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Take Part In your community and city

Your free involvement newspaper from Portsmouth City Council

Summer 2010 INSIDE

take part Participar

Community 2 Council 4 Health 6 Community safety 8 Learning 10 Sport & Leisure 12 Contact the Take Part Team

Sport brings people together

To find out more about taking part in the city, please contact the Take Part team.

When Nurul Alam left school and began his working life he missed the fun he used to have playing sport, so he started his own football and badminton tournaments. They are now not only a fixture in the social calendar of his friends but also a great support for newcomers to Portsmouth. When Nurul Alam came to Portsmouth with his family at the age of seven years old, it was school that helped him integrate into both the local and Bangladeshi communities. He used to play various sports during breaks and at the end of the day, but after leaving school the majority of Nurul’s friends either moved away or, like him, began to work long hours in restaurants and family businesses. “I was in my late twenties, feeling unfit and a lot of my friends had moved away when I remembered how great it was to meet people while playing football when I was younger” he explains. “I decided to get together a couple of teams and we started to play outside on Sunday afternoons.” Over the next 18 months, word-ofmouth spread and numbers increased with players aged between 14 and 55. Nurul noticed that people were less likely to participate when the

cold weather set in, so in order to play all year round, he booked a regular slot at the Fratton Community Centre. “Having a regular, indoor venue made all the difference,” he says. “Each player who turned up paid two pounds towards the hire of the hall and from there we began to organise tournaments that inspired people to make a commitment to their teams.” Now 34 years old, Nurul’s voluntary work has gone on to launch badminton tournaments for both men and women. “We do seem to attract members of the Bangladeshi community in the main, but everyone is welcome,” he says. “We now play at a variety of venues including the University’s St Paul’s Sports Hall and the astroturf of the Mountbatten Centre. We still play on Sundays, but a regular weekday suits us because

Take Part team Portsmouth City Council Civic Offices Guidhall Square Portsmouth PO1 2AL Tel: 023 9268 8508 Thank you

n Nural Alam most of us work in restaurants or drive taxis as part of the city’s night-time economy.”

The Take Part team would like to thank all those who have contributed to this publication, especially the Lord Mayor, Cllr Terry Hall, Albert, Brian, Esther, Jade, Keiran, Leon, Neil, Nural, Rahim and Robin.

Now when young people or new families arrive in the city’s Bangladeshi community they are often directed to Nurul’s activities as a way to make friends and learn more about the area. “I am very proud that my work has developed into such a well-known support network for people in the area,” says Nurul. “I get tremendous satisfaction from the way it has evolved and would encourage anyone in a similar position to do the same.”

Take Part Portsmouth is led by Portsmouth City Council as part of the Take Part Pathfinder Programme, which is funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government and managed by the Community Development Foundation.



Your free involvement newspaper from Portsmouth City Council

I enjoy meeting different people and making new friends


Portsmouth City Council kennels are always looking for volunteers to: • help walk the dogs • donate bedding, towels, dog coats, collars and leads • offer a dog a home. Contact the kennels on 023 9287 0337.

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Rahim Mokhtari came to the UK from Iran six years ago as a refugee and was helped to start a new life in Portsmouth by the Red Cross which operates from All Saints Church in the north of the city. Now he volunteers for the organisation in order to help other refugees. Despite the disability of a severe leg injury 30 years ago, Rahim Mokhtari spent 27 years as a school teacher in mathematics. Now aged 60, he credits the Red Cross for helping him make a new life for himself. “I was recommended the Red Cross from Friendship House and the people were so helpful and supportive when I came to Portsmouth,” he says. “I was also introduced to other people who understood what I was going through and that was a great comfort.” Rahim, who is looking forward to the day when he will be able to apply for British Citizenship, is now working for the Red Cross helping to distribute food vouchers, clothes and shoes to those who are seeking asylum and are destitute. “All my professional life I have been working with families at the heart of local communities and here I can continue to use those skills. When I see people who are sad, lonely or finding life difficult, I want to help them. I feel so happy and safe now, so I work to help others feel the same.

               

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“For me, volunteering in the Red Cross has helped me integrate into the

n Rahim Mokhtari community and greatly improve my English. I can now do translations and interpret for people. I meet local English people and those from other countries which is very interesting. “If people enjoy meeting people from different cultures and are keen to support those in trouble, the Red Cross is the best place to volunteer.”

