The Harrington Scheme is a charity run by local volunteers for young adults with learning difficulties. The project is focused on learners being safe and independent. At the college learners can take; vocational courses, foundation courses, gardening skills workshops, as well as use day services.

This month I attended an interview with them to become a volunteer. The lovely volunteer liaison officer spoke to me about the potential environmental work I could do with the learners. I agreed to arrange a recycling talk, as well as help make posters for the bins.

Also, this month I participated in a training induction day. This was eye-opening. Kate who conducted the training was passionate about the college. It was clear that she is excellent at her job. I learnt about; the charity, safeguarding and different programs offered to the learners (e.g. the turning pages reading scheme).

The most shocking thing I learnt was that people with learning difficulties are the most vulnerable demographic to grooming by extremist groups. Extremists search online for individuals with autism and reach out to them. They provide rules, regulations and give attention to people who may be neglected by society. This is deeply upsetting.

Kate taught us how to look out for signs of this. Something all volunteers must be mindful of.

After the training session we got a tour of the grounds. They are stunning. The Harrington Scheme has well-kept lawns, allotments and even a walled garden.

I am very excited to conduct the recycling talk and help with the reading scheme next month. I can’t wait to get stuck in!

Chocolate Factory and the Harington Scheme - Becky Beach


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