National Volunteers' Week: Meet Derek who help people with learning disabilities

This week is National Volunteers' Week and it's time to celebrate the work of our Oxfordshire volunteers.

Derek started volunteering as a means of giving back ot the community. He said: "It was a means of helping people and was a way to do something totally different after I retired.

He was introduced by a friend to My Life My Choice (MLMC) a self-advocacy organisation providing independent support for people with learning disabilities in Oxfordshire, They have a number of volunteers to help local residents take control of their own lives and “Power Up

Derek quickly became impressed with their work and mission and put his name forward to volunteer. He said: "Time commitment varies from week to week as it depends on what activities have been organised’.

MLMC have a number of projects, and Derek volunteers as a Gig Buddy and is paired with a resident from Abingdon, which is done by mutual interests.

He said: "Before the past few months we would meet once a week to do a variety of things, such as visiting local museums, going for walks or out for lunch. Despite coronavirus putting a stop to all activities, we video call every day but hopefully we will meet up again soon’.

Anyone can be a Gig Buddies volunteer, so if you would like to get involved like Derek, or if you want to learn more about My Life My Choice, you can find out more information here.