Meet Peter

He is 55 years-old, he loves books and has a special interest in M roads and A roads.

Peter Community Connections

Peter had been a long-standing customer at ECL Clacton Day Centre (Plough Corner), where he attended 5 days a week.

ECL Clacton, became ECL Community Connections in October 2023 with a view to supporting customers to be more integrated with the local community, whether that be through participating in leisure and social sessions, undertaking college courses, or engaging in volunteering opportunities. This approach is an effective way to support customers to reach their personal goals, enabling them to expand their social and support networks, gain confidence and independence in day-to-day activities, and gain valuable work experience in voluntary roles.

When the ECL community connecting team met with Peter in August 2023, he had a part-time paid job at Iceland on a Saturday morning, which he loved. He was keen to find similar opportunities to expand his knowledge, gain new skills and form new friendships, thus reducing the number of hours spent in the day centre.

The community connecting team completed a community profile with Peter, establishing what type of role would suit him and where his interests lay. The team actively sought appropriate opportunities for Peter, and he began a trial at the Community Voluntary Services Tendring lunch club. The pace there was a little fast for Peter, so the community connecting team supported him to apply for voluntary work at a Mencap Charity shop. Happily, his application was successful and the community connecting team then supported him to complete his in-store induction and to attend his first few shifts.

Peter now works independently at the charity shop and within three months of starting there, his shifts were increased to two days a week. He still does his paid Saturday job at Iceland and now attends the day centre just three days a week.

I feel very happy and settled, volunteering at the charity shop gives me a sense of purpose and satisfaction.


We’ve really seen Peter’s confidence increase since he’s been volunteering, for example, he used to find it difficult to pay for things in shops but now he steps forward and talks to the shop staff with assurance. It just goes to show it’s never too late for people with learning disabilities to learn new skills and increase their independence.

-Jamie Sharp, ECL Day Opportunities Manager