You can make a real difference to the lives of older people!
Age UK Berkshire believes that independence, wellbeing and enjoyment are the keys to a fulfilling later life and aims to enable older people to make active informed choices about their lives through our Information & Advice (I&A) Service. Age UK Berkshire’s I&A service provides information and advice to older people on matters such as welfare benefits, health and social care, housing and local services.
This is an interesting and varied role as the volunteer will be helping to provide information and advice to individual older people and their carers.
Key responsibilities will include:
- Listening to and understanding customer requests.
- Responding to customers’ requests for support by phone, post, email or in person.
- Liaising with other agencies regarding customer issues such as benefits, housing, employment, community care, family and personal matters and consumer problems.
- Supporting customers with information and advice and signposting.
- Keeping accurate records of work with customers using our electronic contact management system (training will be provided).
- Helping Age UK Berkshire to promote the service to local communities.
- There may be opportunities to specialise in certain areas such as benefits, social care or housing.
- Excellent listening and communication skills
- Good standard of literacy and numeracy
- Good IT skills, especially use of the internet
- Ability to maintain confidentiality and security of data
- Ability to work confidently on own initiative and know when to seek help and support
No previous experience is required, but a willingness to learn, and to participate in training, is important to enable you to best help our customers and to help you get the most satisfaction from volunteering with this service. Experience in a similar role and knowledge of the benefits system would be an advantage, but not essential as you will be supported by experienced team members.
Volunteers must attend the comprehensive training programme which is provided with this role, volunteer induction, and any other training that is deemed essential to the role as identified.
You should be available to volunteer in this role for a minimum of 1 year (ideally longer) as staff time will be invested in your training and induction programme.
You will be available for at least 4 hours per week during office hours - actual days and times can be negotiated. You will be based in our Reading office.
We organise social events for our volunteers from time to time, and always hope that volunteers can find the time to join us for these enjoyable occasions.
Reasonable expenses incurred during the course of volunteering will be reimbursed. Please note that there is no car parking available at the Reading office.
We require a completed application form.
We will obtain references from two referees who have known you for a minimum of one year. They should not be family members, and one of these referees should have known you in a formal capacity e.g. employer or tutor.
If accepted as a volunteer, you will be required to satisfactorily pass a Disclosure and Barring Scheme check (formerly a CRB check). Your disclosure of any past or spent convictions may not preclude you from volunteering with Age UK Berkshire. For more information see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/basic-checks