Start for Life Peer Support Volunteer
Role Name: Start for Life Peer Support Volunteer
What does this involve?
Following the successful completion of our volunteer training course, you will be invited to work alongside community health connectors (CHCs) to offer informal support to families starting as early as possible in pregnancy and up until their child is 2 years old.
Start for Life Peer Supporters aim to build the confidence and independence of the family by:
- Offering support, friendship, and practical help
- Developing a relationship with the family in which time can be shared and an understanding developed, providing a regular, reliable presence in that family
- Drawing on their own experience of parenting to encourage parents’ strengths and emotional well-being for the ultimate benefit of their own children
- Encouraging families to widen their network of relationships and to use effectively the support and services available in the community
You will signpost families to support within their community and where required you will set up support groups within the community with initial support from the CHCs for families to access.
- A welcoming, friendly and approachable manner
- A non-judgmental and supportive approach
- The ability to be flexible and work as part of a team
- Good communication and listening skills
Frequency/commitment of the role:
Support may take place in the community or in the family home. Volunteers will be asked to regularly contact their family for an agreed period of time e.g. 1 hour on a weekly basis for 2-3 months. Volunteers running support groups can expect to make a weekly commitment over a longer period (e.g. 2-3 hours each week during the school term).
Applicants should also consider their availability to compete the required training and recruitment processes involved before they start to volunteer.
In preparation for taking on the peer support role you will be asked to complete our Parents 1st volunteer training course (normally 10 weeks). This is in addition to any volunteer training processes required by the host organisation. Once qualified you will be supported by one of our Start for Life Volunteer Coordinators and a Community Health Connectors based in your area.
Once qualified, peer support volunteers may be interested in exploring other opportunities within the Starting Well partnership including Community Hub volunteer, Parenting Peer Supporter or Admin Support in Family Hubs.
When considering whether to apply for this role, you should be willing to commit to at least one year of volunteering.
Before becoming a volunteer, you will be required to complete an Enhanced DBS check (if you do not already have one in place which is registered on the DBS Update Service website).
You can expect to receive regular support and supervision when carrying out your volunteer role including a comprehensive induction before you start.