The purpose of the role is to provide one to one befriending in the Community, to improve emotional health, wellbeing and reduce social isolation. You may work collaboratively with other Agencies that support our Customers. Our Customers are from many different backgrounds, they have a range skill sets and interests, varying levels of need and a wealth of life experience in so many different ways. The role is designed to support and befriend persons with low level mental health needs to enjoy their environment, reduce social isolation and safely feel part of their community.
You'll be supporting a mixed group of individuals, from those with no mental health issues or learning disabilities to those with low level mental health needs or learning disabilities requiring a little more support. You will be matched 1:1 with a person in the community who requires a Befriender to support their day to day activities. These activities could range from simply coffee and a chat, to walking or enjoying the outdoors, to support with learning new skills, perhaps using public transport, supporting hobbies and interests, creating or rebuilding networks for work/friends/family, dealing with other Agencies or attending appointments.
You'll spend a minimum of 2 hours per week with someone who requires support accessing the community.
You will need to be patient and understanding, friendly and capable of dealing with any issues which may arise - basic First Aid training would be a bonus but training can be arranged if necessary. Preferably outgoing and able to communicate well with persons of all ages and ability. You must be over 18 and if you have a driving licence then that would be a bonus. You must be reliable and have a genuine interest in making a difference in the lives of people who are socially isolated. Communication skills are essential, together with a basic understanding of low level mental health needs.
Across County Durham, normally within the hours of Monday - Friday 09.00 - 17.00 but arrangements for safe working outside these hours can be made.
You will receive a full induction and introduction to the Befriending Service. Specific training on Befriending will be available, together with oversight and support from the Volunteer Manager. All Volunteers also go through our Home Achievement Programme (HAP) training to support your Volunteering in 3 straightforward bite size training modules. You'll have a designated HAP Lead who can advise or support you as required, there is no time limit for the HAP modules but we do prefer that the training is done as soon as possible as part of your Volunteer support package. Out of pocket expenses are payable and how these are reimbursed and for what purpose will be discussed on application. You will meet regularly with your Volunteer Manager and be expected to complete some basic paperwork on your interactions with the Befriending Customer, this process will be supported.
Free training. Support for your own physical and mental wellbeing if required. Out of pocket expenses. Being outdoors in a healthy, friendly environment. Support from Staff to resolve any issues or facilitate planning as required. New skills and new people. Add to your work experience, CV and skills. Opportunities to access Home Group Apprenticeship scheme.
Due to the vulnerable nature of the people we support, we will require two references and an enhanced DBS check (paid for by us)
Volunteer your time as and when you are able. There is no set start or end date but we do request a preferred minimum of 2 hours per week. We would ask that, if you have advised us you will be attending to Volunteer on any given day, that you do let us know in advance if you are unable to attend.