Voluntary, direct expenses paid
Job description

Role Title: Telephone Support Volunteer

Weekly Hours: 4-8 hours per week (minimum of 4 hours)

Expenses: expenses are compensated where applicable such as travel

Commitment: until the end of December 2020

Positions available: 4x

Responsible to: the Telephone Support Coordinator


Project overview:

Mind in Kingston is a local charity that supports people with mental health issues, and campaigns to raise awareness about mental health in Kingston and surrounding areas. We are affiliated to National Mind but operate independently in the Borough of Kingston upon Thames.

The Telephone Support Service is a short-term project designed to provide targeted relief to people at risk of loneliness and isolation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The project is funded by the DCMS (Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) via Mind, the national charity, and is part of a wider research into the impact of Covid-19 on loneliness.

The project aims to expand our existing telephone support service by providing telephone support to around 80 service users, to offer empathetic listening, support, advice and information where appropriate, and to refer people to other services as needed.

Volunteers are extremely valued within our team and a vital part of our service delivery. We encourage and welcome people with lived experience of mental health issues to apply to volunteer with us; this could be personal experience relating to yourself, a family member or a friend; or in a professional capacity working with people with mental health issues.

We care about your wellbeing and as part of an integral member of our team, you will receive extensive support when recruited to ensure you are trained and skilled up in your role that you may take further in your career aspirations. You will receive regular supervision and development opportunities as well as be part of our volunteer awards programme to recognise and celebrate your achievements and contribution to our community. As a team member, you will have the opportunity to engage with the board of trustees, staff and other volunteers both professionally and socially.

This project requires careful monitoring and evaluation using tailored (by Mind) measuring tools to monitor the progress of participants of the project. These tools are based on the following:

  • Wellbeing (Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale)
  • Social connection (Social Provisions Scale – SPS-10)
  • Three-item UCLA Loneliness scale (recommended by the ONS)

The programme’s evaluators may request qualitative interviews with:

  • Service users to better understand the impact attending services has had on mental health outcomes and recommendations for service improvements.
  • Local Mind practitioners to understand the barriers/facilitators to implementation, including recommendations for improvement.

Main purpose of the role:

  • To provide short-term telephone, email or text support to service users.
  • To build a supportive relationship with the service users.
  • To provide empathetic listening and emotional support.
  • To provide advice and information about local services.
  • To signpost service users to appropriate services where necessary.
  • To promote emotional and physical wellbeing to service users.
  • To be a bridge between isolation and social connection.
  • To collect research data from service users.

Tasks will include:

  • Phone, email or text service users as appropriate and described above.
  • To research and learn about local services for information.
  • To send links to the online data collection form and ensure that service users fill them in. Support service users to do this if necessary.
  • To fill in the Mind in Kingston enquiry sheets.
  • To record a summary of your phone session with service users.
  • To raise safeguarding concerns with your supervisor if necessary.
  • To fill in safeguarding forms if needed.
  • To keep regular contact with your supervisor via phone, email and Zoom or Teams.
  • To attend meetings and supervision on a regular basis.

What you will receive in return:

  • Training in providing remote support and telephone skills including mental health awareness and boundaries.
  • Training in adult safeguarding and local procedures.
  • Training in health & safety, and lone working.
  • Training for any other skills as identified necessary by yourself and your supervisor.
  • Regular check-in with your supervisor, and monthly clinical and managerial supervision.
  • A laptop and mobile phone for the duration of your volunteering with us.
  • An opportunity to learn new skills and cultivate existing ones while being a part of a lively and supportive team of people at Mind in Kingston.
  • References upon completing your volunteering with us.

What we expect from you:

  • Attend and complete training as directed.
  • Adhere to our policies and procedures, particularly confidentiality, data protection and health and safety.
  • You will need to be confident in dealing with people with mental health issues and be able to offer empathic listening.
  • You need to be able to deal with stressful phone calls in a calm and robust manner.
  • You need to be pro-active in seeking support from your supervisor if needed.
  • You will need to take responsibility for the IT equipment you receive and return them promptly after your volunteering ends.

Please, note that our team is currently working from home and you will also be volunteering from your own home. It is important that you have your own space where you can do this from due to the nature of the conversation you may have with the service users allocated to you. We will provide you with a laptop and a mobile phone as mentioned above for the duration of your volunteering with us, and pay some expenses directly relevant to your role.

We will ask you for two references, one of which must come from a professional connection such as a current or previous employer or a tutor. You will also need to undergo a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, as you will be working with vulnerable adults.

Please apply by completing an application form and email to Edit Biro-Hannah with your current CV. Find more details in the Role Description. 

Posted on: 25 September 2020
Closed date: 19 October 2020
Tags: Advice, Information, Support Worker

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.