Community Service Volunteer Support Worker (Victim Support)
Throughout Northern Ireland
Volunteer Support Worker
Community Service volunteers will meet with victims of crime, in a local office or local outreach centre and occasionally at a victim’s home, where agreed.
During face to face support sessions volunteers will:
Provide practical care and support, which does not intrude
Assess needs and concerns of clients
Help clients to address basic needs (eg. accommodation, safety, information)
Listen to clients, but not pressuring them to talk
Comfort clients and help them to feel calm
Help clients connect to information, services and social supports
Protect clients from further harm
Complete paperwork & applications for compensation
As well as delivering face to face support sessions, volunteers will be required to attend regular supervision and team meetings as part of the role.
What is the time commitment?
We need volunteers to commit to volunteering for 4 hours per week with us, this excludes the time it takes for you to travel to and from your place of volunteering.
The times you volunteer at are usually flexible as appointments with clients can be made during the day or in the evenings (depending on local opening hours).
You will also be expected to attend ongoing training and meetings.
You should be able to commit at least 1 year to volunteering with us.
Person Specification & role requirements:
In order to be considered for this volunteer role you must be able to demonstrate how you meet the following criteria. This will be assessed at interview and throughout training and your trial period.
Final selection of volunteers is only made on completion of a trial period, during which the below criteria will continue to be assessed:
Commitment to undertake the full Core Learning training course and all essential training to be able to carry out the volunteer role.
Ability to work as part of a team – support your fellow volunteers, attend and contribute to team meetings, work on a rota basis to cover client appointments.
Good timekeeping and reliability – committing 4 hours per week to volunteering activities, arriving in good time and giving advanced notice where you can’t attend.
Ability to work independently and use own initiative within Community Service guidance and boundaries.
Willingness and ability to work within a framework of Equal Opportunities – supporting all clients regardless of background and with a non-judgmental approach.
Ability to treat all company and client information in the strictest confidence.
Excellent communication skills in English, with the ability to adapt communication styles to suit a wide range of people from varying backgrounds.
Ability to adhere to Victim Support NI’s policies and procedures
Good literacy skills (English language) – to enable completion of paperwork to record meetings and written applications for compensation on behalf of victims.
Experience with supporting other people in a mature and caring way – this may be in a work, voluntary or personal setting.
Ability to separate your own experiences and client experiences and maintain professionalism in all situations.
Disclosure of any criminal record held - Access NI checks on your criminal record are required before volunteering activities can commence.
What you can expect from us:
Induction and Training
Victim Support NI provides full induction and training for our volunteer roles.
Our initial training, which we call Core Learning, is accredited at level 3 with the Open College Network. You can receive accreditation by completing post training learning journals and supporting a minimum of 5 clients, with an assessment of your support skills at the end of your trial period. Accreditation is optional and there is no cost to you for receiving the OCN qualification.
On completion of your trial period (see below) you will be asked to attend suicide intervention training. This is compulsory training and is carried out over 2 consecutive days, normally on week days but may be arranged at weekends on occasion.
As well as this compulsory training we offer ongoing optional training courses for volunteers and you will complete a skills audit with your Coordinator to identify any training areas that may be applicable.
We also provide ongoing training through volunteer supervision and team meetings.
On completion of Core Learning you will begin a trial period in your local office, where you will have the chance to shadow staff and experienced volunteers while they support clients.
You will then start to lead client sessions while being shadowed by a volunteer or staff member, who will support and feedback to you to help you become confident in the role.
You must complete a minimum of 5 supervised support sessions and you will then be assessed on your support skills by our Learning & Development team.
You must demonstrate the required skillset in order to be confirmed in the volunteer role at the end of the trial period.
Community Service Co-Ordinators will support volunteers through regular supervision and volunteer team meetings.
These are primarily to offer you support in managing this challenging volunteer role and to discuss in confidence any concerns or issues you or we may have.
Volunteers will be reimbursed for any reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred while training and volunteering, usually on a monthly basis.
All Community Service volunteers will be required to undergo Access NI disclosure checks, which Victim Support NI will pay for.