Find out more at


My work gives me purpose

Working on the wild side

When he left the Royal Marines in 1976, Brian Rains decided to relocate to his wife’s hometown of Portsmouth. Twenty years later, he suddenly found himself disabled and it is thanks to his subsequent voluntary work that he not only found the strength to carry on, but also the ability to help others in similar situations. disabled people are accepted and not hidden from the rest of society.” One of the challenges Brian has identified is bridging the gap between people who are born with a congenital disability and those who have acquired one. “For this role, having had over forty years as an ablebodied person does give me insight into both sides of any debate and an awareness of the bigger picture.”

n Brian Rains On Sunday 15 September 1996, at the age of just 47, Brian Rains was in hospital being treated for severe chest pains when he was diagnosed with septicaemia. His deterioration was dramatic. He had a heart attack whilst spending a fortnight in intensive care, and doctors feared the worse, but he survived. Brian had served in the Royal Marines, worked as a long distance lorry driver and enjoyed being an active husband and father-of-three. Now restricted by today’s built environment and full-time use of a wheelchair, he found himself permanently disabled and forced to rethink his life. He was recommended to attend an Access & Disability Question & Answer Forum, which he enjoyed so much that he volunteered to become chair of one of its working groups. He went on to become chair of the Portsmouth

Disability Forum and has held the position for the past seven years. “The Portsmouth Disability Forum is run by trustees, of which I am one, who meet once a month to decide how to allocate our existing funds and apply for more,” explains Brian. “I am also a director of the forum and have responsibility for the support of our staff and the organisation as a whole. “The Portsmouth Disability Forum acts as a voice for disabled people in the area. It is often asked to provide staff as consultants to ensure buildings are fully accessible or to represent disabled people’s interests on steering groups and committees for organisations throughout the area. “Our role is to champion disabled people’s rights. Things are getting a lot better though there is still a lot of work to do to make sure that

If you’re interested in helping protect and enhance wildlife habitats, Portsmouth City Council’s conservation and wildlife projects may be for you. An interest in wildlife and the outdoors and the ability to get on with other people is all that is required. Essential protective clothing is supplied, basic hand tool training is provided and if the need arises more technical training may be available. Volunteers will learn more about the environment and will gain healthy exercise at the same time! Activities include: scrub clearance, woodland and meadow management, fencing, path works, litter picking, fundraising and species monitoring.

When asked what voluntary work has done for him personally, Brian, who is now 60 years old, is movingly honest.

Contact Peter Roberts - Hilsea Lines Countryside Ranger to find out more.

“It has kept me sane,” he states. “It gives me structure in my life, things to do and a whole new set of challenges to tackle. The alternative would be me just sitting at home and I need something to channel my energies into, to give me purpose and keep me alert.

Email: peter.roberts.cse@

“We have four full time staff at the Portsmouth Disability Forum, but the rest are volunteers. Before this happened to me, I thought someone as physically restricted as myself would not have made a very good volunteer, but I have learnt there are roles for everyone’s ability.

It has parent helpers and volunteers helping to provide Toy Library play sessions across the city.

“I now see that to be a good volunteer you need a willingness to participate, the desire to genuinely help others and the honesty to accept your limitations. Once you have found something you can do, there really is no stopping you and it can give you, quite literally, a new lease of life.”

Tel: 0795 835 3152

Volunteering is child’s play… …with Connors Toy Library

Volunteers say: “Being a volunteer is great fun, it is creative and constructive to get children and parents involved with craft activities, and great working together and meeting new people.” “Being a volunteer is a rewarding chance to gain more experience.” To find out more visit or call 023 9283 2926.

Want to volunteer, but don’t know where to begin? Right now, over 40,000 charities, volunteer centres and other organisations use the Do-it website to list their volunteering opportunities.




