News & Stories

Volunteering helps Hightown residents fulfil their potential

Residents living in a Princes Risborough supported living service for people with mental health problems are taking such an active role in their own community that many are taking part in long-term volunteering schemes.

The volunteers among those living at Hightown Housing Association’s Culverton Court include Michael West, whose volunteering work includes playing the piano to entertain residents at a care home for older people in Aylesbury.

Michael, aged 30, also volunteers at the Oasis Centre’s coffee lounge in Princes Risborough, as well as at a charity shop in the town which raises funds for the Helen & Douglas House children’s hospice in Oxford.

Michelle Bowhay, Scheme Manager at Culverton Court, said they supported tenants to take part in volunteering to help them meet their full potential and live as independently as possible.

“We find it helps with the mental health recovery of our residents. It gives them a real sense of self-worth and puts some extra structure in their lives. We also get positive feedback from the organisations they work with, so it’s good for everyone.” she added.

In fact tenant Sarah Wilcox, 40, was offered paid bank work with the Oasis Partnership after working as a volunteer with the Buckinghamshire-based drug and alcohol support charity.

Other volunteers from Culverton Court include Paul Jones, 31, who volunteers as a dog walker for the Saunderton-based Hearing Dogs for Deaf People charity, and Paul Sly, 31, who works at the Shaw Trust’s charity shop in Princes Risborough.