“If I had to sum up Aspire, I’d say it’s just a very accepting place. We’re a mixed bunch of people who have found our way here, for whatever reason. We help and support each other, rub along together really well, and find our own unique way to contribute. Some people come for a short while and then move on, but others are here longer term. And we are all valued for what we can do, not for what we can’t”, says Aspire volunteer, ‘Nash’.
Nash has been volunteering with Aspire for about a year, having originally been referred by the Working Win project, now known as Find Good Work, from South Yorkshire Housing. The project recognises how work connects us to the world around us, and aims to provide good work for customers, such as Nash, and support them with any physical and mental health conditions that may impact on their chances of securing full time work.
Nash has a background in software engineering, so when he heard about Aspire he was interested, and soon started volunteering for three days each week, working across all areas of the business, as directed by the manager, Dave.
Nash enjoys seeing some of the weird and wonderful donations that come in from the public, saying, “recently we got a stuffed toy of a sparkly unicorn on rollerskates…very random indeed! It’s really interesting to see the scientific equipment that gets donated, and of course all of the old PCs and laptops, that we wipe data from, then either refurbish to sell, or recycle.”
“One thing I’d say to people reading this is that they probably have some old electrical equipment laying around at home that they no longer need. Stereos, laptops, cabling, chargers, things like that. It may seem worthless to them, but there’s value in it for us, which enables us to keep running, and keep providing opportunities for people who may otherwise not get the chance to live their lives fully. If everyone in our region donated something worth a few pennies, imagine what we’d be able to do!”