Advice/Counselling/Mentoring/Listening

The Trust House Reading provides a confidential counselling service. They are looking to take on Volunteer Counsellors for children and young people will be responsible for providing professional and confidential counselling / therapy to clients of Trust House Reading. They work with children and young people who are victims/survivors of rape and sexual abuse. Volunteers must  be a qualified counsellor or in the final year of a Diploma course (or equivalent) that leads to being a qualified counsellor OR to be a qualified therapist or in the final year of a Diploma course (or equivalent) that leads to being a qualified therapist. Placements would include an induction course, regular supervision with a qualified, experienced supervisor and ongoing training. They are also looking to take on Helpline Volunteers. Helpline volunteers are a key part of this service, and we value their contribution. Helpline volunteers aim to support victims/survivors of rape and sexual abuse by providing a safe space to talk and share their feelings and needs; by providing information and signposting to other relevant organisations/services; and by referring the clients to Trust House Reading’s different services. All volunteers must have a satisfactory DBS check.

Involve supports the voluntary and community sector across Bracknell Forest and Wokingham Borough, enabling the sector to thrive through the provision of development support, funding advice and sourcing and providing training. They also run the Community Navigators scheme across Wokingham Borough. Volunteers will be based within doctor’s surgeries across the borough and will receive referrals from GP’s or other health care professionals for patients who may require more support than medical needs. The volunteer navigator will meet with the patient on site within surgery or possibly on a visit to the home of that patient.  They will assist the patient locate the most appropriate service from the voluntary and community sector that could help with that individual’s needs. Through doing this, the patient can meet people with a similar diagnosis to themselves, begin to increase their own level of self-care and in some cases minimise social isolation through becoming involved within the community. As a Volunteer navigator, you will provide the essential link between Health professional and community & voluntary sector. The information about local services will be available to the navigators via electronic tablet that will be provided. Training will be given in the use of the tablet and navigation of web sites containing the services. If you can spare a couple of hours a week, have a good rapport with people and can provide and wish to enhance the quality of life of the local community this may be an ideal voluntary position for you. Some basic IT skills may be of help but is not essential as training will be provided.

The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides practical help, emotional support and information to witnesses so that they feel valued, respected, informed and able to give their best evidence in Court. They are looking to recruit Court based and Outreach Volunteers. Although the role will be mostly Court based, the Outreach Volunteer role will require some support to be given to vulnerable victim and witnesses away from the Court environment. The role will involve providing support to witnesses and their supporters, by explaining the Court procedures and legal terminology, showing them around the Courtroom before trial and sitting in the Courtroom with them, when permitted. Volunteers need to be friendly and approachable with good listening and verbal communication skills. A non judgemental, impartial and confidential approach to supporting others essential.

The British Dyslexia Association supports people affected by Dyslexia. The Helpline, based in Bracknell, offers free and confidential advice to dyslexic people and to anyone with a concern about dyslexia. They need Helpline volunteers to answering helpline telephones and writing emails. Volunteers must have some understanding/experience of dyslexia and have a good standard of spoken and written English. They currently have the following needs; Tuesday 10am-1pm, Tuesday 12.30pm-3pm, Wednesday 1pm-3pm and Thursday 1pm-3pm. There is some flexibility to volunteer term time if need be.

Wilderness Foundation UK has an established programme TurnAround that  uses wilderness therapy, challenging outdoor experiences, one-on-one life coaching, and educational activities to enable vulnerable young people to overcome their challenges and take control of their lives. An exciting, fulfilling and challenging opportunity is available for people 18 years or above living in or around the Reading, Slough or Maidenhead areas of Berkshire to work with young people 16 to 21 years old, who are struggling or disadvantaged in their lives. They will be participating in a new programme in Berkshire called ‘TurnAround’. The aims of this programme is to enable transformation in  their lives through exposure to wilderness, the outdoors and nature as they find themselves through a combination of structured workshops and additionally through the support and crucial input they received from their matched Volunteer Mentor over the course of 1 year. Mentors will be required to attend a 3 day training course, funded by Wilderness Foundation UK. We will be looking for reliable and consistent weekly contact for the period of the programme, for someone who enjoys the company of young people. In turn you will be able to use your life experience, together with the opportunity to acquire new skills and experience yourself.

