The Pioneers are people with a mild to moderate learning disability who are either living at home with parents or independently in their own accommodation. We provide a varied programme of social activities all year round to cater for our member needs aged 18 upwards.

We currently have about 40 Pioneers who participate in the activities. We have our own dedicated minibus and we arrange transport from Pioneers’ homes and deliver them home again safely afterwards. On many outings we have to hire an additional mini-bus or use helpers private cars to cater for the numbers.

What do the Pioneers do?
Throughout the year Pioneers’ have an on-going programme of evening outings; to the cinema, to the pub, to play bowls, to local shows, etc. Every now and again we will throw in occasional day trips to places of interest. During term time some attend Basic Education classes at the Friary Adult Education College and the Association runs a weekly social/education group on Thursday. During the summer there is a one week holiday at a Holiday Camp and during the college’s summer holidays ‘Summer Scheme’ when we organise seven weekly days out to places of interest within 1 to 2 hours travelling time from Maldon.Many activities have been used over the years, but the aim is to enable the Pioneers to gain social skills by participating in normal situations where they can learn skills through being with their friends and coping with new and sometimes bewildering experiences. If you want to find out the latest and look at some photos then visit our Facebook page.

How do people join the Pioneers?
Most have come through the Social Services. A typical Pioneer is someone who has gone through a special school or perhaps a special needs group in a comprehensive school and who, on leaving full-time education, finds that he/she is unable to get a normal job and finds making friends and having a social life difficult. Some have lived with an elderly parent who has died, leaving them alone at an age when it is difficult to adapt to a major change in life.

Why is the organisation necessary?
In 1982 a social worker in the local Social Services Department realised that there were a number of people who did not go to the Training Centre for people with a learning disability as their disability was assessed as not being severe enough to need the Centreʼs resources. They were, however, unable to participate in the normal community activities enjoyed by most of us. As a result they tended to be isolated and over-dependent on immediate family. Their disabilities are such that they are not an easily recognisable group. Its important to stress that although we are mainly involved in providing social activities for our members we also recognise the importance of taking into account the importance of education, employment and the need of everyone to be a valued contributor to ones community. We also take into account the needs of parents and careers of Pioneers as well.

Volunteering Opportunities

We are always looking for new volunteers to join our team whether you prefer to be someone helping behind the scenes or someone more ‘at the coal face’ such as Minibus Driving or being a Support Helper.
Minibus Driver
You will need to hold a D1 on your driving license and required to take the MiDAS Community Transport training/certification which is paid for by our organisation.
Support Helpers
You need to be someone with a passion to making a difference and changing lives. Volunteers will be required to have an enhanced DBS police check and may be asked to provide references.

If you would like to speak to someone about volunteering, helping with providing an activity or a venue please contact our “Secretary” by email at gamesters1943@sky.com

Acknowledgements

The Maldon Pioneers benefits from having close links with the wider community such as schools, churches etc.

We rely on the support of volunteers who drive the minibus, fund raise or are on the committee. The Maldon Pioneers Association would like to thank everyone who contributes either financially, or gives their time, to help us with what we do!

Thank you!