Got something to say about your neighbourhood? Neighbourhood forums give you a chance to speak up about what’s happening on your doorstep. Parking, crime, planning developments, policing and schools are all hot topics that affect people’s lives. If you’ve got something to say, neighbourhood forums are a way to get your voice heard and to make a difference to your local area. ‘It’s open to all – even if you just want to listen to what others have to say’ Resident, Stamshaw and Tipner Neighbourhood Forum For further details please contact Peter Roberts on 023 9283 4059 or email neighbourhood.forums@

Think you need to be over 18 to be elected to parliament? Each year a young person from the city is elected to represent Portsmouth at UK Youth Parliament. Portsmouth also has its own Youth Parliament where young people’s voices are heard, stereotypes are challenged and young people make Portsmouth a better place. If you’d like to find out more about what goes on or get involved, visit and

Your free involvement newspaper from Portsmouth City Council

Without volunteers, Portsmouth would grind to a halt Having been a councillor for several years and serving as Lord Mayor of Portsmouth for 2009/10 no one is in a better position to appreciate the tremendous amount and variety of voluntary work undertaken across Portsmouth than Terry Hall. When The Right Worshipful Lord Mayor of Portsmouth looks back on her own life, she realises that as a working mother of two sons, she began voluntary work without really thinking of it as such. “I took on the role of treasurer for my sons’ Scout troop, started to help them raise funds and my husband became a leader,” she recalls. “Like a lot of parents, we volunteered to support the school our children went to and I don’t think most people recognise that as voluntary work – they are just ‘helping out’.” At 48-years-old, Terry made a dramatic change in her life. With her sons grown up, mortgage paid off and parents in good health, she decided that she did not want to spend the rest of her life working in accountancy and seized the opportunity to attend the University of Portsmouth and study sociology. “In my final year, I got very involved in the General Election. I volunteered for leaflet distribution and canvassing and met a great many people in my local community, discussing the local

issues that concerned them. I wanted to help and was encouraged to put myself forward as a councillor.” Terry’s first year of office was in 2002 and though someone had told her it would only take five hours a week and she could also do the charity work she had in mind, it soon became a full-time job. During her new career, Terry was made the Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure and it was in this role that she gained real insight into the importance of volunteers in libraries, museums, theatre, sports facilities and open spaces. “I became aware of just how many services in the city work because of volunteers. I firmly believe that without them, Portsmouth would grind to a halt. Everyone has different motivations and reasons for their contribution, but I have been struck by the number of people who neither seek reward nor gratitude for their work. I see the role of Lord Mayor as First Citizen is to meet as many as possible in order to thank them on behalf of the city.” The Lord Mayor is president of over 50 organisations that have

n Councillor Terry Hall Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Photo © Simon John

volunteers supporting them and Terry has been exposed to the great many causes people feel passionate about in the city. But what are her thoughts about the future of volunteering? “The current economic downturn has meant some are less busy with work and people are spending less money on shopping and expensive pastimes. Though this is making fundraising difficult, it is giving people more time and energy to channel into volunteering, reinforcing Portsmouth’s strong community spirit and producing some wonderful results across the city.”

NO VOTE NO VOICE NO CHOICE It’s your right to vote and you can register: If you are 18 or over and living in Portsmouth If you are a student living away from home At any time up to 11 days before an election.

Register to vote at For more information: Telephone 023 9283 4074 or email

Find out more at



Supporting education is crucial for our future At the age of 31 years old, Robin Lander Brinkley has already served three years as a school governor for one of the largest infant schools in Portsmouth, 18 months of which have been as Chair of the Governing Body. In this article he explains his motivation for choosing this type of voluntary work. I started my own PR and Marketing business when I was 26 years old and after a year settling into being self-employed, I felt it was time to look into doing some sort of charity work. I didn’t have a lot of money to donate to a cause or a big company with which to organise a big fundraising event - all I had to offer was my time and personal skills.

opportunities and working life after their education.

I started browsing the internet looking at national charities, but wasn’t inspired. I was born and bred in Portsmouth and love the city so much, I felt I wanted to get involved in something local.

I got such joy and satisfaction out of these activities that I realised that one thing I believed passionately in was the importance of education. It has got me where I am today and through some tough times. I believe that, though qualifications and exams are very important, a good education should teach two very important skills - one is the ability to think, the other is to cope. If someone can think and cope, there is little life can throw at them that they can’t recover from.

