My voluntary service at PIP was a total coincidence: I was looking for an internship in an educational or social setting in London. The internship is a mandatory part of my bachelor’s degree to become a teacher for German and English, the regulations are very loose and the main goal is to gain work experience in an English-speaking country. The German YMCA referred my application to PiP and luckily I was accepted.
Before my time at PiP I had hardly ever encountered anyone with learning disabilities, let alone worked with them. I did not know what to expect but had a very open mind. Of course, I was also a little nervous on my first day.
Hi I’m Humna from City University and I’m really looking forward to volunteering at PiP over the next four weeks. I feel that it will be fulfilling and inspirational due to the opportunity to spend time with PiP’s students. PiP focuses on students’ aspirations and also on their individual goals which makes it a special place to work.
PiP helps those with learning disabilities to live their lives as independently as they can by focusing on work experience and employability, social skills and much more! I chose to volunteer at PiP for a number of reasons.
This Volunteers Week we’ll be speaking to some of PiP’s volunteers, asking them about the work they do and their experiences as a volunteer.
We talked to Patrick Altmann, from Germany, who has been volunteering with PiP since November 2017. He is the author of the ‘Fruitful song’, which he wrote (to the tune of a famous contemporary pop song…) to promote PiP’s Fruitful Project, a fresh fruit juice stall which helps our students develop their customer service and money management skills. You can watch the Fruitful song here.
On Wednesday 23rd May PiP students put on a tai chi taster class in the amphitheatre of Sheldon Square in partnership with the Dao Lu tai chi school and Paddington Central. Fruitful was there to serve their tasty juices to the masses with flavours including Paddington Pear and Zinging Zen.
In advance of the event, Paddington Central interviewed Fruitful co-ordinator Clare Twine. You can read the interview below.
“Every year The PIP Theatre Production reminds us why PIP exists – to provide opportunities to showcase the skills, talents and creativity of our students”.
PIP’s CEO Bill Feeney couldn’t have summed it up better, as he stood grinning from ear to ear after another excellent show devised and performed by PIP students – adults with learning disabilities like Down’s Syndrome and autism.
On Saturday 24th March 2018 our students performed their original production – The Holiday – to a packed auditorium at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill.
PIP has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the needs of people with learning disabilities – with a focus on the importance of them becoming independent, accepted and valued members of the community.
On 24th April PIP had it’s first ever participant in the Virgin London Marathon. We met Tristan Swoffer at a BBQ organised by one of PIP’s corporate partners British Land back in September 2015. Tristan signed up there and then for his first ever marathon too. We are super proud of him and all of his efforts. He has so far raised £2042 (smashing his target by over £500!).
Here’s how he got on in his words;
My name is Marta and I have worked as a full-time volunteer at PIP for over 7 months.
During this time, I have had many wonderful experiences (in fact, every day at PIP is a new valuable experience), but today I would like to provide an insight into the latest PIP Theatre Company show – The Journey of Peace.
PIP was recently featured on a national television broadcast focusing on the opportunities that are available for adults with learning disabilities. The video give you an insight into the issues encountered once someone with a disability reaches adulthood, and explains the importance of organisations like ourselves for our students and their families. Watch below to see PIP sessions in action and hear directly from our staff and our student’s families:
By Adam Pearson
PIP Development Worker
The October half-term saw us embark on our annual holiday, a staple of the PIP calendar. Our student’s excitement for the trip had been building as early as last November and since summer went into overdrive! Our destination was the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Activities Centre which is located in Manor Farm Country Park in Hampshire.