Volunteering with Thurrock Mind
Volunteers are a very important asset to Thurrock Mind, and we could not deliver many of our services without their input. We hope this information helps you decide whether you would like to be a Thurrock Mind volunteer and how you may wish to use your skills, experience and enthusiasm.
I am considering volunteering, so do you have any helpful hints for me?
Voluntary work can be fun, tiring and worthwhile and you may find volunteering with people with mental health problems challenging at times but mostly rewarding. If you are new to volunteering you may find it helpful to bear in mind the following:
- It is a good idea to begin voluntary work on a small scale and increase it gradually rather than find you have taken on too much and have to withdraw
- In some voluntary posts other people will rely on you. If you have made arrangements to participate in your voluntary work and cannot make it, please try and let us know
- If you are participating in activities but you are not happy in that situation, please let the Manager know rather than give up you voluntary work
- Make sure that you know the name and telephone number of the Manager
What can I expect if I become a volunteer with Thurrock Mind?
You can expect from us to:
- Be treated with respect
- Receive appropriate training to prepare you for the task, to enhance your personal skills and to increase your knowledge
- Know who to turn to with problems or difficulties
- Be safe whilst carrying out your voluntary duties
- Receive regular and constructive feedback on performance
- Receive ongoing support in your role as a volunteer
- Agree a clearly written expectation of commitment and task activities
- Be trusted with confidential information if it is necessary in order to carry out your work
- Be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses incurred in your volunteer role
- Be protected by the relevant insurance cover
- Challenge racists, sexist or other defamatory remarks to say NO!
Thurrock Mind will expect from you that you:
- Are reliable and committed
- Agree to Thurrock MIND’s policy on volunteering
- Work to Thurrock MIND’s Code of Practice for Paid and Unpaid workers
- Respect confidentiality
- Are non-judgmental in your support for service users and with other volunteers
- Carry out the agreed tasks
- Give feedback on your work, communicating relevant and important information
- Take advantage of opportunities for further training to provide background information and enhance your skills
- Are accountable to the Project Manager and to accept evaluation of your work
- Ask for support and advice when it is needed and to attend support and supervision sessions arranged for you
- Are guided by Thurrock MIND’s policies and procedures in your work for the organisation
- Discuss any problems with the Project Manager
What sort of things can I do as a volunteer?
We have a number of different services where volunteers are involved:
Volunteering with Day Services
This service supports people with mental health problems to become more engaged in their communities to cut down on social isolation. Volunteers can assist in a variety of ways – they may help motivate people to move forward by supporting them in the community or they may have an interest of their own they would like to share and that can be adapted into an activity within the Drop In. To find out more speak to the Day Services Manager on 01375 380233 or contact us and then complete and return the Volunteer Application Form (PDF).
Volunteering with the Befriending Scheme
This service was established in 1997 and recruits and trains volunteers from the local community to provide friendship and social support to people who may be lonely and isolated in the community due to mental health problems. The scheme has grown tremendously over the past few years and now has around 50 volunteers. The Joint Friendship group arranges regular community activities such as trips to the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend, wildlife rambles, pub lunches or picnics, and all volunteers receive a regular monthly newsletter. Volunteers also hold fortnightly coffee mornings in the community for people who are waiting for a volunteer befriender which we find helps ease the wait for a befriender. Our newest initiative involving volunteers is the Telephone Befriending Service, supporting people who are waiting to be introduced to a volunteer befriender. To find out more speak to the Day Services Manager on 01375 380233 or contact us and then complete and return the Volunteer Application Form (PDF).
Volunteering with the Stepping Stones Employment Project
Our vision is to provide a ‘stepping stone’ towards employment for people up to the age of 65 years who have suffered mental health problems. This is achieved by providing an opportunity for people to explore their own abilities in a supportive workplace style setting environment. We operate as a social enterprise selling plants from the project nursery and offering gardening services to the local community. Stepping Stones welcomes volunteers, whether they have any horticultural skills or not as training will be provided. Volunteers support Trainees within small groups or individually in the horticulture unit, allotment site, nursery or working on the community gardening service. How much a volunteer gives to Stepping Stones varies, although ideally either a morning, afternoon, or full day allows sufficient time for the completion of a task. To find out more speak to the Stepping Stones Manager on 01375 389780 or contact us and then complete and return the Volunteer Application Form (PDF).
Volunteering with Counselling and Groupwork Service
Most people throughout their lifetime experience some form of emotional or mental distress, which has the potential to spiral out of control without some form of additional support or help. It might be that life events are becoming too difficult to hold, and that you need someone to talk to that isn’t going to judge you or give you their own perspective or benefit of experience. The counselling and groupwork service at Thurrock Mind offers individual counselling and/or groupwork opportunities such as assertiveness training, stress/anxiety management, anger management or relaxation. Our counselling team is made up of 30 or more professionally trained counsellors, both men and women, and operates 6 days a week from Monday to Saturday. Both daytime and evening appointments are available. If you are working towards a diploma or degree in counselling or psychotherapy, and would like to put your name on our waiting list for a voluntary work placement with Thurrock Mind, or you have a recognised qualification in counselling or groupwork and would like to offer some time to the project, please contact myself or our reception staff either directly on 01375 391411 or complete our Contact Us form and then complete and return the Volunteer Application Form (PDF).
Do I have to attend training before I can become a volunteer?
Yes, all volunteers participate in the Organisation’s Core Volunteer Training Course, with additional training linked to the area of volunteering that the individual is participating in. We may also be able to support you with other training relevant to your volunteer role.
- Introductory session – Thurrock Mind and the different projects
- Listening Skills, Communication and Policies
- First Aid
- The Role of the Volunteer
- Mental Health Workshop
- Health & Safety / Personal Safety
Protection of Vulnerable Adults
We arrange for all volunteers to attend the Safeguarding Adults Foundation Training delivered by Thurrock Council. All volunteers will be required to complete a Criminal Records Bureau check, which will be arranged by Thurrock Mind.