Elmbridge Community Link
Walton Methodist Church has been the home of Elmbridge Community Link (ECL) for over 15 years. ECL is a small grassroots Charity - winning a Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in 2009 - working with local people with varying degrees of learning difficulties.
ECL offers educational and social activities to young people and adults with a learning difficulty (LD).
Founded in 1994, awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in 2009, ECL is a Registered Charity and Limited Company (having no share capital) supporting young people and adults with a learning difficulty within the Borough of Elmbridge. We offer opportunities for our 140+ members to broaden their horizons. We run five weekly projects and one monthly workshop, teaching new skills and improving existing abilities. Participants gain self-esteem, improve their health and social integration.
Why the community needs this charity...
Through attending ECL's projects the membership - who have varying degrees of LD - have a greater sense of self-worth and inclusion. ECL offers much needed and appreciated respite to carers and family members. The Charity is pro-active in recruiting empathetic volunteers to help in its work. There is a strong bond with local Sixth Forms who recommend student volunteers thereby raising awareness of the problems experienced by people with a LD amongst the younger generation.
Results and Outcomes
The members with a LD are actively involved in all project planning. Because of the improved self confidence some of the members are ready to look outside the Organisation to take up volunteering roles in the wider community. The experienced staff and volunteers create a safe and trusted environment thus enabling the membership to reach their individual potential in many areas. The volunteers joining the Charity have become very faithful members of the strong team.