I came across the Portsmouth & South East Hampshire Education Business Partnership, which invites volunteers from the local business community to run activities in and for schools across the area to help pupils understand, participate and learn more about employment

The EBP complimented me on my volunteer work with them, and said I should look into becoming a governor. I sent my CV to the ‘School Governor’s One Stop Shop’ and within a fortnight was offered an interview at Court Lane Infant School in Cosham to be a Community Governor.

n Robin Lander Brinkley with pupils from Court Lane Infant School, where he is a school governor I have always volunteered with young children. When I was a teenager I was a leader at Fairthorne Manor YMCA and looked after groups of five to seven year olds who attended summer camps and, at university, I volunteered to run children’s theatre and drama groups. I met with the Chair of Governors and Headteacher and thought the school was fantastic. I felt it would be the perfect place to learn how to be a governor and understand all that was involved. I also thought that the school, being in a different part of Portsmouth to where I lived, would give me an objective, impartial view that could prove useful to the Governing Body. The commitment was to attend a Full Governing Body meeting once every half term and also a meeting of one of two sub-committees. Eighteen months later, I was elected

as Chair of the Governing Body and whilst it was very flattering, I took the new responsibility seriously. There is a lot more work involved in being a Chair - numerous meetings, documents to read and training to attend - but it is very worthwhile. You get to meet all sorts of people from a variety of organisations. I also like to attend plays, science fairs, art exhibitions and have been known to participate in Circus Skills week. If I am going to work for a school, I want to feel I know the children and staff that work within it. If they are happy and making progress, that makes me very proud of my contribution to the city in which I live. To find out more about becoming a governor, contact your local school or Governor Services on 023 9284 1720 or visit

Developing Portsmouth

Ever wondered how the council works?

Portsmouth is changing fast and a number of regeneration projects are underway.

• Who are my ward councillors? • How do decisions get made? • What are the different committees? • When and where are the meetings? • Can I come along/make suggestions? Find out all you need to know about Portsmouth City Council at

Portsmouth City Council wants your views on strategies for these parts of the city. You can find out more about the latest consultations by visiting and clicking on ‘Developing Portsmouth’ in the left hand navigation menu.



Your free involvement newspaper from Portsmouth City Council

It’s about giving people dignity Engage Being a member of Engage offers you the opportunity to get involved with health and social care research projects. You might like to help by giving your view at the inception and planning stage, or you might like to be involved in designing questionnaires, conducting interviews etc. There is support and training available to enable you to make your experience a valuable resource. Visit academic/shssw/engage to find out more and email or call 023 9284 5601 if you are interested.

On 23rd December 2007, the day of his wife’s 50th birthday, Neil Kirkham was rushed to Queen Alexandra Hospital with a brain haemorrhage and stayed there for a fortnight over Christmas and New Year. It was during this time that he not only learned how valuable and comforting the contribution of volunteers was to those staying on the ward, but also found the inspiration to join them. After recovering from his brain haemorrhage, Neil Kirkham, eventually returned to his work for South West Trains in 2008, but when the opportunity for voluntary redundancy was offered the following year, he and his wife thought it was a good opportunity for Neil to retire. “My wife was very supportive of my leaving work, but did insist that I needed to have something to do,” recalls Neil, who is now 61 years old. “When I was in hospital, especially



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over Christmas, my family came to see me, but I also looked forward to the visits of the volunteers who would bring me my newspaper, a cup of tea or just have a chat. It gave me such a lift that I wanted to do that for others.” After his wife found the contact details for Lin Waterhouse, Voluntary Services Co-ordinator at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Neil gave her a call for a discussion about what work he would be suited to. “I told Lin that I was very much a morning person, so she called me in for a chat about becoming a Meal-Time Assistant at breakfast.” Meal-Time Assistants are volunteers who help take pressure off hospital staff by making sure food is accessible to patients, cut into manageable pieces where necessary and patients’ appetites are encouraged. Before Neil went on the ward, he had training sessions with various staff at the hospital including a dietician, nutritionist and nurse who taught him about hygiene and hand washing. “We did various role-plays and it really opened my eyes to what was involved. I learnt what to do if a patient has difficulty swallowing,

how to moisten and clean lips and how, even if a patient can’t take solids, they can be encouraged to take liquids. If patients are unable to feed themselves, there are techniques that are used to ensure their dignity. “As I was learning, I got more and more enthusiastic wanting to do everything, but I took it slow and now I specialise in working with orthopaedics and elderly trauma because not only do they appreciate your time and a kind word, but they are often the ones most in need of help.” “Neil is our only Meal-Time Assistant in the mornings at the moment and he does a wonderful job,” says Lin Waterhouse. “Because he is nonclinical, he is a breath of fresh air for the patients and he can bring them news from the outside world. His life experience and character means he can talk to any one of our patients that come from a variety of backgrounds and have different reactions to being in hospital.” Neil works for two hours a day, Monday to Friday, though the hospital is grateful for any weekly commitment of just a few hours on one particular day. “We have a variety of roles here at Queen Alexandra Hospital,” says Lin.

