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What Is Involved?

Task Description

Responsible to: Project Co-ordinator.

Aim/Purpose: To develop and maintain successful and effective advocacy partnerships, and through this enable those who use our services (PARTNERS) to express their views, achieve their goals, make choices, pursue their rights and have their interests safeguarded.

Role/Tasks:

  • To support partners within the guidelines and boundaries of the Project.
  • To act as a spokesperson, enabler, supporter, confidant and guide as and where appropriate.
  • To work with the partner in an empowering way in an effort to promote and encourage independence as far as is possible.
  • To become familiar with the services, policies and procedures which are relevant to the partner.
  • To be vigilant on behalf of the partner and monitor situations in order to safeguard the partners interests.
  • To raise with the appropriate service providers, any issues affecting the life of their partner, which the partnership feel require attention.
  • To support partners in building appropriate social support networks.
  • To accompany the partner to local activities/services, where appropriate, and within the guidelines of the Project.
  • To act in accordance with the wishes of the partner, respecting their rights and dignity, and working within the Volunteer Confidentiality Policy.

Commitment:

  • To attend and successfully complete all volunteer preparation training sessions.
  • To be available to support the partner for as long as both participants wish it to continue. A Volunteer can end their partnership by informing the Project Co-ordinator, in this case we would expect that the volunteer endeavours to continue contact until another staff member/volunteer can take over should this be acceptable, possible and appropriate.
  • Attend Volunteer Support Group meetings as and when arranged.
  • Attend one to one supervision meetings with the Project Co-ordinator.
  • To accept, sign and work within the Projects Volunteers Confidentiality Policy at all times.
  • Attend occasional training and development sessions.

Responsibilities:

  • To report that you have returned safely immediately after each visit.
  • To report any concerns or worries about the visits and/or partner to the Citizen Advocacy Co-ordinator immediately.

Work Location:

  • Citizen Advocacy volunteers will visit partners at a place that is mutually agreeable. This will usually be where the partner lives but may, where appropriate, take place in another setting providing this is a public place, ie. accompany a partner to local activities/services, a hostel or hospital visit etc.
  • Some volunteer work may take place within the Sandwell Advocacy office, where agreed, for use of telephones, PC, stationery etc.

Skills required:

  • Sensitive to the needs of others.
  • Supportive, understanding and non-directive.
  • Good communication and listening skills.
  • Able to set and maintain appropriate boundaries.
  • Able to maintain and respect confidentiality.
  • Able to empathise with and relate to people from different backgrounds.
  • Ability to respect a person’s individuality in a non-judgemental way.

Support/Training:

  • Citizen Advocacy volunteers will complete a series of preparation training sessions.
  • Further training and development sessions (internal or external) may be arranged where they complement the volunteers ability to perform their tasks.
  • On-going support of the Project Co-ordinator as part of callbacks following visits to partners.
  • One to one on-going support and supervision meetings.
  • Volunteer Support Group meetings.
 
 
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