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Leonard Cheshire

Leonard Cheshire

Leonard Cheshire recognises there are significant benefits from volunteering, such as gaining new skills, increasing confident, becoming more included in society and benefiting from general improvements in health, wellbeing and happiness.  However, we are also aware that disabled people are underrepresenting in volunteering role.  This is often because disabled people face challenges which are not a result of the individual disability or medical condition, but a result of the attitudinal and environmental challenges created by society. 

Leonard Cheshire’s Can Do programme will support social action and the #iwill campaign in order to encourage and support young disabled people to engage in social action throughout their lives.

The Solution – Can Do
A Society where every young disabled person is able to fulfil their potential

Can Do is a volunteering programme for disabled people aged 10 – 35, offering support, information and training.  Since 2008, we have supported thousands of young people across the UK to contribute to their local communities through volunteering opportunities.

Can Do aims to break down the challenges that young disabled people face by enabling them to:

-Learn new skills
-Build confidence through community-based volunteering opportunities
-Contribute and participate fully in society

What we do

Can Do supports young disabled people to develop their skills, provides new experiences and encourages greater independence through participation in a variety of activities and volunteering opportunities in their community. The programme also seeks to raise awareness of disability and build more inclusive communities.

We empower young disabled people to recognise their potential and achieve their ambitions. Opportunities range from traditional volunteering to more bespoke projects – from cookery workshops where the food is donated to local homeless shelters, to the development of funding applications and presentations, and carrying out accessibility audits of local community services.

Can Do aims to deliver the following outcomes for young disabled people and the wider community.

For the participants:

-enhanced life chances through engaging in community-based volunteering opportunities
-raised awareness of the social, civic and economic benefits of volunteering
-increased confidence to make meaningful decisions about their own lives, express choice and make a positive contribution to their local community and society as a whole
-supported to experience something new, understand what volunteering entails and assess whether it is something they will enjoy
-develop new skills, work towards gaining accredited qualifications, build self-confidence and, more generally, give something back to their community through the completion of structured modules around their volunteer activity

For the wider community:

-organisations to recruit and retain disabled people as new and ongoing volunteers, and possible employees
-organisations who engage with the programme can demonstrate that they are becoming more ‘disability confident’

We give each participant the opportunity to take part in our ‘Building Communities’ module, which can lead to City & Guilds certification. By encouraging young disabled people to volunteer, we aim to grow their confidence and independence, in the hope of improving their education and employment opportunities.


Quote from Charlotte Hill, CEO at Step Up To Serve
“The #iwill campaign is driven by leaders from across society who are committed to making youth social action a normal part of growing up in the UK.
We know that young people want to play an active part in improving their communities, and that in doing so, they develop their own skills for work and life. Over 350 cross-sector organisations so far have pledged to support youth social action, and say #iwill. What will you do?”