Have your say on everyday health matters Find out about the latest consultations from Portsmouth City’s Teaching Primary Care Trust at haveyoursay/consultations Also provide feedback on services at the website, by calling 0800 013 2319 or by emailing

Find out more at


Portsmouth Volunteer Centre The Portsmouth Volunteer Centre can help to find suitable volunteering opportunities, and can continue to provide advice and support right through the volunteering experience. Tel: 023 9282 7110 Email: Website:

n Neil pictured on the left with members of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust’s Physiotherapy Team. “For example, with the new hospital building, we are constantly in need of guides to show people where they need to go.” “I think to do my job you need to have the time, commitment, a sense of humour and the ability to get on with people, not taking things personally if they are upset,” says Neil. “I don’t have to work at the hospital, but I do because I enjoy it. There was one lady recently who

was very upset at being in hospital, feeling anxious, vulnerable and crying that she didn’t want to live anymore. I went up to her and found out that she loved her newspaper, so I went to the shop to get her one and we talked about what a lovely, sunny day it was outside. The next morning, she saw me and gave me a huge smile. It’s moments like that, that put a spring in your step.”

Make a difference at your hospital

Ever thought about being a... • samaritan • fundraiser • charity shop assistant • hospital guide • driver Visit to find current local opportunities

Since 1953, Samaritans has been supporting those in distress and/or having suicidal thoughts and intentions. Volunteers today continue to be at the heart of the organisation by delivering the service, running the branches, raising vital funds and raising awareness.

Have you been inspired by Neil’s story? Would you like to find out about different ways to volunteer at Queen Alexandra hospital?

Whatever role you choose to do, you’ll experience the rewarding feeling of being able to do something for someone else; contributing your existing skills, learning new ones and finding others you didn’t know you had.

The Voluntary Services Department provides a focal point for recruitment, development, training and monitoring of volunteers at QA, so contact Lin Waterhouse today to find out more, call 023 9228 6401 or email


Call 023 9269 1313



Community safety

Your free involvement newspaper from Portsmouth City Council

It’s about fairness and justice Esther Cole-Graham’s whole life has been devoted to serving the community. Having had an outstanding career in public health, she decided to contrast her professional life with voluntary work in the criminal justice system as a magistrate. Born in Jamaica, Esther ColeGraham was the daughter of a preacher who is now 109-years-old and living in good health in Massachusetts. When she was just four-years-old, her father moved the whole family to New England in America. Despite moving every few years, Esther graduated from high school, decided to pursue a career in public health and moved to the UK. Inspired at the time by the title of the Queen’s husband (“You do have moments of very silly thinking when you are young,” she explains), she studied and practised public health at Edinburgh University for several years and then worked in Africa for the World Health Organisation and the Nigerian Government. After three years she returned to the UK and moved to Portsmouth in 1989 to conduct medical research and work as a health visitor for the NHS. She worked all over the city and was hugely involved in the lives and communities of the people she saw. It was in 1993 that Esther was collecting her post and noticed amongst the letters an envelope,

which contained an application form to be considered for the magistracy. “I called the number on the letter to find out why I had been chosen and no one could tell me,” she recalls. “I still have no idea why that form was sent to me.” At the time, Esther was studying a masters degree course, had chosen a module in crime and criminology and was finding it fascinating, so she filled out the application, did a number of interviews and was appointed as a magistrate in 1993 at the age of 52.

n Esther Cole-Graham

“As a health visitor I learnt the most crucial skill to being a magistrate - to listen. I knew how to communicate with people with compassion. The difference in being a magistrate is you hear both sides of a situation and have to make a judgement.

“I always make eye contact, which often keeps anxious people calm, and make sure that people understand everything that is happening both around and to them. I try and get them to see it is an outcome and consequence of their behaviour.”

“I believe that, as a magistrate, you are dealing with a result of particular types of behaviour and the umbrella in which you operate is that of fairness and justice for everyone. I have always believed that even in the most formal of proceedings, a few words of empathy to the person in front of you gives a human touch.

Esther has spent 17 years as a magistrate, works in raising awareness as part of the Magistrates in the Community programme and has volunteered in roles ranging from a seat on the area strategic criminal justice committee to ‘tea lady’ at a women’s mediation group for domestic violence.