Frontline Debt Advice Reading is a branch of Frontline Debt Advice (UK) which is an established charity providing debt and benefit advice through a network of 18 advice centres located in central southern England. They are staffed entirely by volunteers and provide debt and benefit advice to anyone in need. The service is provided free of charge. The procedures we have developed use standard forms and letters in Excel and Word, so a basic knowledge of this software together with computer literacy and keyboard skills is required. The role will involve working with clients distressed by the burden of debt will require a sympathetic and patient approach. Negotiating skills would be an advantage in establishing repayment plans with creditors. Basic finance and budgeting skills would also be helpful. Full training and ongoing support will be provided in debt management and benefit advice. There is always full backup and support available as you work with clients. If you like helping people and turning their lives around, then this is an ideal opportunity for you. They are looking for a volunteer who can help for one day on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

For Wokingham area residents, SEAP provide free and independent mental health advocacy, health complaints advocacy and will soon be providing advocacy under the care act and community advocacy. The charity is looking for Mental Health Support Advocates. The role involves shadowing advocates until confident to introduce the service to mental health service users and take referrals, supporting the advocates by entering information about work with clients on the database, finding information for clients and distributing leafelts and posters, visiting local mental health support groups to talk about the service. This opportunity is based largely in Prospect Park Hospital in Reading, and at times in the community in Wokingham area. Volunteers must have good communication skills, be patient, reliable and be able to commit for 2 half days per week(weekdays, daytimes.)

The Citizens Advice Bureau gives free, confidential advice on every subject from debt, benefits, housing and employment, to law, immigration and discrimination. It is independent and gives advice in an unbiased way.  The Citizens Advice Bureau relies upon Voluntary Advisors to deliver nearly all of the front line advice service to the public. This means working on a large number of issues both simple and complex, within a team, receiving support from colleagues. Initial training is provided and consists of self-tuition, a CAB Certificate Course plus tutorials and observation. Due to the length and cost of the training, volunteers will need to be able to commit to a minimum of two years commitment, so they cannot consider anyone who is looking for work. The Citizens Advice Bureau is also looking to recruit volunteer Assessors who are responsible for being the first point of contact for their clients and the bureau. Assessors volunteer in a team of two or three people and undertake a 10-15 minute interview with clients using procedures devised by the bureau. Volunteers should be empathetic, have excellent communication and written skills. They have opportunities at both their Wokingham and Woodley offices.

Samaritans are people from all walks of life who provide a service for the suicidal and despairing.  Callers can telephone us, visit our Centre, or contact us by e-mail or SMS.  Samaritans have to listen, attentively, unhurriedly and at length.  We have to share the pain, often knowing that there is nothing we can do: we cannot wave a magic wand and produce jobs, accommodation, money, friends, or instant happiness.  Above all, we do not give advice to our callers.  We try to support them in working through problems themselves.  We offer “non-directive” support.  We also recruit Support Volunteers who help with fundraising, publicity etc. All Samaritans give are expected to do one 2½ -3 hour shift every week (except for holidays, times of illness, etc).  Once a month this weekly shift will be at night, either 3 hours (called the twilight shift) or 5 hours (called the night shift); we are the only lifeline that provides 24-hour coverage. Based Bracknell.

Marriage Care specialise in helping couples – married or not – build and sustain strong, fulfilling, healthy relationships, and in providing support in times of relationship difficulty. They provide relationship counselling and marriage preparation courses and they currently have a need for volunteer to help deliver their 'preparing together' day course aimed at engaged couples. Volunteers should be empathetic and have the confidence to deliver training. All materials provide and training is given.

The Licensed Trade Charity provides assistance to people who work or have worked in the pub industry. Their clients are all round the UK and can be supported with advice on financial hardship, bankruptcy, health issues, educational grants, housing related issues, bereavement and unemployment and training. They are now launching a telephone befriending service for clients who feel isolated and would benefit from a friendly regular chat and therefore looking for telephone befrienders. Volunteers would be making calls to clients who were in the licensed trade industry who feel isolated and lonely and may have been excluded from their local community, family and friends.  The volunteer would make regular calls to have a friendly chat, provide an empathetic ear and if needed suggest ways in which the befriended could feel more included in their community. The befriender can make calls from their own home or use our office in Ascot.





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