Connor, Reach Up and Go: volunteering supports a whole family

Connor earns Time Credits as a volunteer for Reach up and Go (RUAG) activities run by Chorley Council. The sessions are specifically for young people with a disability, like Connor who has Cerebral Palsy.

Kay Unsworth is Chorley Council Community Development Support Officer and has supported Connor at Reach Up and Go. She said “Connor was a participant at the RUAG football session at Clayton Green Leisure Centre but as he got older we could see that he could potentially benefit from taking a lead role at the session”.

“We approached Connor and asked him to sign up as a young volunteer which gave him some responsibility at the session. We also encouraged Connor to act as a good role model to the rest of the group and this has given him a huge amount of confidence. It has enabled him to come out of his shell and blossom into a fantastic young man. He is a great help to the staff and others that attend the session.”

Previously Connor didn’t like to try anything new and was unsure when a new challenge came his way whether he would be able to succeed. Through volunteering and earning Time Credits he has surpassed all expectations and is attending more Reach Up and Go sessions, all paid for by his Time Credits. As Connor volunteers every week he has also been able to accumulate a number of Time Credits and use them to pay for his brother Kameron, who also has Cerebral Palsy, to come to summer activities. They have been bowling, trampolining and to Blackpool Zoo in the summer break.

Kay said “Connor is a pleasure to have as a volunteer and a participant; he never fails to make staff smile and always makes us laugh.” She also said,

“As Connor is attending more Reach up and Go sessions with his Time Credits, it allows him to speak and interact with different young people. It has also allowed Krista, his mum, to talk to other parents with children attending the sessions. Whilst Connor volunteers on a Friday, his mum and another parent now attend a class together at the leisure centre each week. This sums up that Time Credits and volunteering are a huge success for all the family.”

“Giving Connor this responsibility and him becoming a volunteer is the best move we could have made. Not only has it maintained his attendance at the sessions but we have watched him grow and become a valued member of our Friday night football. We have a fantastic family relationship where we support Krista and the boys, and to see where we have helped Connor get to has made it all worthwhile. Time Credits have helped us every step of the way, and allowed Connor to get the most out of his volunteer experience.”