Would you like to support people who have served in the Armed Forces? You don’t need a military background, just patience, and an ability to get on with people from different backgrounds and age groups.
SSAFA Visitors provide support to isolated people living at home or in residential care. Whilst a friendly chat about the old days over a cup of tea is an important aspect of the role you will also be able to recognise any other support needs and explore how to link your client into their local community.
Why do we need you? We’ve been supporting the Armed Forces community for more than 130 years. Our clients come from all backgrounds and age groups, some people become isolated from family, friends and local services; older people may not have the same local networks as when they were younger. With the gift of time and a listening ear you can improve someone’s quality of life for far longer than the hour or so you might spend with them. We need you to join your local SSAFA team to help us to help more people.
The essential part of the role is visiting clients, so you will need a driving licence and access to a vehicle or another way to travel to meet clients at home or in a care home setting. In the Southend & Rochford Division our volunteers base their work from home.
What would you be doing?
• Contacting clients and arranging to meet them regularly at their home or care home for uninterrupted conversation.
• Letting the Divisional Secretary know of any concerns for your or the client’s safety.
• Arranging for a SSAFA caseworker to assess the client for other support as required.
• Chatting, making a cup of tea, playing cards, looking at photo albums, military mementos etc.
• Helping your client to think about ways to reduce their isolation and support them to put these into practice.
• Keeping in touch with your Division line manager so they know your availability.
• Keeping up to date with training and SSAFA news so that you are best able to support clients.
• Volunteering within the standards and values of SSAFA including observing our policies such as the Volunteering policy and Data Protection policy (these will be covered in your training and local induction).
Our roles are flexible, inclusive and fun and we welcome applications from all backgrounds, abilities, races, sexual orientations, socio-economic backgrounds, and of all faiths and none. SSAFA are committed to making reasonable adjustments to support volunteers with disabilities, so they have access to the same opportunities and experiences as volunteers who do not.
Friendly and approachable people with good listening skills, patience and a cheerful attitude.
• Good spoken English.
• Ability to be respectful and non-judgemental with clients, their families, other agencies and SSAFA colleagues.
• Ability to keep within the boundaries of the role with regards to friendship, finances etc.
• Reliable attitude, contacting clients promptly, keeping regular appointments, updating the Divisional Secretary regarding your availability.
• Ability to maintain confidentiality and keep information safely (within SSAFA policies).
• Willingness to travel by car or public transport to appointments with clients.
• Ability to provide two referees: former employers or other people that know you well (other than relatives).
• Willingness to undergo a DBS (criminal record) check.
Volunteers must be over 18 to be a Visitor.
Practical Skills | Supporting charities | Supporting people and befriending
Civic responsibility and communities | Older People
As and when available. Visitors can be already employed, full or part time, unemployed, self-employed, retired or students over 18.