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Become a Volunteer

Recruitment

Volunteer Charter

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Management Committee

Get Involved

Volunteers

GET INVOLVED

Our advocates ensure that those who most need it within our community are able to voice their concerns and that they are listened to. This could mean speaking up on somebody’s behalf if they are unable to communicate or articulate their wishes adequately, or supporting people to put forward their views more effectively. At the same time we respect the people we work with, afford them the dignity that they deserve and act only on their wishes at all times.

Here are some frequently asked questions relating to volunteering with Sandwell Advocacy:

Do I need to have any qualifications?
What commitment would I have to make?
How would I actually help somebody?
What support do I get?
Do I receive any training?
Will I get any expenses?
Do you police check your volunteers?
Is it only volunteer advocates that you recruit?

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Do I need to have any qualfications?

No. Formal qualifications are not necessary. Our advocates are people who are passionate about the rights of disadvantaged people being upheld. They are people from a variety of backgrounds who develop an awareness of the issues faced by those we support and have the confidence to speak up for others where necessary.

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What commitment would I have to make?

The commitment our volunteer advocates make depends on their availability and the needs of those they support. Before matching a volunteer advocate with somebody we always take into account his or her availability. Typically our volunteers visit those they support about once a week for an hour or two.

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How would I actually help somebody?

You would help somebody by supporting them to articulate their views and wishes. We do this by finding information, giving people time to think about their choices, listening to what people say, building peoples confidence so that they might be able to speak up for themselves in future and attending meetings to support people in situations where decisions about their lives are likely to be made.

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What support do I get?

We have a named worker who is responsible for co-ordinating the activities of our volunteers. This person provides on-going support for our volunteers in every aspect of their advocacy work. There is also peer support provided on a regular basis via our Volunteer Support Group. This provides an opportunity to exchange information, share good practice and deal with any issues individual volunteers may wish to share.

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Do I receive any training?

Yes. All of our advocates participate in four 2-hour preparation sessions to prepare them for the role before they become actively involved. This covers: the principles and concepts of advocacy; communication skills; choice, decision making and risk; confidentiality; advocacy in practice and dealing with professionals.

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Will I get any expenses?

Yes. All of our volunteers receive remuneration for all agreed out of pocket expenses such as travel, telephone etc. We discuss this in more detail as part of our volunteer’s preparation.

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Do you police check your volunteers?

Yes. We conduct Criminal Records Bureau checks and also ask that our volunteers provide 2 references of people who know them well.

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Is it only volunteer advocates that you recruit?

No. We are happy to tailor an individual’s volunteer involvement to suit their needs, skills and interests. As well as volunteer advocates, we are also keen to see people get involved with:

  • Producing our newsletter.
  • Web design/maintenance.

  • Open Days.

  • Fundraising.

  • Management Committee.

  • Presentations/Talks.

  • Admin.

  • Promotion and Publicity.
 
 
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