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What do community support volunteers do?

Our Community Support volunteers support a range of services, such as our Wellbeing, Living Well and Home from Hospital 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. 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.

Our Home from Hospital service supports people for a short time when they return home from a spell in hospital.  

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 - Home from Hospital Volunteer

To provide a short-term support service (up to 4 weeks) to people aged 65 and above being discharged from hospital to enable a timely discharge and to ensure where possible individuals are not readmitted to hospital.

We provide practical support within the limitations of the service, which may include troubleshooting immediate needs such as medication (liaising with hospital/GP); equipment (through appropriate personnel); collecting a prescription; essential shopping; light household tasks; referring to other AUKW services.

We support our clients to obtain a long-term and sustainable solution to manage practical tasks’ rather than creating a reliance on our services.

What are we looking for?

  • Friendly and cheerful manner
  • Good communication skills
  • Practical and resourceful
  • An understanding of the need for confidentiality
  • A liking for and an empathy with older people
  • Reliability
  • An open-minded approach to individuals, avoiding judgement and stereotyping.

What training is involved?

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

What are the practical considerations?

  • Should be aged 18+
  • A DBS check is required
  • Drivers will have an advantage though this is not essential 

Where is this based?

Salisbury only in SP1, SP2 & SP5 postcode areas.

When can you do this?

Mon - Fri, am, pm & eve

Sat & Sun, am, pm & eve

What is the expected level of commitment?

A minimum of 3-4 contacts (visits and telephone) per week for up to 4 weeks 

I would like to apply for this role

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, with the wider Age UK Wiltshire teams to access support as required.

What are we looking for?

  • Confident telephone user
  • Friendly and cheerful manner
  • Good communication skills
  • 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
  • Ability to listen and talk clearly without jargon or being patronising

What training is involved?

We will train you in managing expectations, how to use our telephone systems and conducting telephone conversations – introduction, what to talk about and ending the call.

What are the practical considerations?

Disabled access to the ground floor but the Devizes office toilet facilities are accessed via stairs 

Where is this based?

Office based in Devizes or Salisbury

When can you do this?

Mon - Fri, am & pm

What is the expected level of commitment?

Approximately 1 – 2 hours each week

 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
  • Driver an advantage although not essential

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. 

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. 

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
  • Driver an advantage although not essential 

Where is this based?

In your local community where possible 

When can I do this?

Mon - Fri - am, pm, eve

Sat & Sun - am, pm, eve

What is the expected level of commitment?

  • A minimum of 1-2 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