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Unfolding: FREE training course for community volunteers

Leeds’ valuable and dedicated volunteer workforce is faced with the potential of burnout and exhaustion due to the impact of Covid and the cost of living crisis. 

Volunteers are committed to their communities, yet often stretched in their capacity to support people. Volunteers and the people they support are increasingly likely to be facing financial stresses, mental ill-health, isolation and loneliness.

Unfolding was created to help volunteers feel energised and able to support others without ‘burning out’.

We are pleased to offer this free, six-week training course in partnership with Leeds City Council.  

How can we help people to go from exhausted to energised when volunteering?

By training participants in self-care, boundary-setting and most of all conversation skills that bring change. Volunteers will learn how not to take on too much whilst ensuring that the people they support feel heard and clear on their next steps.

The training is for (formal and informal) volunteers who:

  • Have regular contact with vulnerable people through their role
  • Volunteer in Armley, Inner South, York Road, HATCH and Seacroft LCP areas – See below for more info on this.*
  • Want to feel calmer and more confident in their volunteering. 
  • Enjoy sharing what they learn with others. 
  • Are ready to learn how to make conversations easier.

By the end of the training volunteers will have

  • Learned how to look after their own energy levels
  • Increased their confidence and self-esteem
  • Learned how gender impacts mental wellness
  • Learned how to lead conversations that bring change in people’s lives  
  • Become comfortable in setting compassionate and clear boundaries
  • Renewed capacity to support others
  • Become a cheerleader for change.

What to expect from us

  • Six weeks of in-person training, two hours/session per week. (This can also be online to suit)   
  • Training led by experienced facilitators
  • Informal & participatory sessions
  • A safe space for people to be themselves
  • Humans Being to tailor both content and format to suit the needs of your volunteers.

We need partner organisations to

  • Support at least eight volunteers to enrol on the course
  • Allow one staff member to attend the first session (welcome to attend all sessions)
  • Be available to discuss participants’ progress and deal with any potential safeguarding concerns
  • Give feedback on how you think the volunteers benefitted.

Courses are running from September 2023 – December 2024

* Course availability in the following LCPs areas: Armley, Inner South (Beeston & Middleton), York Road, HATCH and Seacroft. SEE THIS MAP

Armley Helping Hands Participant
Armley Helping Hands Participant I feel like I’ve found my voice.
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“Before the course started I have been going through hell. My confidence and self esteem were very low after being in an abusive relationship for many years. I was really nervous about joining the course and found it hard to talk at first. As the weeks went on I felt more comfortable and was able to share my experiences and speak up, I feel like I’ve found my voice. This has helped me in many areas of life, I actually look forward to things now. I'm supporting three close people in my life, friends and family. I feel I can now help them find their own solutions and guide them rather than trying to fix the situation. It made me realise that I can still be supportive to others even when I'm going through a lot myself.”
Kathrin - Online course participant
Kathrin - Online course participant Kathrin beamed as she told us how much she enjoyed herself and how present to others she was.
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When Kathrin started the course she was volunteering for a large women’s organisation, working full-time and caring for her elderly mother. She felt stressed, negative and exhausted. The isolation and trauma of Covid-19 was still very present in her life. She found it hard to say ‘no’, worked until late and was so worn out that she was on the verge of quitting her volunteering role. Kathrin found the health conversation skills training useful and made time to connect with other women, be present to their conversations and stopped giving advice, instead listening to their challenging stories. Over the course of six weeks Kathrin experienced an incredible shift in the way that she looks after herself. She learnt to prioritise self-care, say ‘No’, delegate and ask for support as and when needed. She now feels more capable of managing her responsibilities and feels confident to keep volunteering. Kathrin actually managed to enjoy and relax at the Christmas party and instead of running around serving people drinks and food, she called on others for help. Kathrin was beaming when she told us how much she enjoyed herself and how present to others she was. The other women applauded her transformation. It was a joy to behold!
Contact Fra at Humans Being
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