Steps to Employment Project (StEP)

ECHO’s Steps to Employment Project (StEP) is a National Lottery Community Fund supported programme that builds on the success of our previous Inclusive Volunteering Project.

Aim of the StEP:
The StEP supports individuals as volunteers in ECHO projects, and in addition identifies volunteering, work experience and employment opportunities outside of ECHO for a diverse range of beneficiaries. This includes ECHO participants, our supported volunteers and people from local communities who have a disability.

All volunteers receive training. If you are 18+, you are required to have an up to date DBS certificate which the StEP staff team will provide for you free of charge through Mencap.
StEP beneficiary Dan had a fabulous time during his work experience placement at Brightwells Auctioneers in Leominster

There are two routes within the StEP. To find the right one for you, look at the following questions.

Route 1

  • Do you want to take steps toward employment?
  • Would you like to gain some work experience?
  • Do you need to upskill to improve your CV?

If so, then StEP into your working future!

In your initial meeting, the StEP team will ask you about your skills, interests and talents and any barriers you may have faced with employment. You will be prepared for your placement through a series of individual and group training sessions and workshops where applicable, to include:

  • IT
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Work skills
  • The social and emotional challenges of employment
  • Professional boundaries

Route 2

  • Make a positive difference to the lives of adults with disabilities?
  • Have fun and meet new people?
  • Learn new skills?

If so, then StEP into volunteering with ECHO!

“People come to me with their own reasons for wanting to volunteer. Even more important than giving back to the local community is to get what YOU need from the experience. People may need a reason to get up in the morning, or they feel lonely or isolated, or they may want to find their ‘new normal’ following a bereavement. Whatever the reason, volunteers always find what they are looking for. I call this the ‘magic of ECHO’.”

Roz Johnson, Volunteer Manager (StEP)

The StEP team will support you every step of the way, from initial meeting to active volunteering. The role of an ECHO volunteer is dependent on the project you choose to volunteer at, therefore training will be tailored to the individual.

“Volunteering with ECHO helped me to build my skillset and confidence, and I now work in the Health and Social Care sector!”

Former Eaton Barn Volunteer

We also welcome students 16+ to join us to gain work experience with ECHO in partnership with your place of learning.

“I loved my time doing work experience with ECHO. It helped me with my confidence and with my college course.”

Clever Betsy Volunteer

ECHO’s REP Group (Representing ECHO Participants) and ECHO’s Board of Trustees all hold voluntary positions which are vital for continuing and promoting the involvement of participants in the running of ECHO.

“I love being a Trustee. I get to attend meetings and interview new staff and make sure ECHO is doing what it needs to do”

ECHO Participant Trustee

Current Volunteering Vacancies

We are always looking for more volunteers and would love to hear from you. Please contact the ECHO office on 01568 620307 or email to make an enquiry or ask for more details.

Ever thought of becoming a Trustee? It can be a very rewarding experience and you would have the satisfaction of knowing you have made a real difference in the governance of our charity. At ECHO strong governance is an integral part of being a well-run organisation for our members. If you are interested in finding out more please click here.

Want to keep in step with the latest volunteer news?

Email to be added to the mailing list for the monthly copy of the Volunteer Voice Newsletter. This can be sent via email or through the post, or click here to read this month’s edition.