We recognise the value that Volunteers bring to CSW Group. Our Intensive Family Support Service in Hampshire have recently recruited 4 successful volunteers; with an additional 2 volunteers at the enquiry stage.
We are committed to involving volunteers directly within our organisation; to contribute to the delivery of our service, to make sure we are responsive to the needs of ours users and clients, to provide different skills and perspectives and offer the opportunities for participation by people who might otherwise be excluded.
Our volunteers come with an abundance of knowledge and transferable skills to support the Family Support Workers and their caseloads. When asked ‘why do you want to volunteer?’ all respond by saying ‘they want to give something back to the local community’ this is something we really need to celebrate and utilise. It has been a pleasure to meet the volunteers and take them through their Inductions, preparing them for their time with us.
The opportunities for the volunteers include;
- Offering a chance to support a friendly team to make positive and sustained outcomes to people’s lives
- Having fantastic training opportunities which will benefit their CV as well as give them new experiences and expand their background knowledge
- Opportunities to support others as they make key transition in their lives
- Develop their existing skills and learn new skills.
We will work hard to make sure the volunteering experience is a positive and rewarding one and to ensure that they are felt supported in making a difference to others.
Our volunteers become part of our team; they are linked directly to a Family Support Worker in a local area of Hampshire, who is known as a volunteer supervisor. The volunteer supervisor and the volunteer will regularly meet for supervision to discuss an action plan, this ensures the volunteer understands and accepts the support being offered to the families and individuals. The volunteer supervisor will also include personal supervision, necessary for the occasional emotionally demanding role.
The purpose of a volunteer within the Family Support Service is to support in sustaining progress to a variety of families. The Family Support Worker will have completed the complex and intensive part; she would have worked as a whole family approach as well as supporting individuals to help to make significant progress. The volunteer will provide any additional non intensive support, this could be a variety of things, for example; taking an individual out into the Community, providing additional life skills such as cooking/buying food on a budget, helping adults to complete forms and referrals etc. there is no set rule or role description, this is impossible because every family is different, with different needs.
As one of the main providers for Hampshire Support Families Programme, who also offer a volunteer service has enabled us to set a high benchmark and something that no other provider offers. This has been welcomed by Hampshire’s Strategic Lead and local Senior Responsible Officers. It has provided evidence of our commitment to promote significant and sustained progress with the families that have been nominated to us. Family Support Workers are expected to provide up to 6 months support. During this time, they will always promote and build self-confidence to individuals, empowering them to take control of difficult situations and deal with them independently, however, by us offering a volunteer to some of these families at the latter stage of support, this provides comfort to certain individuals who feel they are not yet at a stage of being able to cope fully on their own. Our volunteers will not be limited to the length of support they offer to families, it will always be based on the need of support.
This is a huge thank you to our new volunteers……