A new programme all about local charities, with Vinny Hurrell.
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You are very welcome to this first episode of our brand-new programme Community Life.
This is where you'll hear the latest TV charity appeal
and community news from around Northern Ireland.
I'll be finding out more about one of the best wildlife
volunteering roles around this year.
We visit the Oasis Youth Centre in Portadown, where teenagers
from migrant families explore their culture and make friends.
And we'll hear about an unusual volunteering role
in our police stations.
More on that later.
First, today's appeal is presented by Ireland rugby international Chris Henry.
My Ireland rugby career was thrown into doubt just over a year ago.
I suffered a mini stroke the morning of a Test match.
I was due to play the Springboks and had to pull out last minute.
I had an operation to fix the problem,
but it brought home to me just how devastating a brain injury can be.
A brain injury can mean a dramatic change in a person's life.
Every year more than 2,000 adults and 1,000 children
in Northern Ireland are affected by a brain injury.
Many live with the long-term effects.
Families and friends are affected too.
But with the help and support of the charity Brain Injury Matters,
individuals can rebuild their lives
and reach their full potential in family and community life.
We're just going to place the foot and the heel onto the ball.
And what I want you to do is just bring your knee up towards you...
Rene sustained her brain injury after suffering a stroke four years ago.
Since my accident, I find it very hard to get around.
My vision has suffered.
I can't get up the stairs, so I have to sleep down the stairs.
And whenever we go to stand, you want to come forward and then up...
Since my injury, my neuro physio has helped me an awful lot.
She's improved my walking.
She taught me how to stand and I'm walking a lot better.
The charity has helped me an awful lot.
I meet people with similar circumstances
and I'm growing in confidence.
Well, we'll play charades,
so we're going to have a volunteer to go first.
-Right, Rob, up you get.
'A brain injury impacts on individuals in different ways.
'For some, this is only a small bearing on their daily lives.
'For others, it has a drastic, life-changing impact.'
Scott suffered his brain injury after an attack in Lisburn.
He was in a coma for three months.
And you stand up there on your left foot. That's fantastic.
I have to get along for the rest of my life like this and...
It does kind of depress me sometimes,
but I have to get on with it, get on with my life and enjoy it.
And each time Scott pulls the rope down, the slack...
Through Brain Injury Matters, I enjoy doing the activities
and I've made some very good friends.
At the summer camp, we do clay pigeon shooting, archery
and kayaking and the charity helps me believe in myself.
Acquired brain injury is often a hidden disability.
Peter, it can mean unseen challenges in people's lives.
It can and it does. It...
It affects how people interact with other people.
It's intrusive, it's subtle,
you can't see it in the way in which you can see a physical injury.
So, how can the public help Brain Injury Matters?
Chris, our services are provided through
a combination of professional clinicians and others with
a knowledge of specialist knowledge of brain injury rehabilitation.
This year that will cost about £0.5 million.
And anyone can help, because all of that money will be raised through fundraising.
So, for me, it's very rewarding
when you see goals that may initially seem very small
but actually have a really big impact on that person's life.
So, knowing that we can actually help them
achieve those goals is really rewarding.
The charity has changed my life and I can't thank them enough.
I have something to look forward to and I'm building myself a new future.
If you'd like to donate or volunteer to Brain Injury Matters,
you'll be making a dramatic and positive impact on people's lives.
If you'd like to contribute to Brain Injury Matters,
visit our website and click on the "donate" button.
Visit their website or call them for more information.
Now, migration remains a big talking point today,
but we don't often think about what people leave behind in terms of
their culture when they move to new countries.
The Oasis Youth Centre in Portadown is helping Portuguese
teenagers to reconnect with their roots.
RHYTHMIC MUSIC PLAYS
Families are moving abroad into our society and find it difficult
to adapt for a variety of reasons.
In our club, we have about 12 different nationalities,
and in that environment they can develop new
We're always looking for new volunteers
that'll come and fit into the diverse programmes we run.
We get to know new people and people get to know my culture.
Oasis was the best thing that happened to me.
It's not just the club, it's a family thing.
I love Oasis.
Now, a police cell can feel a lonely place
if you're unfortunate enough to find yourself in custody.
We've been meeting with two volunteers who help
to ensure that detainees are well supported.
Makes a big change, now.
Well, custody visitors perform a very important
and critical public role.
The custody visitor's role is one which is the eyes
and ears of the Policing Board.
Where we can't be, custody visitors can be.
Custody visitors make sure that those that are in custody
can get their entitlements and their rights
while they're in custody of the police.
Have you had any food or have you had anything to drink at all?
Yeah, I had a cup of tea and a glass of water,
but I haven't had anything to eat, but I'm all right.
We arrive unannounced.
We're given access to the detained person and we're given access
to the custody record, depending on the detained person's permission.
I feel that the whole report that will go in on each
visit to the Policing Board helps rubber-stamp either
the governance or the processes that are being carried out
by the police in detention.
You're also reassuring the public out there that
if they are unfortunate enough to find themselves in a...
to be detained, that their welfare is constantly being monitored
by the independent custody visitors.
We would see somewhere in the region of about 9,000 people per year
coming through our doors.
Of that particular group,
about one in ten will have some kind of mental health issue
and about one in five will have tendencies towards self harm.
So, that means that their care in this suite can be extremely challenging.
And, again, having additional external scrutiny, in terms of the approaches
that we take towards safeguarding that is really vital to how we go about maintaining that.
This is one very important cog in the big wheel of policing
and I would encourage anyone that would like to give of their time
and do this public service.
We need volunteers.
Please come forward.
Training will be available and contact the Policing Board.
Now, how about volunteering here on Rathlin
in Northern Ireland's largest sea bird colony?
Colin Graham, you are in charge of volunteers for the RSPB.
Breeding season really kicks off next month,
but how do volunteers help yourselves and the birds?
OK, well, what they do is they really show or visitors what
they're looking at and they help them down through the centre here.
We get about 15,000 visitors through the gates.
So, what makes a good volunteer? Do you have to really love birds?
No, not necessarily, as long as you love people
and you love talking to people, then that's really what we need from you.
If you like the birds, then that's an added bonus to us,
but we get people travelling from all over the world to come here and volunteer with us.
So, if people want to find out more, how do they contact you?
So, the best way is going on to our website and all the information
is on there and then they can apply directly through that.
We're looking for people for, sort of, two-weekly slots
from now through until the end of September.
Colin, thank you.
Contact details for Community Life
are on our website's community notice board.
Thanks for watching.
I'll see you next time.