Nutrition volunteers are presenting webinars to colleagues across the group to enable the people we support to manage health conditions through better nutrition, so they live healthier lives.
To date, 200 colleagues in support roles have attended the webinars on subjects ranging from heart disease to diabetes and constipation. They have found them an effective way to learn more about these conditions and to manage them through more balanced nutrition.
Dudu, a locality manager in Reading says:
“We support someone with diabetes who also suffers from constipation, and these webinars have highlighted the importance of a good diet in promoting people’s health. It will help me to monitor closely what could be the cause of constipation and also support the team and the individual with improving his diet, whilst still making the food attractive to him. The webinars have also made me more aware about certain medications that could potentially cause constipation.”
In addition to the webinars, nutrition volunteers provide one-to-one support to individuals we support and develop resources for their support team to use.
Jodine joined Dimensions as a nutrition volunteer in January and is studying for a Masters in Public Health Nutrition. She is a registered associate nutritionist and has previous experience in volunteering her skills and knowledge for FoodCycle and Healthwatch. She has created and delivered webinars to colleagues across the Dimensions group about heart disease, a common health problem experienced by the people we support.
“The best thing about my volunteering role is that I am helping to make a real difference to the health and well-being of the people who are supported by the staff working for Dimensions. It is also great to know that the resources I make can be used by the staff themselves, helping them to also make healthier changes in their own lives. “To me, volunteering at Dimensions means that I am able to use my knowledge to make a positive impact to others whilst developing new skills that will help me in my future career.”
The webinars are just one part of the Nutrition and Wellbeing programme being run by the volunteering team, which aims to make a long-term impact so the people we support to have healthier lives and live longer. Currently, we have 45 nutrition volunteers supporting (or who have supported) a total of 60 individuals. People with learning disabilities suffer premature mortality and die, on average, twenty years younger than the general population.
Over the next 6 months, Dimensions plans to scale up the project to support 100 people by the end of 2021, and our valued volunteers will continue to play an important role in helping to make this happen!
If you are interested in volunteering with the Dimensions group, please email email@example.com or call 0300 303 9162 for an informal chat. To find out more about our existing roles, visit our volunteering web page.