Learn more about volunteering

Hi, I'm Linda, a volunteer advocate. I'm here to tell you how you can join me as a Volunteer.

All it takes is a warm and friendly personality.  You’ll like people and have a desire to support them to get their voices heard. You probably already have some skills from other parts of your life, caring for a family member, having experience of filling out forms or claiming benefits.

But none of this is essential as you will receive training in the values, principles and skills of advocacy from our own in house trainer and you will be supported until you are ready to work alone. Lots of our clients lack confidence, are learning disabled or have some difficulty in speaking or writing for themselves.

So what can you expect?   In addition to gaining new skills or developing the ones you have, you will:

  • Receive three days of training
  • Joining a really friendly and very experienced team of advocates and volunteers
  • Receive supervision on a 1:1 basis and in groups
  • Opportunities to attend volunteer network groups to share knowledge and experience
  • Be giving a very valuable resource to the community by helping our clients to be heard so they can continue to take part in their own lives.

So will you join me?

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TRUSTEE OPPORTUNITIES

** We are always looking for new trustees**

  • Are you interested in becoming a Trustee?
  • Do you want to give something back to your local community?
  • Can you spare 1-2 hours per month?

If yes - then we would be very interested to hear from you.  This is an exciting time to join and we would particularly welcome from people with experience of one or more of the following:

  • Fundraising
  • Communications
  • Monitoring & evaluation
  • Governance

Previous Trustee experience is not required and successful candidates will be offered training. We particularly welcome applications from disabled and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic candidates, as they are currently under represented on our Board.

To find out more please email us at office@gettingheard.org. Alternatively if you would like to talk to our Director to find out more please email your interest and contact details.

 

ADVOCATE OPPORTUNITIES

** We are currently looking for new Volunteer Advocates**

At Getting Heard we believe everyone has the right to be heard on important issues impacting their lives. This can be particularly difficult when someone is facing these issues alone and has other factors impacting their lives. Our Community Advocacy service matches clients with trained volunteer Community Advocates for 3-6 months to support clients to get their voices heard on issues of importance.

If you think you would like to become a volunteer advocate and you are available for our next 3-day training (31/10-2/11/16), fill in our online application form and submit it before midnight of 07/10/16. Interviews will be held in our Barton headquarters in the third week of October (17-21/10).

If you are unable to attend this training but you would still like to become a volunteer for Getting Heard, our next training is scheduled for the end of March 2017 (27-29/03).

Advocate Role

Community Advocates are volunteers from the local community who are trained and supervised to work in partnership with their clients on a 1:1 basis. The service they offer is free, independent, non-judgemental, confidential, and supportive. Our Community Advocates:

  • Give time and listen
  • Offer support and understanding
  • Help clients to research their options
  • Support clients to read and write letters
  • Assist in making telephone calls
  • Help clients to communicate using other methods (e.g. text)
  • Accompany clients to meetings; taking notes and asking questions if helpful
  • Reflect with clients on meetings that have happened and explore what they want to do next

Advocate Requirements

Basic:

  • Able to attend 3 days initial training
  • Available 1-2 hours day-time per week (with flexibility to your needs) to support clients
  • Willing to attend 1 hour of supervision every 3-6 months
  • Willing to join volunteer network meetings every 6 weeks
  • Responsive to preferred method of communication (e.g. phone or email)
  • Can offer a volunteering commitment for up to 2 years
  • Lives in Oxfordshire
  • Flexibility to travel up to 15 miles from home location
  • Basic IT skills (e.g. Microsoft Word and Outlook)

Personal qualities

  • Excellent listening and communication skills
  • Sensitive and respectful of other people’s views
  • Able to keep personal boundaries
  • Punctual and reliable
  • Robust communication skills
  • Calm under pressure
  • Committed to maintaining confidentiality
  • Self-reflective with a willingness to learn

Ability to work independently

  • Able to do research and access information from other agencies and/or online
  • Maintains complete and confidential records about the case
  • Strong literacy skills (e.g. confidence writing formal letters)

Ability to work in a team

  • Forms constructive working relationships with a variety of stakeholders
  • Able to flex engagement style depending on the person they are speaking with
  • Willing to attend volunteer network meetings to reflect collaboratively on learning