Become part of our lively community research team! PCP is a major Northeast charity providing a range of health, wellbeing and learning services. We are looking for volunteers to help us conduct our research across County Durham. Our team has a vital role in identifying and understanding what people need from community services in our area, and to identify where our charity most needs to place its resources. Volunteers will join us in reaching out to people across the County to listen to individuals’ experiences and gauge public opinions on key topics. The information we gather will directly inform the community projects we provide.
Our current research projects include:
• The Cost of Living Crisis
• ‘The Big County Durham Pandemic Survey’
• Social isolation and befriending
• Learning disability and autism
We are looking for volunteers to support us across our research projects, and research champions who can use their own places in the community to support us with engaging others in our research.
We have various volunteer roles available, to include (any combination of):
• Joining our team on visits to community spaces, organisations and events to advertise our research and to recruit research participants
• Helping staff to conduct questionnaires, surveys and group interviews with members of the public or particular organisations
• Conducting telephone interviews with research participants, using a questionnaire template. (Telephone interviews will only ever be with people who have already volunteered to take part - we never ‘cold call’ people).
• Volunteering to get responses to our questionnaires from your own communities
• Engaging with the general public and spreading the word about our various projects
• Volunteers will have the chance to work with us on data analysis.
• Good communication and interpersonal skills
• Willingness to approach members of the public to engage them in research
• Respect for diversity and willingness to engage with people from a wide range of backgrounds
• Basic skills in English and maths. (Volunteers will need to make brief written notes on conversations while they are happening, and to complete simple questionnaire forms).
• Ability to be interested and excited in our research projects and in engaging members of the public to develop community services.
• Active listening skills and a genuine interest in people’s lived experiences
• Sympathetic, non-judgemental approach; willing to occasionally hear difficult stories.
• Experience of working/volunteering with the public in community settings
• Previous experience of conducting social research or public consultations is great – but not at all necessary.
• A basic understanding of the voluntary and community sector, including peer support.
• Your own transport and/or willingness to get around using public transport – our research covers all areas of County Durham!
WHEN: Community research can take place at any time! We have opportunities for volunteers who want to join us during working hours, Monday-Friday 9-5, for people who are able to volunteer in the evenings or weekends, or for volunteers who would like to help out at their own pace.
WHERE: The PCP research team are engaged in research and outreach across County Durham, and volunteers will be able to join us at a variety of locations. There are opportunities for volunteering from home as well. Training and mentoring can take place in person or online. Venues are used across the county but volunteers are likely to be invited at some point to PCP headquarters at Pioneering Care Centre, Carers Way, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, DL5 4SF.
Subsistence (food) expenses will be offered if you are asked to volunteer for a full day.
Volunteers will be given a mentor and a full induction to the research team and to the wider charity
Volunteers will be invited to join regular team briefings and training
Volunteers can access to PCPs training calendar which you can book onto any training including in person training and e-learning.
Opportunities to volunteer in a wide range of community settings and to find out about the spectrum of services provided by PCP
Great experience for anyone interested in community development, social research, community mental health – or for anyone who wants to develop their skills in talking to members of the public
Genuine chance to help shape services at the point they are developed
The chance to meet a wide range of people and to hear about their stories
Access to a wide range of training opportunities
Volunteering with a wonderful, friendly, caring organisation.
PCP is a large and varied charity with many volunteering opportunities. Coming to volunteer in our research team will provide a great way to find out what else is on offer!
*If you are interested in developing your social research skills/experience we can talk about different ways to involve you in the research process.
If people are looking for short-term volunteer opportunities, we are currently looking for THE BIG COUNTY DURHAM PANDEMIC SURVEY research champions – volunteers who can pledge to collect a small number of research responses to our largest current survey from their own communities. Contact us for more information. All volunteers will get a certificate and small thank you gift.