Better Futures

Supported volunteering for people with learning disabilities, mental health support needs, and people on the autism spectrum.

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Welcome to Better Futures

We support people with mental health support needs, learning disabilities, and people on the autism spectrum by finding volunteering opportunities that they feel excited about, we are then able to support them on-to-one whilst volunteering for up to 8 sessions. We also provide a wide range of support both to the people volunteering, and the organisation that they are volunteering for, allowing people who’ve never volunteered before to have all the support they need to make a success of volunteering.

Please visit the other tabs on this page to find out more about how we could work with you.

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Support for people with disabilities

We support people with learning disabilities, mental health issues and people on the autism spectrum to volunteer at a place that’s right for them. Our Volunteering and Work Placement Co-ordinators can guide you through every stage of volunteering from deciding what you want to do and what skills you want to learn to giving you 1-1 training in your role.

Assessment and Matching

The first step is to sit down with one of our co-ordinators and talk about what you want to do. We’ll discuss what experience you have, and why you want to volunteer – some people are looking to meet new people, some want to get skills and experience, and some just want to help a good cause. We’ll then look for the right volunteer role for you, support you with the application and arrange it with the organisation. We already work lots of charities across the city and are working with more every week as well as with Brighton and Hove’s volunteer centre to make sure we have many options available.

Starting Volunteering

We appreciate that every one of our volunteers has different requirements, and we make sure the organisation knows them and has made reasonable adjustments before you start with them. You’ll be accompanied by one of our co-ordinators when you’re volunteering for up to 8 weeks until you are settled in and confident in what you’re doing – though many people need much less time – and we’ll keep working with you and the organisation to make sure that you’re reaching the goals of your volunteering.

If you’d like to know more contact us through our get support page or call direct on 01273 229009.


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Why choose Better Futures?

We can offer you a wide range of organisational support to help you increase the capacity of your volunteering programme, or start one for the first time. We offer funded training with our dedicated training and support officer to meet the needs of your growing service, as well as increasing your capacity by providing a dedicated Volunteering Co-ordinator to accompany volunteers and ensure they’re trained in their new roles – freeing up staff to carry out other tasks.

Individualised support

We support volunteers in a wide variety of ways reflecting their diverse needs, as well as providing a dedicated worker alongside them for 8 weeks as they learn their volunteer role, we can also create easy read and photo guides to tasks, giving a step by step guide to anything they need to do. Many of our volunteers require little support, but they might need some adaptations to their environment – such as different lighting or a quiet environment to complete some tasks. These simple changes can make sure a volunteer is comfortable, confident and happy to carry out their role for a long time to come.

Ongoing support

The Better Futures service is funded by the BIG Lottery programme, meaning support is available to your organisation when you need it, free of charge. If your organisation changes, or the needs of your volunteers do, we’re available to provide training, advice, support, and a wide range of resources to make sure your programme goes from strength to strength and continues to meet the goals of your organisation.
If you have any questions about getting involved please give us a call on 01273 229009 or contact us through this page, we can discuss the needs of your service and show you how we’re supporting similar services around the City.


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Helping your organisation support people

Better Futures provides a wide range of training designed to help your organisation support people with disabilities effectively, and improve the capacity of your volunteering programme. From what you need to know to set up your first volunteering role, through to how to support the needs of a specific individual, our training ensures your whole staff team are confident and capable of supporting any volunteer.

Funded training

Better Futures is funded by the Big Lottery, and provides funded training to our partners. If you’re able to offer a number of placements to individuals supported by Better Futures then we can develop bespoke training for your organisation, matching it to the needs of your staff team and the people being supported. We also run a range of training courses throughout the year in partnership with the Brighton & Hove Volunteer Centre that are open to any organisation considering working with volunteers in the city, or already doing so.

Course Programme for 2015

    Courses open for booking:

  • May 6th – Asperger’s and Autism Awareness
  • Topics coming up later in the year:

  • Supporting Volunteers with Learning Disabilities/Difficulties
  • Making a Business Case for Diversity
    “Very good trainer, informative and approachable.”
  • Developing Brokerage Skills in Volunteer Recruitment (New course)
  • Supervising Volunteers with Disabilities and Support Needs
    “An excellent training course, lots of information and links to support volunteering in the workplace. Extremely knowledgeable presenter.”
  • Monitoring and Evaluation for Volunteer Schemes
    “I have found it one of the most useful training sessions I have attended recently.”
    “Very useful. So many brilliant resources and tools to take away.”
  • Equality and Diversity including Health and Safety for Volunteer Managers (New course)

We have the potential to rerun topics throughout the year depending on requests. Please email us at if you want to join our mailing list for funded training.

We can also design and deliver bespoke training courses for any organisation on a wide range of disability related subjects. We provide full and half day courses at competitive rates. To discuss any requirements please contact Aine Walsh on 01273 229009.

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Posted on 30th June 2016 by