Women’s Euros offer life-changing experiences for people with learning disabilities

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People from Wigan with learning disabilities have been taking part in a unique volunteering experience during the UEFA Women’s Euros 2022.

Community Integrated Care, one of the largest social care providers in the country has been attending a number of matches at venues across Yorkshire and the North West with volunteers.

Prior to the games they took part in cookery and soap-making lessons, teaching them valuable skills before they handed out the products that they made to teams at each of the games.

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Those taking part in the scheme also attended employability courses in addition to photography and media clubs aiming to develop their confidence ahead of the tournament. The programme will continue at England’s semi-final clash next Tuesday July 26 at Bramall Lane.

The volunteer scheme hopes to develop skills to be used in the future.The volunteer scheme hopes to develop skills to be used in the future.
The volunteer scheme hopes to develop skills to be used in the future.
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The volunteers have been inspired by England Lionesses legend Fara Williams who tallied 172 international appearances during a career spanning 18 years. In a recorded message she said: “I’ve heard all about the projects you’ve been involved with in preparation for the tournament. From the media and photography clubs, to employability courses and soap making, thank you so much for volunteering your time and efforts to make this the best UEFA Women’s Euros yet.”

This scheme aims to have a big impact on the lives of those involved and it is believed that by volunteering at the tournament, it may become clear what they want to do in the next step of their lives. By giving them the confidence to pursue their goals, using the skills they have gained in the process.

Community Integrated Care Sports Inclusion Specialist Kurtis Marsh has overseen the projects and believe those taking part have benefitted immensely.

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Marsh said: “Our inclusive volunteers have had a special experience that has been inspired by the UEFA Women’s Euros 2022. The idea for all of our tournament projects is to help build confidence which will give them the opportunity to develop skills. They could then use those in their match day volunteering roles and in day-to-day life moving forwards.

"We’re proud of each and every one of them. This 100 per cent enables a more inclusive society, and has given people some direction to use their potential and talent.”