Supported Volunteering

Achieving Wellbeing through Volunteering

What is Pave the Way?

Pave the Way is a new project funded by the Big Lottery Fund to support people into volunteering to achieve wellbeing.

Operating throughout Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, it is led by Cardiff and Vale Action for Mental Health (cavamh) in partnership with Glamorgan Voluntary Services (GVS) and Voluntary Community Services (VCS). This ensures that our project can be delivered in your community and led by the organisation which understands your area and the volunteering opportunities available.

Why ‘Wellbeing through Volunteering’?

Research shows that many people face barriers to volunteering because of poor mental ill health. This may be because of:

  • Lacking confidence and/or self esteem
  • Feeling isolated or anxious about group/social settings
  • Lack of motivation
  • Just not knowing where to start

Pave the Way recognises this so we can tailor our work to meet any specific needs that people have in preparing for volunteering. We also have ‘buddies’ who can provide that additional personalised support.

Research shows that volunteering makes people feel healthier, happier, lifts their mood and gives them a sense of purpose in life and a new way forward. There are so many benefits volunteering can bring:

  • Good for physical and mental wellbeing
  • Helps people to meet new people and make friends
  • Gets people out and about
  • Helps people build their confidence to do new things
  • Gets people into a routine and structure for their days
  • Helps people to learn new skills that could lead to a job
  • New opportunities for people to achieve and contribute through something they enjoy
  • Try out new activities like the arts, sport and recreation
  • Helps people to achieve their potential and that of others in the wider community

……..Have some fun along the way

All of this is great for a person’s physical and mental wellbeing. That’s why we want to make sure people have a good experience. We will spend time with the person at the start, assisting him/her to find a volunteering opportunity that will be interesting and beneficial.

Aims of Pave the Way

  • To introduce people into volunteering and provide them with the support needed to succeed and improve their physical and mental wellbeing
  • To provide information and support to Volunteer Involving Organisations (these can be businesses, voluntary sector or public sector) so that they are better prepared and more willing to support volunteers wellbeing needs. We will also provide education and support around anti-stigma and anti-discrimination
  • Recruit and train volunteer buddies for the project to work with volunteers


How to become part of Pave the Way

You can contact us directly to discuss eligibility for Pave the Way. If you are an organisation or voluntary group who provides support to individuals, then you can contact us to make a referral, with the individual’s prior consent.  The process is straightforward as we want to make it as easy as possible for people to access Pave the Way.

Next Steps

If you live in the Vale of Glamorgan then contact our Vale Volunteering Officer: Clare Humphreys at GVS on 01446 741706 or e-mail

If you live in Cardiff then contact our Cardiff Volunteering Officer: Jo Harry at VCS on 029 2132 2627 or e-mail