In 2000, she was presented with an MBE at Buckingham Palace by HRH The Prince of Wales for services to the community of Portsmouth. For those interested in the magistracy, Esther has clear advice: “You need to be able to listen, reason, understand and remain objective. You should have an interest in justice, believe in fairness and understand that you are not only influencing people’s lives, but also society as a whole.” To find out more about becoming a magistrate, visit or call 023 9285 7955.

Domestic abuse happens in all connecting 16–25 year kinds of relationships, regardless olds with of class, race, religion, volunteering age, sexuality or gender. opportunities

www. Baffins Safer Hampshire Constabulary does not tolerate domestic abuse at anytime of the year.

“I worked in an office before having children

If you are concerned that your

Neighbourhoods Te

Pictured: Sergeant Pete Phillip

Find out more at

Community safety


I’m so proud of them What with school, homework and numerous activities with friends and family, it is always impressive when children and young people such as Keiran Brewer and his sister, Jade, have the conviction and make time to undertake volunteer work. Three years ago, Keiran Brewer attended an assembly at Charter Academy where he went to school and was told about a brand new community scheme being run in the city. He learnt how Portsmouth Wardens were looking for volunteers to meet once a week as Youth Wardens and help with projects such as litter picking, cleaning graffiti off public property and working with the elderly by running bingo nights and putting up Christmas decorations. With the support of his school and permission from his mother, Lyn, he attended the first meeting after school and never looked back. “As well as doing a certain number of hours’ community work a week, we have visited police and fire stations,” says 15 year old Keiran. “When we were at the fire station, the alarm sounded. We saw them spring into action, a printed report of what they were being called to and we even got to spray the water hose when they got back. “If we did our hours and worked well, we also got a reward of our

choice, such as ice-skating or a trip to Thorpe Park. Being a Youth Warden gives me something to do outside school with kids of all ages and I really enjoy it.” “It was just what Keiran needed,” says Lyn. “It got him out of the house, doing something constructive and taught him about the community. He was getting quite frustrated at school for various reasons, but I knew that once he decided he wanted to be a Youth Warden he would give it 100% commitment and do his very best. It helped him to calm down and mature.” A few months later, the Youth Wardens from Charter Academy went on a recruitment drive to City Girls’ School where Keiran’s elder sister, Jade, was a pupil. Jade was already interested to know why her little brother was going iceskating, but when pictures of him as a Youth Warden in the presentation began to inspire her mates to join, she volunteered as well.

Find out about other volunteering opportunities Youth Offender Panel

Independent Custody Visiting

Appropriate Adult

n Keiran and Jade Brewer “They let me go along with the ice-skating and then I started work as a Youth Warden,” explains Jade, who now at the age of 16 is studying health and social care at Southdowns College. “I got to do useful activities such as learning first aid and being a Play Leader for groups of small children. These have been really helpful as, after college, I want to train as either a nanny or midwife.” Keiran, meanwhile, started to attend Military College one day a week to help him prepare for further study, training and a career in the armed forces. Both siblings were also taking part in the annual mile and a half BUPA Junior South Run. After proving to be such invaluable

volunteers, Youth Warden organiser, Kath Murray chose Keiran and Jade to attend a conference in Oxford as ambassadors for the Youth Warden scheme. “We got to stay in a hotel, had a room each and ate dinner in the restaurant,” says Keiran. “The next day, we were the only kids in the room and we answered questions put to us by the adults. It was a great experience.” “Both my children seem to want very community-orientated careers and I am sure that Youth Wardens contributed to that,” says Lyn. “I am so very proud of both of them and will never forget what Kath, the scheme and their volunteering has done for them in the past few years.”



Your free involvement newspaper from Portsmouth City Council

Courses to help you take part Take Part Learning helps you to gain the skills, confidence and knowledge to make a difference in your community. They give you an understanding of how power works and how you can learn to influence decisions and policies. From learning how to organise an event to running a management committee or understanding how to get involved with the council or other public bodies, there’s a course to help you to take part in your community. You can find out more by contacting any of the organisations on this page or by searching for take part courses at or go on-line to one of the following sites to find out more about how you can become an active citizen.

Resident Participation Write to Navigators Resource Centre, Freepost (SCE14360), Portsmouth, PO1 2BR - no stamp needed

Adult and family Learning Find information about a number of courses to help you to get involved in your community. Have a look at the Community Activities page which gives you information about a whole range of activities to help you build the skills, confidence and experience needed to tackle local political, social and technical challenges

Tel: 0800 0321 531 Resident Participation help and encourage council tenants and leaseholders to get involved in making decisions about their homes and neighbourhoods. They provide a range of training courses and special conferences for personal development opportunities and support with childcare, travel and administration expenses whilst residents take part in activities.

