Cromer disability support charity About With Friends launches new volunteer internship campaign

Volunteer Maisie Buchanan (left), who is now studying to become a disability nurse, supporting About

Volunteer Maisie Buchanan (left), who is now studying to become a disability nurse, supporting About With Friends member Cathy Savory. Picture: COMMUNITY ACTION NORFOLK - Credit: COMMUNITY ACTION NORFOLK

A disability support charity is giving new volunteers the chance to learn professional CV-boosting skills in a bid to attract younger people.

Cromer-based About With Friends (AWF), which creates opportunities for children and adults with learning disabilities through practical work skills and social activities, has launched a new volunteer appeal with the backing of North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb.

It is looking to recruit at least 10 new volunteers, including younger people, interested in gaining professional work experience each month throughout 2017.

Through social media AWF has already attracted 10 volunteers and roles are in the areas of marketing, HR, catering, café and shop work, a community driver, fundraising, gardening, social activities and teaching work skills.

They are delivered in a similar way to internships meaning people can move into work or further training.

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Steve Smith, AWF development manager, said: 'We rely heavily on volunteers, not just because they supplement our staff but because they bring in new skills.'

Mr Smith said the charity was targeting younger people because they bring in 'energy and fresh ideas'.

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AWF is attracting younger people and graduates through working with big companies including Aviva, Tesco and Department for Work and Pensions.

It wants bigger companies to allow staff to take time out and support AWF and is also linking up with other north Norfolk charities to share volunteers.

'We are trying to create a volunteering community in Cromer and as part of that volunteers can gain new skills and further work, as well as meet other people.

'We are trying to stand out and are willing to engage and give something back to volunteers.'

Mr Lamb, a strong AWF supporter, said: 'Although traditionally volunteering maybe seen as a young retiree past-time, AWF wants to flip that stereotype on its head. They are actively looking to recruit graduates who want to gain experience in a professional environment but with the added benefit of giving back in the process.'

AWF volunteers need to be 18 or over.

To get involved call 01263 515230, email, visit, or search aboutwithfriends on Facebook or @AWFCharity on Twitter.

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