Homeless Health Peer Advocate

Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

When: to be confirmed

Role reports to: Project Coordinator

You will contribute to ending homelessness by

Health and homelessness are linked.  Health outcomes for people who are experiencing homelessness are very poor for a range of reasons.  This role will help people experiencing homelessness to get access to the healthcare they need.  

As a Peer Health Advocate, you could help a client to make an appointment with a healthcare service and support them to plan what they want to say when they are there.  This might mean going with them to that appointment or providing support over the phone or by video conferencing.  It could include helping the client to find information on their healthcare, understanding letters and information they receive, and even helping to remind people of appointments.  Generally, most of our support is provided face to face.  

Sometimes you may meet a client for a one of appointment, sometimes you might be working with a client over several weeks or months, depending upon their health needs.  

As a volunteer, you will receive training from our partner in the #HealthNow Project, Groundswell, a leading Charity working with people with lived experience of homelessness, in health advocacy, boundaries, confidentiality and difficult conversations.  You will also get training on coaching skills for advocates.  We carry out further bite-sized training sessions on health-related subjects at least once a month.  

You will be supported by the local #HealthNow Coordinator and #HealthNow Peer Coordinator who will allocate individuals accessing the service directly to you.  

 

·         People with lived experience of homelessness

·         Previous volunteering or work experience, although this is not essential as you will be paired with more experiences volunteers whilst you learn

Friendly with good listening skills
Able to listen and respond to information provided
A positive, can-do attitude
Good timekeeping, and reliability
·         The ability to put information into a simple form or verbally if necessary, to the #HealthNow Coordinator and Peer Coordinator.

 

·         Experience 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 other people experiencing homelessness. 

·         Access to support as and when required including supervisions with your supervisor

·         The opportunity to meet new people and be part of a team

·         The equipment, like a phone, laptop, credit etc to help you in your role, together with out of pocket travel expenses, money for refreshments

·         References provided if required to potential employers if you are looking for work

·         Regular 121’s with your supervisor and opportunity to reflect on your input and role and ongoing training and development 

·         Arranging and committing to regular time each week to support clients to get help with their health needs.

·         Acting as an advocate for the client, preparing for and supporting with appointments, results, letters and helping them to speak up for themselves.

·         Updating your supervisor about calls to people experiencing homelessness and reporting any information/advice/guidance that has been requested 

·         Reporting any concerns about safety 

·         Informing your supervisor if you are not able to keep an appointment.  

This role would suit someone who has lived experience of homelessness who would like to work with other people who are currently experiencing homelessness.  It will suit someone who has at least a day a week they are able to commit during office hours.

 

You will be provided with training and support throughout the period and we would welcome feedback from volunteers on how we can improve and develop the service.  Any other out of pocket expenses will also be me, for example phones, credit, and laptop access.  

Training dates 

15 September 2021                                     What is advocacy/Induction 

14/15/18/19/20/21 October 2021         Advocacy Skills

22 October 2021                                     Graduation Day 

This is a great role for anyone who is interested in a role in homelessness, health or health and social care.  Several advocates have moved into full time employment.