Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, and Young disabled volunteers marked the expansion of a volunteering programme for young disabled people.
Leonard Cheshire Disability's 'Can Do' scheme offers exciting opportunities for 10 to 35‑year-old disabled people to volunteer in their community. Over 6,000 young disabled people have volunteered through 'Can Do' since Leonard Cheshire established it in 2008.
With the programme now serving 18 regions across the UK, the charity hosted a reception in Parliament for volunteers and politicians who believe 'We Can Do'. Caroline met some of the 1,000 disabled people to have this year developed skills and gained confidence through Can Do workshops, community projects and mentoring.
"I was delighted to meet two really inspiring young people from our local area, Carrieanne from Portsmouth and Connor from Gosport. It was great to hear about the skills they'd learnt on the scheme and how it has made a real difference to them. Not only does it allow hundreds of young disabled people the opportunity to gain skills, meet new people and have fun, but their work makes a real difference to their local communities.
I hope many more will get in touch with Leonard Cheshire to volunteer."
Felix Labwo, a 26-year-old Can Doer with Asperger's Syndrome was one of the VIP speakers on a night that featured poetry and a film screening. He said:
"I would recommend Can Do to anyone looking to develop themselves or wanting to make a contribution to their community. Can Do helped my communication skills, and gave me drive and motivation."
Speaking to MPs at the event, Leonard Cheshire Chief Executive Neil Heslop said:
"I am delighted so many people have joined us in celebrating the many ways we all 'Can Do' together."
This winter, the homeless and refugees will be among those to benefit from projects delivered by Can Doers.
For more information please visit www.leonardcheshire.org.