Volunteer with us
We would like to introduce the new Inclusion Volunteer Scheme and are pleased to announce that our first cohort of volunteers have completed their training and have started their placements.
The new model brings in some exciting changes; people are able to get involved earlier in their recovery journey and can now progress further by becoming a Volunteer Recovery Worker
The Volunteer scheme is underpinned by our core principles;
- Participation grows recovery
- All lived experience is valid and valued
- You do not have to be fully recovered or have had a drug or alcohol problem to help
- Giving, Learning, Connecting is good for you (with safeguards)
- Recovery supporters, recovery mentors and volunteers complement paid staff they do not replace them
- No-one should be out of pocket or burned out from working for us
- Match skills and abilities to roles
- Match training and support to levels of responsibility
- Everyone is not suited to all types of work
- We want a transparent system that everyone understands
- Confidentiality and the perception of confidentiality needs to be maintained
- Too much responsibility too early can be hazardous for all concerned
- Boundaries need to be practised (with support) to be learned
- Time limits are a guide – individualised progress
- Learn and develop at your own pace with guidance
- If someone relapses we will continue to support their development
There are three roles within the scheme; these are Recovery Supporters, Recovery Mentors, and Volunteer Recovery Workers.
The initial model which will be continually evaluated and enhanced through regular consultation and everyone will start as a Recovery Supporter. This allows people to decide if the scheme is for them without a massive commitment and benefit from all levels of training. Full supervision, support and on-going training is an essential competent of the scheme and there will be three Volunteer Coordinators to oversee this. Volunteers that have not used services are subject to the same time limits in each role. All roles are subject to cleared criminal record check (DBS) and any necessary Risk Assessments.
Recovery Supporter – this role is a gentle introduction to volunteering in this field and is innovative as it allows people to get involved earlier. Inclusion recognises that putting prescriptive time limits for people getting involved in volunteering can be a real barrier and that getting involved promotes unity and recovery. The tasks include being a friendly welcoming person to meet and greet service users. If comfortable to do so Recovery Supporters can share personal stories to inspire and encourage service users to make full use of our recovery services. Supporters can also champion the Inclusion Recovery Program through attending workshops and the Induction program as an observer. This enables them to familiarise themselves with our group program and once they progress and gain confidence they can take on more responsibility within this program by helping staff plan and debrief sessions.
The two day Induction training covers a variety of subjects such as roles, responsibilities, confidentiality, boundaries and interventions. The recovery supporters can then be enrolled in a variety of Level 2 VRQ’s with our partner Eastleigh College. Individualised training plans will be put together in conjunction with the volunteers, coordinator and key staff. Then when Supporters have 3 months of recovery and are ready to take on more responsibility they can progress to become a Recovery Mentor.
Recovery Mentor – This role encompasses a individual tailored training plan to enable mentors to take on roles they are interested in and has great scope for new initiatives. In this role mentors can take a lead in facilitating peer-led groups and organising peer led social activities. Mentors can be involved in our community activities such as training events at Winchester University and workshops within our local schools. Mentors can be matched to leads within the service to learn about responsibilities such as needle exchange, safeguarding, prescribing and assessments.
Once mentors have been recovery for at least 6 months they can apply for Volunteer Recovery Worker vacancies. Every year we plan to have at least two recruitment drives for volunteer Recovery Workers. We currently have 9 Volunteer Recovery Workers who are undergoing training.
Volunteer Recovery Worker – This is a really exciting role as it allows us to give volunteers a real life experience of working in this field. They will learn every aspect of a recovery worker role. They will be an integral part of the team and will have the opportunity to jointly key work clients under the supervision of recovery workers. This includes the record keeping and access to the database, contributing to team meetings and multi professional reviews, assessments and testing.
See some of the initiatives our Volunteers have been doing here.
See Catriona’s interview about being a Volunteer Recovery Worker here.