Jason at the BHF shop. Resident at Ashlea House

Inspiring story of inclusion and empowerment: visually impaired Alfreton man’s journey to volunteering success

Posted by: Caroline Walker

Fri 11th August 2023

Jason Wood, a 53-year-old resident at Salutem Care and Education’s Ashlea House in Alfreton, has overcome challenges to embrace a new chapter of community engagement and personal growth through volunteering.

Jason’s remarkable journey exemplifies the power of support, determination, and the transformative impact of inclusive opportunities.

Living with a visual impairment and struggling with shyness when meeting new people, Jason’s desire for meaningful connections and the chance to contribute to his community led him to the British Heart Foundation, five minutes away from Ashlea House.

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With the support of the home’s staff, Jason embraced his new opportunity.

His unique skills and potential were recognised by the shop manager and together they identified tasks that not only aligned with Jason’s abilities but also allowed him to overcome his challenges.

His responsibilities include ensuring the shop’s accessibility for visually impaired customers, verifying price visibility on goods, greeting customers, and fundraising. The initial steps were marked by extensive support, including online courses and health and safety briefings, which fostered Jason’s confidence and readiness for the role.

Since his initiation as a volunteer in May 2023, Jason’s growth has been nothing short of remarkable. His interactions with colleagues and customers have paved the way for genuine friendships and a heightened sense of belonging.

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The Status Quo fan’s commitment to volunteering has not only allowed him to contribute to his community but has emboldened him to explore new horizons.

His increased confidence has led him to consider taking on an additional day of volunteering, further enriching his life while continuing to enjoy his passions – playing snooker and attending music gigs.

Ashlea House, a 13-bed residential care home in Alfreton, stands as a beacon of person-centred care and support for adults with learning disabilities, autism, and physical disabilities. Its dedication to fostering independence and creating an environment of growth is epitomised by Jason’s journey.

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Lorraine Walker, Manager of Ashlea House, expressed her pride in his accomplishments, saying: “Jason’s journey is a testament to the remarkable potential that exists within each individual.

“At Ashlea House, we are committed to providing a supportive environment that fosters independence and empowers our residents to chase their aspirations. Jason’s success embodies this commitment.”

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Jason at the BHF shop