Volunteering at Action in Mind
Volunteering is at the very heart of Action in Mind. We have a longstanding tradition of recruiting, training and supporting volunteers in different roles across the charity.
It is our ambition to ensure that everyone who donates their free time to us feels trusted and valued. It is important to us that volunteers have a positive volunteering experience and ultimately feel proud to be part of Action in Mind.
As a volunteer of Action in Mind, you become part of the Collective AiM, our mental health supporter scheme. By working together we can create communities that are better informed and supportive of mental health which will lead to making a positive difference to people who are affected by mental health difficulties.
Our volunteers give their time to a number of our client-facing services within the charity including Adult Befriending and the Hub Centre. We also have volunteers who support our corporate team by donating their time as administrators, fundraisers and by joining our Board of Trustees.
“I enjoy volunteering because helping people gives me a lot of satisfaction and I get to know lots of nice people. I feel I make a difference when I am able to help them with their problems. It gives me great pleasure to be part of Action in Mind.”
Marie, Support Volunteer (Hub Centre) and Adult Befriender.
Our general opportunities are available below. However to see our most current opportunities as of April 2021, please check the Volunteer Opportunities page.
If you know which one you’d like to apply for, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you out an application pack.
Our Adult Befrienders provide 1:1 social support to an individual aged 18 or over with a mental health diagnosis. We would expect you to be able to donate 2 hours per week of your time over a period of 12 months.
New Trustees for our Board of Directors
Our Trustees oversee the strategy, direction and aims of the charity.
We are particularly interested in individuals with the following skills and/or experience:
- A fundraiser with experience of income generation amongst corporates, trusts, foundations, high-net-worth individuals and events. Someone that can help develop a fundraising strategy and advise key staff on developing effective approaches to successful bid submissions.
- An individual with HR experience that can support the organisation to develop effective policies and procedures around fair working and remote working alongside appropriate HR systems that streamline and refine our business leading to organisational effectiveness.
We hold two main volunteer recruitment drives per year, March (for a July training course) and September (for a November training course). These are primarily geared towards recruiting new support volunteers for our Adult Befriending service and the Hub Centre, but we welcome interest throughout the year from anyone who is considering volunteering in any role within the charity.
To volunteer within our support services we require volunteers to be aged 18 and over. And we are looking for a minimum of a one year commitment.
Volunteering offers a good basis of experience for people interested in working in health and social care. Some volunteers have gone on to study medicine or postgraduate psychology degrees and to work in social and residential care.
If you want to discuss volunteering opportunities at Action in Mind you can contact us by telephone on 01786 451203 or by email at email@example.com.
How to Apply
There are a number of steps that all interested parties are invited to take when they make an enquiry about volunteering with us. These include:
- Informal Meeting –people expressing an interested in befriending or becoming a volunteer within the Hub Centre are invited to attend a Volunteering with AiM information evening. These informal events help people learn more about our charity and the volunteering roles they can get involved in. It’s also an opportunity to meet others also interested in volunteering and our volunteer management team.
- Volunteer Application Pack – following attendance at their informal meeting, interested volunteers are asked to complete and submit a full application prior to their formal interview.
- Formal Interview – this will be conducted by two members of staff who manage the volunteer delivered services. Responses are recorded in writing to assist with our selection decisions.
- Notification – We notify all volunteer applicants of the outcome of the formal interview.
- Successful applicants – are invited to take part in the next training course, references are sought and any individuals who are not PVG members (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) will be required to apply (we can help with this). If already a member of the PVG scheme we will request an updated record.
Action in Mind has a policy of disclosure checking all staff and volunteers, including the board of trustees, when engaging with any of our activities, whether or not they directly involve children or protected adults.
This means that staff and volunteers, working directly in what the Vulnerable Groups (PVG) (Scotland) Act 2017 refers to as Regulated Work with Children or Protected Adults are required to be a member of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG Scheme). Regulated work is the term used by the PVG Act to define the type of work which barred individuals must not do.
For staff and volunteers not directly working with children or protected adults, we require an Enhanced Disclosure.
The core volunteer training is mandatory for all new volunteers planning to work in the befriending or support services.
The training programme usually delivered over a three week period, consisting of three, three hour sessions. This is followed by an induction to the specific service that the individual wishes to volunteer in.
Volunteers are also mandated to complete adult and child protection training which is made available to us on a periodic basis. There may also be opportunities to undertake ASIST training and Scottish Mental Health First Aid.
Volunteer training is managed over a number of evenings.
The Core Volunteer Programme
It aims to:
- prepare people for becoming a befriender or service volunteer at Action in Mind
- to give opportunity for prospective volunteers to meet each other and get to know the service managers for befriending and the Hub Centre services
- provide staff with an opportunity to assess each applicant’s suitability for befriending and the Hub Centre
- recruit and place people in the best suited service, by mutual agreement.
- an exploration of befrienders/volunteers motivations, expectations, hopes and fears
- attitudes and values - prejudices and discrimination /equal opportunities/stigma & discrimination
- mental health awareness/local services
- safeguarding (adults, children and young people)
- communication and listening skills
- helpful relationships
- relationship beginnings and endings
- personal development / self-reflection
- roles and responsibilities
- befrienders/volunteers support & supervision
- policies and procedures e.g. Confidentiality, Health & Safety, Lone Working, Emergency Procedures, Complaints/Grievance Policy, Travel & Expenses, etc.
All volunteers receive copies of the Volunteer Charter and the Volunteer Handbook.
Volunteer Support Meetings
Volunteers are provided with regular support meetings with their service manager. Each session is between 30-45 minutes.
These sessions provide dedicated time to discuss and monitor volunteer activities and it is the volunteer’s opportunity to raise any concerns they may have, or discuss where they feel they might need more support or additional training.
Support is also available from AiM out with these meetings and befrienders are issued with Emergency ‘Out of Hours’ Contact Numbers, should emergency support be required outside office hours.
Volunteer Social Events
Our experience of volunteer management shows us how important it is to our volunteers to meet each other at social events. It’s an opportunity to share their volunteering experiences and to make new friends. We have social events on a quarterly basis.
We are pleased to offer volunteers references for applications to do training courses or to pursue higher education, or employment opportunities. We do however require a minimum of six months continuous volunteering to qualify for a reference.
The Volunteer handbook is designed to offer general guidance on our volunteer programmes and what you can expect from Action in Mind. It contains supplementary information about specific volunteering opportunities, setting out job roles and tasks but also some ‘essentials’ for volunteers to think about.
The Volunteer Handbook can be downloaded from Information & Publications/Volunteer Handbook.