A day in the life of Sharon Daniels at The Judith Trust – Inclusion & Inspiration.

Tell us about The Judith Trust?

The Judith Trust was set up to help integrate people with learning disabilities and mental health problems in both religious and spiritual aspects of the Jewish community. It was set up in 1997 in the name of Judith, a woman with both these problems and whose family run the Trust.

How did you initially get involved with The Judith Trust? What is your role?

I am the Project Officer for the Inclusion Campaign.  The Jewish community has so much to offer – religious, social, education, leisure, employment.  I have worked in Jewish social care for many years and always found it challenging to make sure that the people I supported had the same exciting opportunities that I had.  So when I saw the job advertised it seemed like the perfect chance to make it happen.

We work with synagogues that each have a group of volunteers committed to making inclusion happen in their community.  We provide the training and support they need, in a way which works for them.  We also work with volunteers in other Jewish organisations, like Limmud.  Recently, 15 people with learning disabilities went to Limmud for a day in December.  The young volunteers their made sure they found their way round, knew what was happening and as a result had an incredible day!

What kind of volunteering opportunities does The Judith Trust offer?

We are looking for volunteers to work with the Judith Trust, to help develop our use of social media.  As a small organisation we rely on this to get our message across and would love someone who is an avid tweeter to support us.  We also have video footage which we would like to have edited into a short film explaining what we do; an excellent opportunity for any budding film-makers.

We are also keen to hear from people who would like to volunteer to get their community involved in the Inclusion campaign.

What events or campaigns have you got coming up for people to get involved in?

The Inclusion Campaign is our current focus.  We are showing ‘Including Samuel’; a film about inclusion, on Tuesday 12th June, in partnership with the JCC http://www.judithtrust.org.uk/news-and-events/events/

We also need volunteers to help with Limmud L’Am; inclusion at Limmud Conference in December, and also with Harrow Limmud in March 2013 – the first 1-day Limmud committed to promoting inclusion for people with learning disabilities, as both participants and educators.

What’s the best part of your day?

The best thing is always when people get a chance to benefit from new experiences.  We recently organised a social event for people to meet volunteers at their local shul.  A 16 year old girl with a learning disability came with her parents.  She met someone from a Youth Group there and for the first time, began to join in with the event. The joy for me was seeing her face light up – she didn’t want to leave and now joins in the group regularly.

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Categories: JVN Events, JVN News, Leonie's View, Limmud, Volunteering

Author:Mike

Hi, I'm Mike, JVN's Youth Co-ordinator and blogger. I'll be blogging about all sorts of issues affecting the volunteering community, with a particular focus on how recent developments might affect the UK Jewish community's volunteers. I'm always interested to read the comments you make. If you have something you want to see in the JVN blog, e-mail me at mike@jvn.org.uk and I'll be happy to talk. And if you're inspired by any of my blogs to volunteer, log on to www.jvn.org.uk and register to find your perfect volunteering opportunity.

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