5 June 2017

RBLI volunteer partnership with National Autistic Society School

Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) has been working with the Helen Allison School, a Meopham-based autism specific school governed by the National Autistic Society (NAS), as part of an initiative that aims to prepare young autistic students for the world of work.

Pupils from the Helen Allison School have been volunteering in RBLI’s Aylesford-based village to help build their skills, confidence and sense of independence since November 2016.

The students, aged between 15 and 17, are volunteering their time in RBLI’s on-site café Base Camp and in the charity’s social enterprise, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, providing invaluable support in both areas. 

Principal of NAS Helen Allison School, Susan Conway, said: “At Helen Allison we strive to provide our students with as many opportunities as possible. Volunteering can be a great way to build independence and get students involved with the wider community. 

“The transition from school life to working life is incredibly difficult for all children but this can be particularly challenging for children on the autism spectrum. 

“The National Autistic Society is delighted to be able to work with the RBLI and thank them for the opportunities they continue to provide to our students.”

RBLI’s Volunteer Manager, Andrew Stickells, said it was a pleasure to welcome the pupils to RBLI’s volunteer team.

He added: “Our primary aim with anyone who volunteers at RBLI is to introduce them to a rewarding and stimulating environment where they can develop their social skills whilst also feeling welcomed and safe. 

“It has been fantastic working with the Helen Allison School, the feedback from our staff about the pupils has been outstanding, and I have seen first-hand seeing how volunteering here has really supported the guys in developing their confidence and providing a necessary and worthwhile exposure to the world of work. 

“RBLI is committed to providing a welcoming environment for all those interested in volunteering, including supporting those with disabilities.

This partnership highlights how all of us in the voluntary sector can work effectively together to provide much needed opportunities.”