Volunteers from across Hackney came together at Pembury Community Centre yesterday (11th of April) to celebrate the launch of our Futures East project.

Welcome Bingo, coveted dessert recipes and information about local volunteering opportunities were just some of the things on offer at the first Futures East social which marked the launch of the project.

Futures East enables young people between the ages of 16-25, who have learning disabilities, on the autism spectrum or have additional support needs, to take part in exciting and worthwhile voluntary roles within their local communities.

Volunteer Halimah at the launch of Futures East

The project focuses on matching young people with roles that mirror their likes and interests in order to promote skills development and increase their self-confidence and independence, enabling the young person to feel empowered to make informed choices towards their future goals and aspirations, as well as giving back to their local community.

Volunteers met with two local organisations to find out more about their current volunteer opportunities. St. Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney played some short films about the range of roles on offer from jumble sale assistants to cheer point volunteers and The Geffrye Museum in Shoreditch shared news about their Volunteer Community and the exciting new youth led Young Producers project that will be taking place this year.

The group also heard from Halimah who volunteers at the Redmond Community Centre, preparing food for their lunch clubs. She said: “My favourite things to cook are deserts – scones, brownies and so on. People say they are really good.” Halimah even brought her brownie recipe along to share with other volunteers.

Futures East volunteers are supported in their roles by volunteer Community Mentors who help them to understand the role or provide guidance when traveling to and from their volunteer placement.

Find out more about Futures East