children have been involved in Shpresa’s activities for young people and she highly values the chance for them to learn Albanian so that they can communicate with their grandparents.
" I have always been keen to get involved with a charity and had worked with a couple of charities through KPMG before Shpresa. However, my real interest was around refugees and human rights issues, so the opportunity to work with Shpresa through the Refugee Council was a good match for my interests.
Inevitably working with a small refugee organisation is completely different to working with large listed client as I have done with KPMG, and although it can be challenging at times, on the whole it has been refreshing as you can quite quickly understand how the whole organisation works. Also, it is clear that everyone involved with a small organisation, from the director to trustees to volunteers, has a large impact which maybe you don’t always feel is the case when working in a big organisation.
I think main thing I learned whilst working with Shpresa was how hard people work in small organisations across the country, which is really inspirational. When you spend most of your time working in big organisations, you forget the basic issues facing small organisations, such as whether there is enough cash available to pay next month’s rent. In this way, I also think that my experience with Shpresa will also be useful if I ever wanted to set up my own small organisation or business.
I would recommend anybody to do get involved with an organisation as I did- in fact, I have already persuaded one of my colleagues to follow on the work that I have been doing with Shpresa whilst I take a career break."
Michael Robinson, volunteer
We empowered members of the Albanian community to talk and share their experiences with TELCO (The East London Communities Organisation - a chapter of London Citizens, a registered charity which develops skills and leadership capacity in the neighbourhoods). Some of our members spoke to more than 1,000 people about their experiences as refugees and asylum seekers and their right to citizenship.
Shpresa Programme is a company Limited by Guarantee
registered in England and Wales Registration No 4692860 and registered as a charity
with the Charity Commission Charity No.1110688.