These include: • Being on a Committee • Getting Heard - How to get your views across in the community • Governance & Being a Trustee

Community First for Portsmouth 338 Commercial Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 4BT Tel: 023 9282 7110 Community First is able to offer a variety of training resources to help the development of individuals and groups. Their TRACs programme aims to deliver low cost training to the Community and Voluntary Sector in and around Portsmouth.

Learning Links Learning Links (Southern) Ltd Head office, 1st Floor, 2a The Hard Portsmouth, PO1 3PU Tel: 023 9229 6460 023 9281 8305 Learning Links offer a range of courses that can be delivered, either accredited or non-accredited and which focus on empowering individuals and communities. Courses can be delivered at times to suit the learner, with tasters and workshops provided in most subject areas.

First Wessex Create Training

• Being a Volunteer • Creating a Newsletter

Goals UK CIC Goals is a Southsea based community interest company who deliver motivational courses for a wide range of today’s society across the United Kingdom. Their GOALS for Young People course has been successfully delivered within the Portsmouth locality and provides an environment and learning for young people that helps them to aspire to reach their chosen goals. Their other motivational programme is the GOALS course and this is aimed at a wide range of adults.

Neighbourhood Training and Resource Centre

Highbury College

Peninsular House, Wharf Road, Portsmouth, PO2 8HB

Tel: 023 9238 3131

Tel: 08450 551122

Highbury College’s FREE Step-Up courses introduce you to a wide variety of subjects and activities. The courses are completely free of charge, and last ten hours. They are open to adults of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, and are run at numerous venues in and around Portsmouth. You have the option to attend a taught class or learn via flexible learning. Courses to help you become more involved in your community include:

Create provides accredited training in the areas of community, youth and play. Their courses are developed over many years of experience of working in these areas and they can work with your organisation or group to provide training for your community that is relevant to your needs.

• Step-Up to Committee Skills

• Organising an Event for Community Groups

• Presentation Skills

• Involving People

• Personal Safety and Conflict Management

• Step-Up to Confidence Building • Step-Up to Planning an Event • Step-Up to Producing a Community Magazine • Step-Up to Volunteering

Sample of taster workshops, and short courses include:

• Introduction to Youth Work Create also provide accredited training in Community Development Work.

The Haven, Lake Road Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 4HA Tel: 023 9275 2002 The Neighbourhood Training & Resource Centre (South East) is one of seven centres across the country working to support wardens and other community organisations. They help professionals and volunteers enrich people’s lives and the courses they provide include: • Community Problem Solving • Interpersonal Skills

• Partnership Working and Community Engagement

Find out more at

North Harbour Consulting Contact John Palmer or Salma Ahmed: Tel: 023 9238 1190 Mobile: 07967 023 005 North Harbour Consulting Limited is an independent consultancy based in Portsmouth that provides services to communities, voluntary organisations and local government. Their training includes: • Effective communication and publicity • Involving members in the management of community organisations • Involving the public in community initiatives • Getting involved with the Council or other public bodies – what you need to know • Developing community leadership including: • Starting a new group • Running a community group • Running a management committee • Involvement in formal committees (school governors or similar bodies)

Workers Education Association For more information, contact Chris Sanders on 07984 659121.


I help others, because people helped me At 65 years of age, Albert Clover not only shows there is volunteer work out there for all ages, but also how people who have benefited from the help and support of others often want to give something back to those in a similar position. In 1999, Albert Clover’s wife was diagnosed with a terminal illness, which she fought for the following four years, but after 37 years of blissfully happy marriage, she passed away in 2003 at the age of just 55. Also during this time Albert was made redundant from his job as an electrical and mechanical fitter and was diagnosed with a heart condition, which made the temporary work he was doing difficult. He understandably fell into a deep depression. “I had a breakdown, but continued to go to the Job Centre to look for work that I was able to do,” he explains. “I was recommended courses for CV writing, maths and English, how to use computers and, most importantly, to build up my confidence.” Albert went on to do a Diploma in Administration and a computer literacy and information technology course at Havant College and it was here that he got his first experience of volunteer work. He began to assist adult learners at the college in the maths and literacy classes he had completed himself and was recognised for his work with a

