Butetown charity achieves quality award for volunteering

A BUTETOWN based charity has achieved a quality award for the standard of volunteering services they provide in Cardiff.

The Mentor Ring provides one-to-one support and guidance to people of all ages and backgrounds, helping them to overcome personal challenges, whether it is in health, education, employment or settling into life in Cardiff.

Sujatha Thaladi, who moved to Wales from India with her two young daughters after losing her husband and business in Hyderabad, established the charity in 2010.

Sujatha Thaladi and her team receiving the Investing in Volunteers award.

Sujatha Thaladi and her team receiving the Investing in Volunteers award.

Through her own personal experiences she discovered the power of mentoring and its potential to help people overcome social barriers and hardship.

Since its launch The Mentor Ring and Sujatha have won a number of awards and grants including a three-year Big Lottery People & Places grant.

The socially inclusive organisation has also recently achieved the Investing in Volunteers (IiV) quality standard award in recognition of the work they do with volunteers in Cardiff.

IiV is the UK quality standard for all organisations, which involve volunteers in their work

“Mentoring is all about listening and trying to engage and help people. We especially try to encourage those who feel socially excluded to participate in different activities in the community,” said Ms Thaladi.

“Some of the courses we have run include cultural and diversity training, a let’s get cooking course, where families and children especially could come and learn how to cook.”

Once someone from the community is provided with mentoring they also have the opportunity to train to become mentors themselves and pass the support and guidance onwards.

One of the biggest events on their calendar this year is the Minority Ethnic Communities Annual Health Fair, which is on March 25 at Cardiff City Stadium.

“Many people do not bother about their health because they do not know what is available to them. The aim of the event is to connect ethnic minorities to NHS statutory services,” Ms Thaladi added.

The charity is constantly looking for new volunteers to help mentor and support people in Cardiff who need it the most.

One volunteer, Isabel McDougall said: “As a volunteer it is a great honour to be a part of the organisation. The charity has provided me with excellent prospects, allowing me to meet certain personal goals and take part in any aspect of the charity that I wish to.”

To become a volunteer or to find out more about the services The Mentor Ring provide drop in to Butetown Community Centre.