The Age UK Staffordshire Befriending Service provides a supportive and confidential service for people in later life and living alone in the East Staffordshire.
The support is offered to individuals who identify themselves as lonely or isolated. It provides an opportunity for people to meet with a befriender in their home for conversation and/or access an activity outside their home with the support of the befriender.
People accessing the service will include those who are isolated due to mobility issues, language barriers, illness or dementia.
Volunteers play an important role in the Befriending Service, and receive an induction programme to the service together with ongoing support throughout their volunteering by the Coordinator of the project. Training relevant to the role is also available.
Once trained, our befrienders are introduced to a client, with the purpose of them spending a few hours together each week to have a chat, go for coffee or some other social activity. Befrienders aim to help people build up their confidence again by providing a listening ear and encouraging the person to get out and about to rediscover old interests or find new ones. Having time to listen to the person can empower them, improve good mental wellbeing, and build confidence and self-esteem.
This Post is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, volunteers will be asked to disclose any previous offences both spent and unspent. Due to the nature of the role, Age UK Staffordshire will carry out checks on volunteers for working with vulnerable adults. This voluntary post is subject to a DBS Check. (NB. If the checks are positive, volunteers’ circumstances are assessed on a case-by-case basis and a positive result does not necessarily stop people from being placed.)
- To befriend an adult in their own home and/or assist them to access an activity outside their home.
- To undertake an Age UK Staffordshire Befriending Volunteer induction programme
- To regularly visit a person (through befriending) in their own home on a one to one basis.
- To establish and maintain appropriate boundaries within the befriending relationship
- To befriend service users, improving their quality of life and reduce social isolation by spending time and share activities with the client.
- To assist and accompany that person to access an activity of their choice outside the home.
- To deal appropriately with confidential and sensitive material.
- To attend support and training meetings
- To report any concerns to the Coordinator of the Service.
- To complete the necessary administrative tasks (e.g. Expenses Claim Forms, Record of Companion Contact)
- To work within a non-discriminatory framework
- A volunteer befriender will not be asked to meet any personal care needs
Whilst previous experience of the role is not essential, as full induction and training will be provided, we are looking for individuals with the following skills and aptitude, approach and personal qualities:
- Good listening and communication skills with a range of people.
- Patience and tact.
- A caring, sympathetic, sensitive manner and a non-judgemental approach.
- Reliable and dependable.
- Ability to share experiences.
- Willing to learn.
- Have a positive outlook and enthusiastic.
- Commitment to understanding the needs of older people.
- Willingness to work without direct supervision.
- Understanding of confidentiality (working with Age UK Staffordshire policies and procedures).
Benefits to the volunteer
- Full support and training
- An opportunity to develop new skills and interests
- The chance to meet new people
- The satisfaction of knowing that you are helping a vulnerable person in your community
- Valuable experience of volunteering that you can add to your CV
- Reasonable travel expenses will be paid – expenses form to be completed on a monthly basis.
Contact Volunteer Coordinator Paul Clarke on 07811 226807 or email@example.com for more details