certificate from the Mayor of Havant. It was through his teacher at the college that he went on to discover the organisation Learning Links and started working with the team on its Future You project, which supported people who wanted to develop skills and get back into work. Now Albert is involved in a number of programmes Learning Links runs in the city. He not only carries out administration such as the preparation of portfolios for assessment, but is also fully trained in how to conduct research projects. “Sometimes I am engaged in research that is carried out in person, such as going to a particular part of the city to ask the people questions about housing, cleanliness and facilities in their area, while other research can be carried out on the phone.” Albert supports Health Trainers at Learning Links who direct people to services and help those who want to give up smoking, drugs or deal with obesity. “We try to help people help themselves and I had to take part in thorough training on laws in

n Albert Clover confidentiality and data protection as I am often dealing with personal records.” And if all that wasn’t enough, Albert, who was born and has lived all his life in Portsmouth, still finds time to be a walk leader for Portsmouth City Council and once a week takes a group of people of various ages and abilities on a gentle, healthy walk round a set route from Fratton Community Centre, finishing with a cup of tea afterwards. “I have had so many opportunities given to me which have kept me sane and helped me restructure my life,” says the father of three, grandfather of 12 and great grandfather of three. “Being in a variety of working environments keeps me young at heart and I get tremendous satisfaction from being useful to the people who support those who are going through difficult times like I did. “To do what I do now, you need to have empathy, be patient and trustworthy. You need to listen to people, understand their lives and keep things confidential. It gives you a real pride in yourself.”

Train the Take Part Trainers programme WEA are providing a number of workshops and courses for the Train the Take Part Trainers programme which will be held in the region. The courses include: • Women – Be Heard • Racism • Understanding Migration • Why Vote? • E-democracy • Climate Change


Find training to help you take part at


Sport & leisure

Your free involvement newspaper from Portsmouth City Council

Volunteering gave me a second chance Undertaking volunteer work in the local community can be a way of learning new skills and gaining valuable work experience to open up exciting opportunities or, as in the case of 20 year old Leon Armstrong, start a completely new life. At the age of 17, Leon Armstrong had been to school, progressed to college and been awarded a distinction in his travel and tourism course, but an unfortunate incident involving a public brawl saw him in court and sentenced to community service. “I just couldn’t get my head around the idea of meeting new people and being made to do work that I didn’t want to do, so I didn’t go,” recalls Leon, who was subsequently sentenced to a month in prison. Once released, Leon was on probation and had to report to his officer on a daily basis. It was during this time he saw adverts for courses in how to write CVs, improve communication skills, learn fire safety and qualify in first aid. “I took the courses, passed them, and then started to volunteer in supporting others,” he explains. “I really enjoyed helping people learn and realised that if I had known community service was like this, I would have been happy to go.”

Leon went on to volunteer for Havant and Waterlooville Football Club’s Hawks in the Community programme, coaching football for a week in the summer holidays, but his most valuable work experience was during Portsmouth City Council’s celebrations for switching on Christmas Lights in North End and Cosham. “In North End, I was handing out free pizza to the crowd, but in Cosham I was in charge of the running order for all kinds of entertainment on the big stage. There were acts from schools, dance groups, performance artists and it was my job to make sure they were on stage, on time. It was hectic but fun and a great insight into event management.” As a result of his qualifications and volunteering experience, Leon recently secured a job promoting healthy living which involves visiting schools, working in the community and tackling such issues as the effects of smoking and alcohol abuse.

n Leon Armstrong “The people who interviewed me said they were impressed by the range of volunteer work I had done and how I had used the opportunities to prove I was committed to turning my life around.

“Volunteering has made me calmer and much more mature. It has given me the motivation to get a good job, the confidence to meet and work with new people and the skills to achieve more than I thought was possible a few years ago.”

Could you be a beach lifeguard? Or spare some time to help a local charity? You can find out how by e-mailing: Or by visiting our website:

...rescue, first aid, 4 x 4 driving, fitness, surf skiing, boat crew, searches, public relations, fundraising, swimming, VHF, maintenance... “We dare the waves, a life to save” since 1933

Portsmouth City Council Volunteers • events • libraries • museums • sports • art service • and much, much more… Find out about volunteering opportunities with Portsmouth City Council at and click on ‘Volunteer’

Take Part Newspaper (Summer 2010)  

Find out about voluteering and active citizenship in Portsmouth.

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