Could you help get Chrysalis on the Road?

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Volunteer drivers are needed to help get one of the county’s charitable organisations out on the road.

Chrysalis has bases in Wigton and Carlisle and provides support for adults with disabilities, particularly those with learning difficulties. Its ‘Chrysalis on the Road’ campaign will see a fabulous new van hitting the streets and enable the team to work out in rural communities.

This week (1–7 June) is National Volunteer Week and the organisation hopes to use this opportunity to find suitably licensed people who can spare a little time to drive the van. Drivers need to have passed their test before 1997 or have a Category C1 licence.

The volunteers will be helping support workers take the van’s specially-developed technology out to those who can’t currently access Chrysalis’s in-house activities. With a special emphasis on IT, it can host workshops and interactive sessions from anywhere.

The vehicle was funded as part of a project supported by The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust which provides grants for education, wellbeing and culture projects across the UK. In addition, Chrysalis received a Digital Lifeline Community Award from the Good Things Foundation to purchase 16 tablets and additional IT equipment for use by the people they support.

Claire Doherty, Chief Executive of Chrysalis, said: “Seeing the people we support using tablets for the very first time has been amazing. We now have friendship groups meeting via Zoom, people have discovered their favourite programmes online, there are virtual discos as people find the music they love, and the tablets are now embedded in their daily lives supporting education in all aspects of their lives.”

Chrysalis’s aim is to help the people it supports live as independently as possible, supporting practical skills, as well as providing activities which enable people to live full and enjoyable lives. That could be through the likes of art or sport, cookery or gardening, as well as days and nights out and holidays. 

The organisation also runs Chrysalis Wholefoods in Wigton which gives the people who they support the chance to gain work experience and qualifications. Volunteers are absolutely crucial in the running of its services.

Claire added: “We couldn’t support all that we do without our amazing volunteers.

“From those who come and weed our gardens or maintain our buildings, to the others who get involved with activities, and not forgetting the loyal trustees who govern the organisation, everyone has a vital part.

“Everyone who helps us knows the difference they make every day for the people who are benefiting from Chrysalis’s care and support”.

If you could spare some time to volunteer, call the Chrysalis team on 016973 44751 or email


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