You may want to:
- find work
- gain skills, experience or qualifications to help you find work
- learn new skills, take up a new hobby and meet new people
- volunteer in your local community.
Whatever you are looking to do there are lots of opportunities across Devon and organisations offering help and support.
You may want to do more but struggle with transport. There are options which could help you
The Blue Badge scheme allows severely disabled people to park nearer their destination – the Badge holder can be the driver or the passenger. Find out more about Blue Badges and how you can apply for a badge at devon.cc/bluebadge.
If you have a Blue Badge and there is no off-street parking you may also be able to apply for a disabled parking bay near your home visit devon.cc/disabledparkingbay.
Fare Car operates like a shared taxi service. Passengers can book and pay separately, but share a timetabled journey. There are ten Fare Car schemes operating in Devon and anyone can book them with 24 hours’ notice. For more information about the scheme and a timetable call 01392 382800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you reach state pension age you can have a bus pass which gives you free off-peak travel on local buses. Adults with disabilities may also be able to apply. Find out how to apply for your bus pass at http://devon.cc/buspass
Your pass is valid for free travel from 9:30am to the end of service on weekdays, and all day at weekends and on public holidays.
Community transport includes things like community buses which provide regular timetabled transport, ring and ride minibuses which provide door-to-door transport and community cars where a volunteer can take you where you want to go. Visit www.traveldevon.info/accessibility/community-transport to find a community transport scheme near you.
The Royal Voluntary Service also provides community transport in Devon. To find out if a volunteer could help you phone 01209 705159 or visit www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/service/1273-cornwall-and-devon
Access to Work
The Access to Work scheme can pay for practical support to help people with a disability, or physical or mental health condition to find a job, stay in work or start their own business. www.gov.uk/access-to-work/eligibility
Work Clubs are held in libraries and aim to help people in to work. The clubs are free drop-in sessions and are currently held weekly in Crediton, Cullompton, Dartmouth, Dawlish, Tavistock, Teignmouth and Tiverton. Ask library staff about dates and times .
Skills and learning
The University of the Third Age (U3A)
U3A is a movement which aims to give people who are retired or partially retired the chance to get together to learn and develop new skills. There are no formal qualifications, members share their knowledge and experience and take part in learning, outdoor pursuits, social events and outings. To find your local group visit http://devon.cc/u3asouthwest or phone 020 8466 6139
Learn Devon offers hundreds of courses across the county. There are courses to help you gain new skills and formal qualifications, such as maths and English or language qualifications, as well as hobby and leisure courses. Learn Devon can also provide learning support such as specialist equipment or a learning support assistant. Most courses have a charge, but fees are reduced by up to 50% for people in a low income household. Qualification courses may be free for people on benefits who are gaining qualifications to help them in to work. Find more information at www.learndevon.co.uk or phone 0345 155 1014.
ECVS helps people across Devon who want to volunteer to find the right opportunities for them. If you’re interested in volunteering Exeter CVS can help you to find a suitable position and support you. For more information and to speak to someone about how you might start volunteering phone 01392 202055 or visit www.exetercvs.org.uk