Almost all of our services are supported by our valued volunteers - we simply couldn't survive without them
Our Volunteers come from all walks of life...
Nearly all of our services are supported by our valued volunteers. We simply could not survive without them. Our volunteers work as: Appropriate Adults, Independent Visitors, Money Advisers, Housing Advisers, Trustees, Mentors and more – take a look at some of the ways in which you could be involved. Our volunteers come from all walks of life: young people, old people, employed, unemployed, retired: In return we offer free, regular training, forums, events and support. All volunteers must undergo certain training before they can work in the field and they shadow more experienced volunteers for a period too. Our volunteers tell us that they gain the following: Retired people: get to use their experience, keep up to date, meet new people and learn new skills; Jobseekers and those between jobs: learn new skills, gain experience valuable for their CV, meet new people and choose their own hours; Mums/dads with children at school/college/university: learn new skills, meet new people, keep up to date, give something back; Students: Gain valuable experience to accompany their studies, learn new skills, meet new people; Full-time employed people: choose their own hours around their job, meet new people, learn new skills Volunteering is flexible too – you decide how much time you can afford to give us each week or each month. After training and all appropriate checks, you will be added to our rota according to the days/times you can offer.
Our Trustees have independent control over, and legal responsibility for, ACT’s management and administration. They play a very important role and come from diverse backgrounds, each bringing with them different skills and experiences from their varying careers. Anglia Care Trust is governed by our board of Trustees who meet at least four times a year. As well as the main Board, we have three board committees who meet on a quarterly basis: Governance, Finance, Human Resources Our Trustees are a diverse group of people who understand, support, and are committed to ACT’s charitable objectives. They represent a range of skills and experience, drawn from different walks of life, enabling them, as “critical friends,” to take a close interest in ACT’s work, to contribute ideas, to make judgments, to offer constructive criticism and to help ACT establish its vision. In addition to attending the committees and board meetings, our Trustees attend our service user forums which are held at least 6 times a year. It is at these meetings that our service users can inform the board of their view on current and future services, ensuring their views are heard at board level and inform and influence the strategic direction of the charity. Our Trustees also attend staff and volunteer events to keep up to date with the team. Our Trustees are elected and are subject to ACT’s safeguarding procedures, including the obtaining of an enhanced disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service. Our Trustees tell us their role is rewarding for many reasons – from making a difference to the charity by using their time, skills, knowledge and abilities, to gaining new experiences and making new relationships.
Appropriate Adults attend police stations or investigation centres and support vulnerable people – juveniles or people with mental health issues - whilst in custody. The role of an Appropriate Adult is to: Advise detainees of their rights and ensure those rights are being upheld; Observe the interview to ensure it is being conducted fairly – intervening if necessary; Facilitate good communication between all parties; Ensure welfare needs are being met and that detainees are safeguarded whilst in police custody As an Appropriate Adult, you will be ‘on call’ in four-hour shifts (minimum one shift per month). ACT coordinates the Appropriate Adult service across Suffolk and Norfolk and our team will phone the person on call when the police have apprehended a vulnerable person and need support with each aspect of the custody process. Our volunteers tell us that being an Appropriate Adult is a very rewarding role and helps them to understand the way in which the police service operates and how the medical team and other supporting agencies work together.
Independent Visitors are allocated to young people in care – they provide support and a listening ear and engage with young people whilst doing an activity that they both enjoy. All young people are offered an Independent Visitor – someone that they can talk to whilst having fun. As an Independent Visitor your role is to: Engage with a young person on a regular, long-term basis; Be a listener – give the young person someone to talk to - someone who is not part of their professional care team; Provide a fun activity. Find something that the young person enjoys doing and do it with them. After training and checks, you will be matched with a young person in care and you’ll make arrangements to meet them and to discuss the things that they enjoy doing. You may do the same thing once every month for a few hours; you may decide to do something different more regularly – it’s a flexible role and one that is suited both to you and to the young person. Our Independent Visitors tell us that they enjoy their regular visits with their young people and that they find it rewarding to know that they’re providing some respite, some ‘no-pressure’ fun.
Mentors provide one-to-one support and guidance to vulnerable people across different areas – particularly young people. The aim of a Mentor is to: Reduce offending and/or anti-social behaviour through involvement in positive activities; Raise awareness to the consequences of risk taking behaviours; Build the resilience of and provide support to vulnerable individuals (reducing the risk of exposure to abusive situations and improving life chances); Reduce the gap between disadvantaged young people and their peers by funding sustainable activities; Support individuals to develop positive relationships. Mentoring support is usually a set period of visits for a young person. As with all volunteering opportunities with ACT, you tell us how much time you can offer; we provide you with training and support and work around you to find a suitable person or family to Mentor. Our volunteer Mentors tell us that this role is rewarding as they can see the difference that they make to the lives of the vulnerable people that they work with.
Money & Employment Advisers
Many of our volunteer Money Advisers are retired people from that field, or people actively working in accountancy or management/directorship of businesses and who want to give something back. Providing money advice to our service users is invaluable and crosses through into many of the other services that we provide. Our money advice works on 3 levels: Delivery of high level case work, directly supporting individuals and families with significant money advice/debt concerns; Raising awareness of money/debt issues and their impact, enabling people to take positive action; Building on the guidance given and offering mentoring support to help people embed financial learning, in their own home After training and checks, you tell us how much time you can offer as a volunteer Money Adviser and we’ll work around you to arrange appointments. Our volunteer Advisers tell us that they find this role rewarding – providing advice to those in need is a way of giving something back to the community.
Domestic Abuse Outreach Support
Our Family Support Volunteers work with families who have been victims of domestic abuse, in order to help them rebuild their lives. Some families may require some basic advice to help them get back on their feet, others may require some longer term support. Guided by the Domestic Abuse Intensive Support Officers, our Family Support Volunteers are involved in each aspect of the service. Working alongside our Support Officers, the Family Support Volunteer guides or else directly helps the family with agreed tasks, building confidence and resilience within the family and, in doing so, helps the family reflect upon the progress being made. Main tasks of our Family Support Volunteers are: Supporting practitioners to provide the service, as part of an agreed action plan; Maintaining accurate and timely records; Empowering individuals and families to make positive choices After training and checks, you tell us how much time you can offer as a volunteer, and we’ll work around you to arrange appointments. We require a commitment of 7.5 hours (1 day per week) for this role. Our volunteers tell us that they find this role extremely rewarding.