Volunteer Involvement: Last year, Optivo volunteers have helped reach out to over 800 older people who may be lonely or isolated. The volunteers made phone calls to check they are comfortable in their homes. This year, we will be building on that project. We will be recruiting and training a new team of volunteers who can help ensure that our old people are warm and happy in their homes and have access to support they need from their local community.
Why is this important?
Winter can be a difficult time for many older people as many may be struggling to keep warm in their homes, worried about energy bills and feeling isolated as they may have little or no contact with neighbours or friends. Age Uk research reveals that whilst many older people are worried about staying warm at home, many are unaware of the severe health implications of being cold.
In other research done by Royal Voluntary Service, it shows that 23% of older people are lonely; but when questioned about their neighbours, 5% admitted that they don’t want to bother them.
In response, Optivo would like to reach out to older people who are particularly frail, housebound or isolated (for all sorts of reasons, eg. bereavement, remote location, no family members, etc) and offer support where we can through Winter Heroes phone project.
About the Opportunity
Optivo Winter Hero scheme aims to support older residents who are isolated or housebound. The scheme will also help us to identify any additional support we can provide, e.g. repairs, issues with anti social behaviour, heating issues.
We require empathetic telephone befrienders with good listening skills and a genuine interest in supporting vulnerable adults. You do not need to have experience in this area, just a genuine willingness to help.
What does this role involve?
Each volunteer will be given a list of older people to call and a script to use to ask questions about the older person, their situation and any support needs. The volunteer will then talk them through available support and offer practical help in accessing the service they need, for example, following up repairs requests to maintenance team or referring the older people to community befriending projects.
The support package for older people will include:
- Winter benefits checks
- Handyperson help
- Follow-ups for repairs and maintenance requests
- Free giveaways and energy saving advice
- Links to community initiatives that can help curb isolation/loneliness
By the end of the programme, the older residents would have been contacted, and those who have extra support needs will be referred to relevant, in-depth and specialised community service and/or their repairs requests have been dealt with.
What volunteer qualities are suitable for this role?
- Able to express themselves very well and clearly on the phone
- Non judgemental and emphatic
- Engaging and sociable; enjoy chatting with people
- Organised and able to follow through with actions
- Accurate in recording and data entry
- Understands confidentiality and data protection policies
What support will the volunteers receive?
- Training – on telephone befriending and active listening
- Work Reference
- Travel cost reimbursement
- Lunch cost reimbursement (if volunteering for more than 4 hours)
- Induction, Supervision support and general support in developing skills
For further information please email email@example.com or ring 020 3202 0314
At Optivo our aim is to have a diverse and inclusive workforce where people are respected for who they are. We embrace and celebrate cultural diversity in the workplace and value the strengths it brings us as an organisation. We believe that everyone deserves to be treated with respect irrespective of age, caring responsibilities, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity/paternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. We treat everyone we house, serve, employ and work with fairly and expect and encourage others to do the same.
How to apply
Please apply online: http://bit.ly/2vkZKE7
If your application is successful, you will be required to attend an assessment day with Optivo volunteering team on 12th or 13th September 2017. Applicants who are offered a place will have to attend mandatory training on the 19th, 20th and 26th September 2017 - 10 - 4pm.
If you are unable to use the online process please contact firstname.lastname@example.org