Volunteer Befriender

Richmond upon Thames, London (Greater)
16 Mar 2018
16 Jun 2018
Hours per month
1 to 10 hours
Long Term

Job Description

Did you know that almost half (45%) of UK adults say they feel lonely at least some of the time and almost a fifth (18%) said that they feel lonely often or all of the time. (The Way We Are Now, Relate Charity, 2017)

Do you want to make a difference in your local community?

Do you want to help support people who are lonely and isolated?

Then read on...

Ruils is a dynamic, local charity that changes the lives of the people we support. You will be joining a team of dedicated staff and volunteers working together to improve the lives of local people.

The key role of the Volunteer Befriender is to help alleviate the sense of isolation and loneliness experienced by many people with a disability, sensory impairment or long term health condition living in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. This will be achieved by visiting people in their own homes and providing person centred support, information and advice which is designed to encourage and facilitate opportunities for individuals to access activities and support to improve their emotional wellbeing, reduce social isolation and practice choice and control in how they live their lives.

Every client is different and has different needs, interests and skills. Your role is to support them to do the things that they like or need to do, but are unable to do on their own. This could include:

  • Meeting with someone who is lonely and isolated and having a tea and a chat
  • Visiting with an elderly person, so their carer can have a break
  • Helping someone with small practical tasks e.g. filing paperwork, sorting out boxes, decluttering
  • Helping someone to use their computer or tablet.
  • Taking someone to the shops and having a cup of coffee.

You will be able to choose what you would like to help with and we will try to match you accordingly.

Location: Primarily in the homes of the people that volunteers visit but some volunteers may support people to access activities or provide support to go out into the community. (Initial training will be at our offices, the DAAC 4 Waldegrave Road.)

Hours:  We have long and short term opportunities e.g. weekly visits and one offs. Hours are flexible – usually week days only.

Skills needed:

  • Good communication skills and the ability to facilitate discussion and to engage and motivate others
  • A kind and considerate approach
  • An ability to listen and respond appropriately without imposing your opinions (to be non-judgemental)
  • To be respectful, reliable and honest and a good time keeper
  • An ability to undertake research about local opportunities so that clients can make their own informed decision about the activities they wish to participate in
  • To have a flexible approach
  • The ability and confidence to undertake ‘lone working’.

Key role of volunteers within Ruils:
As a user led, grass roots organisation, all volunteers play a key role in helping Ruils deliver its objectives. Ruils recognises that volunteers offer valuable skills and experience which can contribute to the smooth functioning of the organisation. In return, volunteering at Ruils can offer an opportunity to meet new people, develop skills or learn new ones and to put something back into your community.

Support and training:
You will be supported by our Lead Volunteers and Kirsty, our Project Lead.

You will be given a full induction and training which will include health & safety, lone working, local services (and where to find services), setting and maintaining boundaries and more. Ongoing support and training will be provided to ensure that you feel confident and comfortable in the role. This support will include regular opportunities to discuss how things are going and look at other areas where training might be useful.

We also have monthly or sessions where we come together as a group, to share any issues or concerns, listen to guest speakers and get to know the other volunteers.

Volunteers are expected to adhere to the Ruils policies and procedures including health and safety, confidentiality, safeguarding adults and children, equal opportunities and diversity. A full induction and training will be given to ensure that volunteers feel clear and confident about these policies.

Expenses: Reasonable out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed.  

At Ruils we are commited to Safeguarding the people that we work with: Please note that the role requires an enhanced DBS check (we will carry this out) and references.

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