Empowering people with disabilities for over 25 years

Time to Talk Volunteers

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Part of our Time to Talk project.

Purpose of the role: To give confidential emotional support and practical help to disabled and Deaf people in the community. Sign post to LOD projects and other agencies, and offer the services within the project which reduce isolation and offer an improved quality of life.

Reports to: Volunteer Co-ordinator (LOD)

The role of the Time to Talk Volunteer: Volunteers will provide peer support to disabled and Deaf people who call into the service, or who are referred by other agencies. Volunteers will focus on providing support and information on other agencies, organisations, and services within the project.

Typical tasks might include:

  • Recording phone calls on a referral form, and detail what kind of support was provided. For example sign posting to other agencies and offering emotional support.
  • Recording the service user’s preferred method of contact, and if the person would be willing to take part in the evaluation of the service and the support they received, or would they like to join Living Options Devon’s mailing lists
  • Giving information on ‘hot topic’ forums in the area.
  • Ascertaining if the person could be referred to the ‘Life Coach’ service within the project.
  • Ascertaining if the person could be referred to the Deaf counselling service
  • Managing the needs and expectations of the service user.
  • Identifying positive outcomes for the individual based on their needs.
  • Offering information on any training courses which could be beneficial, as part of the guided discussion.
  • Empowering people to overcome the emotional and practical issues they currently face.
  • Communicating in a way that is appropriate to the person being supported
  • Working with people, to identify their individual needs and helping them to choose options they feel are right for them
  • Giving information about other agencies who can provide additional support relating to the service user’s health, social care, housing, financial circumstances.
  • Attending training, support sessions and volunteer meetings
  • Recording accurate and clear notes on each case, so the team are informed of actions and progress on each case.
  • Reporting to your line manager with concerns on particular cases.

Role Profile for Deaf Volunteers

Key Role Responsibilities/Duties: To support Deaf clients on a one-to-one basis

Personal Specifications:

  • Experience of engaging with Deaf people
  • British Sign Language Level 3+ or equivalent
  • Good I.T. Skills
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Willingness to attend other appropriate training

The following skills, experience and personal qualities would be an advantage:

  • A caring, mature and supporting empathy towards others
  • A non-judgemental, impartial and confidential approach to supporting others
  • A commitment to ensuring everyone has equal access to our service
  • Reliable and organised with a responsible attitude
  • Good listening skills and good spoken or BSL communication skills
  • Ability to travel independently
  • Understanding of equality, diversity, inclusion and the social model of disability
  • IT skills suitable for accessing the internet and record keeping.
  • Able to use Skype / IPad for those volunteers who are BSL trained.
  • Able to use Skype/iPad apps ( I messenger / Facetime ) to support people whose preferred method of contact is via the internet.
  • Able to commit to our mandatory training,  Guided Conversations, Disability Awareness , Deaf Awareness, Safeguarding, and Data Protection
  • Able to commit to 2 - 4 hours a week, in supporting the telephone service.

This opportunity is available to all applicants aged 18 and over. All applicants must undergo DBS disclosure (which will be paid for by LOD).

There is an initial induction programme that all volunteers must attend followed by ongoing training about specific topics of interest and importance to the role of the volunteer. The induction programme will cover a general introduction to the work of LOD and the Time to Talk Project.

This will include:

  • lone working
  • record keeping
  • claiming expenses
  • health and safety.  

All volunteers must attend workshops in Guided Conversations, Disability Awareness, Deaf Awareness, Safeguarding and Data Protection.

All volunteers will be expected to undertake the following:

  • act in accordance with the LOD confidentiality and data protection policies
  • participate in mandatory volunteer induction and training
  • maintain records for monitoring and tracking purposes
  • participate in the monitoring and evaluation of the service

The volunteer will also have regular supervision sessions with the Volunteer Co-ordinator. These sessions will enable the Volunteer Co-ordinator to:

  • monitor the development of the volunteer
  • review the services offered
  • address any other issues or concerns raised by the volunteer.

It is hoped that volunteers can give a commitment to the Service for at least twelve months. We are seeking volunteers who would be available for at least four hours a week. Working times are flexible as the support line will be open (up to 8pm) on weekdays, and between 11am - 3pm on Saturdays.  

Benefits of volunteering

  • full induction, one-to-one support for the role
  • opportunity for training and to develop new skills
  • opportunity to learn about the Time to Talk project and LOD
  • opportunity to meet new people and join a team of like-minded people
  • opportunity to work alongside a volunteers within the wider organisation
  • opportunity to network with other volunteers and receive support
  • rewarding sense of having made a positive difference to people’s lives
  • payment of agreed expenses in accordance with LOD expenses policy

Interested? Download our application form here.

For more information please contact our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Keira Dodd:
Write: Living Options Devon, Ground floor Units 3 – 4, Cranmere Court, Lustleigh Close, Matford Business Park, Exeter, EX2 8PW
Phone: 01392 459 222
Email: Keira.Dodd@livingoptions.org

About Us

Living Options Devon is a well respected user-led organisation which works to ensure that people with disabilities and Deaf people can live the life they choose. Set up in 1990 LOD is a registered charity (Charity N0. 1102489) and a company limited by guarantee (No. 4925281). Based in Exeter and Barnstaple, our charitable aims mean we we can offer services across the South West and share good practice throughout the UK. Being led and run by people with disabilities and Deaf people ensures LOD has first hand knowledge and understanding of the issues facing service users and so is very well placed to increase the influence and voice of Deaf and disabled people. We do this by providing education, training and services which enable people to live the lives they choose.

We are happy to provide all information about Living Options Devon and its projects in alternative formats by request. Please contact us using the details above.

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Contact us

There are a number of ways you can contact us:

By telephone: 01392 459222

By email: info@livingoptions.org

By SMS: 07958 517919

By post: Living Options Devon, Ground Floor Units 3-4, Cranmere Court, Lustleigh Close, Matford Business Park, Exeter EX2 8PW