Little Orchids get a Lottery windfall

Volunteer Laura Bankhead with two of her charges at Little Orchids.
Volunteer Laura Bankhead with two of her charges at Little Orchids.

Members of Little Orchids in Londonderry are celebrating being awarded a grant of £2,350 from Lottery Awards for All, which will be used to support Volunteers.

Many people ask for volunteer opportunities at the centre for a variety of different reasons; some want experience; some want to learn new skills; some want to meet new people; some have just got time on their hands and some want to give something back to the local community and, at Little Orchids the aim is to ensure they get the best possible experience.

“Having this funding increases opportunities for volunteers and ensures that barriers such as unemployment, low income or no transport do not impede access to volunteer involvement,” said Maura McGregor, centre manager.

“Being able to offer them training and reimburse out of pocket expenses means whatever their circumstances, they can get involved, ensures equality of opportunity. This makes volunteering a positive experience and increases volunteers’ confidence, self-esteem and will, hopefully, inspire them to get involved in other opportunities in their community.

“Volunteers make a significant contribution to the work in the centre, as they bring a wealth of experience and skills with them. This diversity introduces a community perspective, making our organisation more effective in meeting the needs of all our service users and increases community activity.

“At little Orchids volunteers meet a wide range of people, as we have built positive connections with a range of other services and professionals. This often helps volunteers, who otherwise can experience isolation due to personal difficulties, unemployment or maybe because they are new to the area.”