Volunteer FAQs

 

Can I be an advocate?

Asist seeks to fully represent the community of Staffordshire and welcomes volunteer applications from individuals of all backgrounds, cultures and minority groups; it’s not qualifications that we’re looking for, its life experience, a caring personality and a commitment to supporting disempowered individuals to deal with the world on equal terms.

Potential volunteers will be invited for a meeting and complete an application form. Each volunteer will be asked for 2 character references, undergo training and a DBS check before being accepted as a volunteer. We undertake checks with the Disclosure and Barring Service for all volunteers as you may be supporting vulnerable adults. Having a criminal record will not be an automatic bar to volunteering with us, as only relevant convictions will be taken into account. We can provide a copy of our policy on recruiting ex-offenders upon request.

 

Do I need formal qualifications?

No. All we expect is that advocates have the confidence to speak up for others and to have awareness that many people are denied a say in their own affairs.
 

What commitment do I have to make?

The people we support will need to see their advocate during weekday office hours; apart from this we do not make a specific demand on people’s time. Some people have more time available than others. It is possible to be an effective advocate with just a few hours a week to spare but flexibility is essential.
 

Will it cost me money?

No. All volunteers will have their mileage, telephone calls and other agreed expenses reimbursed.

 

What training and support will I receive?

All volunteers undergo an initial induction process to establish whether or not they are in a position to volunteer as an advocate for ASIST.  This includes an informal interview, application statement, references and a DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service).
 
Once ASIST and the potential volunteer are happy that they are able to carry out the role, volunteers take part in a three day training programme, which includes an introduction to the advocacy role, guidance on how to carry out the role and information about relevant policies and procedures.  
Further to this as part of their induction volunteers are required to ‘shadow’ the work carried out by experienced advocates in a variety of circumstances to build their knowledge and experience of advocacy prior to working with an advocacy partner directly. 
 
Volunteers are offered relevant on-going training opportunities throughout their time with ASIST and are required to have monthly support and supervision from their volunteer coordinator. 
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