When: At least one day per week (Monday-Friday)
Role reports to: Project Coordinator
You will contribute to ending homelessness by
Supporting people who are experiencing homelessness to review their health needs and access healthcare.
As this is a peer support service, personal experience of homelessness is essential. By homelessness we mean: rough sleeping, staying with friends, living in hostels or other forms of temporary accommodation, living in asylum support accommodation, squatting or any other form of unstable accommodation. We regret that we cannot accept applications from applicants without personal experience.
As a Peer Advocate, you will phone and meet clients regularly to help them monitor their health and wellbeing. You will support people to register with health services, book and attend appointments. You will support clients to communicate with health professionals, ensuring their needs and wishes are understood. You may also advise clients about their rights and signpost them to specialist support organisations.
As a volunteer, you will receive training in health advocacy, boundaries, confidentiality and difficult conversations from our partner Groundswell, a leading charity working with people with lived experience. You will be supported by the local #HealthNow Coordinator who will allocate individuals accessing the service directly to you.
*If you are successful in applying for this role, you will need to attend 6 days training on 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 27th, 28th June. Please make sure you would be free to attend this course*
- People with lived experience of homelessness
- Good listening skills and the ability to respond to information provided
- Non-judgmental, patient and friendly
- Good time-keeping and reliability
- The ability to record information in a simple form
- Previous volunteering or work experience, ideally in a peer support role
- We are particularly looking for volunteers with an understanding of addiction. You may be in recovery or have helped someone through their journey.
- Availability to volunteer flexible hours to support clients when they have appointments.
- Experience and training in homeless health advocacy with a leading national charity working with people experiencing homelessness
- The opportunity to use your lived experience of homelessness to help develop trusting relationships with people experiencing homelessness
- Regular 1:1s with your supervisor, reflective practice sessions and progression support
- The opportunity to meet other volunteers
- A phone and tablet for dedicated health advocacy contact with credit
- A reference from a reputable organisation
- You will act as an advocate for clients, supporting them to explore their health needs and access appropriate care and support.
- Support may be provided over the phone or in person, depending on COVID restrictions.
- You may phone clients regularly to help them monitor their health and wellbeing.
- You may support clients to register with GPs and book appointments.
- You may support clients to communicate with other health services, such as pharmacies or mental health teams.
- You may advise people about their rights and signpost them to specialist support organisations.
- You may accompany clients to appointments and support them to communicate their needs.
- You will update your supervisor after each session and report any information/advice/guidance that has been requested.
- You will report any concerns about safety.
This role requires an enhanced DBS check but having a previous criminal record is not a barrier to volunteering. Similarly, some people may struggle to provide identity documents for DBS checks – this should not be a barrier to volunteering.
We expect volunteers to comply with Crisis policies including health and safety, data protection and code of conduct at all times.
- Travel and lunch expenses are reimbursed where appropriate
- We welcome applications from people from all backgrounds and from people with disabilities