Getting Out & About is Age UK Berkshire's service for people who have become isolated and where short-term support can make a real difference. The service is currently only offered to people aged 50+ who are resident in the Reading Borough geographical area.
We are looking for people who will happily give a few hours of their free time to help others in their community who are lonely and vulnerable, and who are needing a bit of extra help to reconnect with their local community.
The aim of the service is to enhance the quality of life of older people who live alone and have limited or no social contact. This can be for a variety of reasons such as being new to the area, recently bereaved, unaware of local facilities, etc. Volunteers will provide short term intervention, offering support for up to 6 weeks for each person, introducing them to appropriate social/community groups and activities.
- To visit a client regularly at a time that is mutually convenient
- To support the client in the implementation of the action plan (previously agreed with the client)
- To accompany the client on visits to social groups, events and other places, as appropriate to the action plan
- To report back to the coordinator about the client following each visit
- To alert the coordinator to any concerns clients may have, or any concerns you may have about the client
- To maintain confidentiality and security of personal data
Tasks you are NOT expected to undertake:
- Any personal care, e.g. feeding, dressing, assisting with the toilet, etc.
- Shopping or housework (buying small items on behalf of the client may be allowed in accordance with money handling procedures)
- Administering or advising on the use of any medications
- Any heavy lifting
- Any task you feel uncomfortable with
No previous experience is required, but a willingness to learn, and to participate in training, is important to enable you to best help our clients and to help you get the most satisfaction from volunteering with this service. Although not essential, you may find it can be an advantage if you have experience of dealing with, or caring for, older or disabled people either informally (e.g. contact with or care of older family members), or formally in employment.
- A desire to make a difference to the lives of older and/or disabled people
- A kind, caring and friendly manner
- An ability to listen, and to have empathy with clients
- An encouraging and sensitive manner
- An awareness of local facilities and/or an ability to find out
- A driver with access to your own transport (reasonable expenses are reimbursed) would be an advantage
You should be available to volunteer in this role for a minimum of 6 months. Ideally, you should have at least 2 to 4 hours a week to spare on a regular basis, normally between the hours of 10am and 5pm.
By prior agreement with the coordinator and subject to the wishes of the client, early evening and weekend visits may be possible. However, you will need to be available during the working week to attend an informal interview and to make an introductory visit to the client with a member of staff.
Reasonable expenses incurred during the course of volunteering will be reimbursed.
We encourage attendance at any training sessions we organise or offer. There is no cost for this training but you would be expected to attend in your own time. 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.
We require a completed Application Form, either submitted online, or you can download the Volunteer Offer of Service form and post it to us.
We also require the names of 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 www.gov.uk/disclosure-barring-service-check.
We believe that visiting and helping our clients can be hugely rewarding, and want our volunteers to gain experience, and be proud of what they achieve while with us. To this end, we offer ongoing support, and hope volunteers will always feel free to contact one of our team to discuss any matter which will help them during their time with us.