Are you passionate about making a difference to the lives of Children and Young people in Sefton?
Could you spare a couple of hours a month to offer advice and support to a young person whilst trying new activities and having fun?
If so, the Independent Visitor & Advocacy Service want to hear from you! They are currently recruiting for Volunteer Independent Visitors and Advocates to support Children and Young People who are Looked After by Sefton Council.
Independent Visitors befriend children and young people who have little or no contact with parents or experience a lack of positive role models. They work outside of the care system providing support and a listening ear. Having an Independent Visitor gives children and young people the opportunity to develop meaningful, long term relationships with adults. Independent visitors will commit to visiting a young person regularly (usually once a month for a couple of hours) for a minimum or 2 years. They help young people access activities they enjoy doing such as swimming, cycling, going to the cinema etc. as well as encouraging them to try out new activities. Feedback from young people is excellent and many relationships have been in place for several years, often continuing beyond the young person’s 18th birthday!
Independent Advocates work one to one with children and young people to help resolve any issues they may be experiencing. This could be education, placement, contact with family or relationships with other professionals. Advocates help children and young people to express their wishes and feelings and make sure they understand what is happening and can question anything they do not understand. The aim of an advocate is to empower a child or young person, inform them of their rights and support them to have their say. Advocates will work with a child or young person for an agreed period of time, depending on the issue and can be flexible around other commitments a volunteer may have.
No formal qualifications are required for these roles, just a keen interest in working with Children and Young People and the passion to make a difference. All volunteers will be given initial training and receive ongoing support and guidance.
Becoming an Independent Visitor or Advocate can open up new opportunities for employment and is a chance to meet other volunteers, share new experiences and gain new skills.
The Service’s new volunteer training will take place on Thursday evenings, 6pm until 7.30pm, from 13th October until 27th November 2016 at a venue in Waterloo.
For more information please contact Cheryl Yates, Independent Visiting and Advocacy Officer, on 0151 934 4167 / 07771843282 or by emailing Cheryl.firstname.lastname@example.org.