Activity Base – Dependant on choice of project
Context of role
The role of a Sova Volunteer Mentor is to build a goal focused relationship with a service user or young person as the case may be; aiming to support them to achieve measurable outcomes. Mentors are usually matched to a service user according to a variety of considerations such as skills or interests. The mentor will usually be involved at all stages from referral, including an initial meeting where a personal action plan is agreed, regular meetings and reviews and a final exit meeting. The role has an element of responsibility to report regularly on all meetings and contact as outlined by the project.
More details are available in the Key Responsibilities section about the types of activities required to carry out the role of a mentor. Additionally, the Training section outlines what training is provided to mentors to enable them to carry out their role.
Key responsibilities for a Sova volunteer
- Minimum commitment is dependent on the project of choice. Please see the Project Comparison Table at the back of this document for more information
- Meet with service users, as directed by the project, (with project staff and or/any referring agency)
- Create a positive relationship between themselves and the service user
- Contribute to the development and implementation of the service user's personal action plan (with project staff/service user and referring agency
- Assist and advise the service user in developing skills and appropriate attitudes that will assist them in achieving the goals in their personal action plan
- Encourage and motivate the service user to: make positive changes and encourage their personal development (In liaison with the project, the referring agency and the service user concerned)
- Encourage service users to make positive use of local resources
- Maintain principles of confidentiality, especially in relation to the service user, the project and any referring agency
- Operate at all times within the Health and Safety, Safeguarding and Equal Opportunities policies of Sova and any relevant referring agency
- Complete all paperwork and attend supervision meetings as directed by the project
- Attend service user and review meetings as required
- Participate in providing feedback to SPACE (Sova participation and continuing engagement)
- Willingness to attend additional training
- Must have no outside agenda as the bottom-line is to help young person build great confidence and support them in having their voice heard
- Encourage young person to try new experiences, hobbies and interests which opens them up to discovering a rich wealth of capabilities
- Gives immeasurable advise and support to children and young people
Benefits of Volunteering
Certa Accreditation of training process
Specialist training offered periodically tailored towards set objectives
Ongoing support provided regularly to provide opportunities for personal development
Sova are happy to provide references after 12 months of volunteering and completion of training
Volunteering will help you connect with other people, meeting clients, the community and Sova staff. It will broaden your network and expose you to valuable resources, increasing your social and relationship skills.
It has been proven that by donating your spare time you will gain health benefits as it helps counteracts the effects of stress, anger depression and anxiety and helps. Volunteering also helps increase self-confidence and creates a sense of purpose.
- Advance your career
The work you do with Sova will help you with future employment opportunities, giving you experience in a new field and essential skills.
As part of the selection and recruitment process, individuals are offered the following training to enable them to carry out the roles as described above.
- Core Skills Unit 1: The Volunteer and the Organisation
- Core Skills Unit 2: Essential Skills for Volunteers
- Core Skills Unit 3: Roles and Responsibilities of Volunteers
- Safeguarding (Sova002)
Volunteers can additionally choose to gain accreditation through Certa for completing this training. For those that seek accreditation, certificates will be awarded after 1 years’ service with Sova. Note that this accreditation is roughly the equivalent to half a GCSE.
Depending on the chosen project, additional specialist training may be required to deliver the volunteer role, including:
- Substance Misuse
- Autistic Spectrum Disorder Awareness
- Mental Illness
- Sexual Offending Behavior
- Risk Awareness
- Approved Premises
- Personality Disorder Awareness
As part of the recruitment process prospective volunteers will be assessed against a number of criteria, which help to determine suitability for a particular role. These criteria will be assessed at all stages of the recruitment process, including application form, 1st interview, training and 2nd interview.
Individuals applying to become a Sova volunteer mentor will be required to demonstrate ability in the following areas:
- Understanding the role of volunteers
- Reliability and commitment
- Declaration of criminal record
- Ability to hold confidential information
- Personal approach
- Motivation to volunteer
- Self awareness
- Ability to accept failure
- Ability to give support
- Confidence and ability to deal with difficult situations
- Understanding personal boundaries
- Perceptions, assumptions and attitudes regarding crime and offenders
- Ability to work in a non-discriminatory way
- Respect for other people’s point of view
- Effective listener
- Appropriate non-verbal communication
- Adequate verbal communication