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What do community support volunteers do?

Our Community Support volunteers support our Wellbeing and Living Well services.  They provide support directly in the community to make a difference to socially isolated and vulnerable older people.

Our Wellbeing service aims to improve the wellbeing of isolated and lonely older people and enhance the quality of their lives. We seek to achieve this by supporting older people to continue to live in their own homes, help them access services that are relevant to them and to encourage them to take part in social activities of their choice in their local community.  If they are not able to get out and about, we can provide short-term support to help them undertake an activity of their choice in their home.  Our assessors initially meet with people who want to access our service and work with our visiting volunteers who then meet with our service users on a regular basis to work towards improving their quality of life.

Our Living Well team works closely with local GP surgeries to provide support for local older people to agree and achieve a personal support plan to aid and improve their health and well-being.

What you will get out of it

  • It's a direct way to make a difference to someone's life
  • You get to support a great cause, while giving something back to your community
  • You get to be part of a wider, friendly team.
  • Volunteers tell us it's fun, and you might make a new friend

Would these roles suit me?

These roles would suit someone who wants to help older people and make a real impact on their lives.  If you have a warm and compassionate nature but are equally resourceful and practical, this is the role for you.  

Click on the roles below to find out more about what they involve

Community Support - Telephone Volunteer

To provide low-key social telephone support service to older people to take the outside world into a client to relieve isolation and loneliness.

Our volunteers provide regular telephone contact to our clients, having a friendly chat for up to 20 minutes and are positive and encouraging throughout. Volunteers keep a record of their calls to help the charity provide the right support to them.

When requested, our volunteers can also provide information about the other services of Age UK Wiltshire and can raise any concerns or issues the clients have made us aware of, or that the volunteer identifies themselves during the call

What are we looking for?

  • A good telephone manner, the ability to actively listen and to be encouraging
  • Understand the need for confidentiality
  • Have a liking for and empathy with older people
  • Reliability
  • Have an open-minded approach to individuals, avoiding judgement and stereotyping
  • Competent computer user
  • Ability to update client records immediately on our computer database

What training is involved?

3 online group sessions lasting 40 mins per session (incorporating an introduction to Age UK Wiltshire, Telephone Befriending  and Safeguarding) between 10:30am and 3:30pm, during a week day, followed by a simple remote learning homework task.

Mental Health Awareness Training – this will be a separate 2 hour session delivered in an online group sitting.

What are the practical considerations?

You must have a computer and internet access to enable you to update your client reports on our database

You will need a calls package allowing free calls for up to an hour to UK landlines

You should have a quiet and undisturbed place to make your telephone calls from

Where is this based?

Working from home

When can you do this?

Mon - Fri, am & pm

Sat & Sun - if you make calls at the weekend, you won't be able to contact our teams for support until Monday.

What is the expected level of commitment?

A commitment to work with at least 7 of our clients – this equates a minimum of approximately 4 hours of voluntary work a week, there is no set duration that a telephone call should last for, some calls may last 20 minutes, other clients will require longer.  Calls are made at a time that is convenient to both your client and yourself

 I would like to apply for this role

Community Support - Volunteer Assessor

Volunteer Assessors work with individuals to identify their community support needs and work with the Wellbeing Project Worker to produce an action plan that would address those needs.

Our volunteers undertake an initial conversation with our clients to gain an understanding of their life, personal circumstances, and the barriers to improving their wellbeing and then start to explore the options available for social support and other services. Details of this conversation and the assessment are recorded and used by the wider Wellbeing team to match the client with a regular visiting volunteer who will work with them to provide the support they need to achieve their goals.

What are we looking for?

  • Good communication skills; ability to actively listen; ability to speak clearly and concisely. 
  • Personable; friendly; respectful and non-patronising, polite and courteous. 
  • Empathy; sensitive to an individual’s needs and feelings, able to relate well to older and vulnerable people, non-judgemental. 
  • Commitment to confidentiality. 
  • IT literate esp. in Word

What training is involved?

You would be expected to attend a 2 hour induction either at our Devizes or Salisbury office.

We will also provide you training in active listening, how to conduct a guided conversation, how to create an action plan and information around lone-working and safeguarding.

What are the practical considerations?

  • 18+
  • DBS
  • Drivers are preferred

Where is this based?

In your local community where possible

When can you do this?

Mon - Fri - am, pm, eve

Sat & Sun - am, pm

What is the expected level of commitment?

  • A number of appointments to suit
  • A minimum of 2 hours per appointment to be arranged at a mutually suitable time
  • Additional time to complete paperwork

I would like to apply for this role

Community Support - Volunteer Visitor

Your role as a Volunteer Visitor would be to make regular visits to an older person to help them progress towards accomplishing an objective they have set themselves.  This may be finding and joining a social activity group; going to a fitness club or simply taking a walk outside.  If they are not able to leave the home, we can provide short-term support to help them undertake an activity in their home. 

Our wellbeing project workers and volunteer assessors will have already established with the client what it is they would like to achieve so all you have to do is help them make this happen.  You may find that the first few times you visit the client, you’ll be having a chat and getting to know them whilst helping them gain the confidence to start becoming active again.  Or, you may find that the client is ready from day one to get out and about.  Whichever it is, you can be sure that you’ll be making a real difference to someone’s life by helping them to remain active and independent for longer. 

It is important to note that this role is not a traditional befriending volunteer role. 

What are we looking for?

  • A liking for and an empathy with older people 
  • An open-minded approach to individuals, avoiding judgement and stereotyping. 
  • An ability to listen and talk clearly without jargon or being patronising. 
  • An understanding of the need for confidentiality 
  • Friendly and cheerful manner
  • Reliability

What training is involved?

Volunteers would be expected to attend a 2 hour induction to the service at either our Devizes or Salisbury offices which includes information about the role, managing expectations and lone working and safeguarding.

What are the practical considerations?

  • 18+
  • DBS
  • Drivers preferred

Where is this based?

In your local community where possible 

When can I do this?

Mon - Fri - am, pm

Sat & Sun - am, pm

What is the expected level of commitment?

  • A minimum of 2-3 hours per week for a period of time of up to 6 months 
  • Days and times of the week by mutual agreement between client and volunteer. 

I would like to apply for this role