Would you like to make a positive difference to someone’s life?
Could you help another woman regain confidence in herself so she can do everyday things, like going to the shops or joining an evening class? Are you a good listener? If so, you could be a befriending volunteer. Most women who receive befriending are isolated and need help to improve the quality of their lives by establishing new interests and broadening their social networks. Befrienders are matched with women who are experiencing mental health issues and who’ve experienced rape and sexual abuse. You would need to commit to a minimum 3 hour session each week for one year and attend monthly supervision meetings.
To find out more about what is involved and what we offer to our Befriending Volunteers please click below:
Volunteer Service Coordinator
Bristol and South Gloucestershire
Up to 3 hours per week during weekdays (There are some limited opportunities for volunteering during evenings and weekends)
Womankind is an established charity that is run by women for women. We provide a range of confidential and accessible services in Bristol and the surrounding area. We help hundreds of women every year to improve their mental health and well-being so they can experience a better quality of life.
Womankind’s befriending service provides consistent support to women who are experiencing mental health issues and social isolation. Women may have faced difficulties including childhood abuse, trauma, sexual and domestic abuse, rape and sexual violence. Befrienders help women to gain in confidence and self-esteem and to alleviate isolation by building up their social support networks and engage in community activities.
What will I be doing in this befriending role?
- Providing practical and emotional support. This involves offering non-judgemental listening support and helping a woman achieve her goals and become more independent.
- Offering ordinary friendship and promoting positive and healthy relationships.
- Getting out and about to do everyday things such as going for a walk, having a coffee, looking around the shops or doing an exercise or art class.
- Supporting and gently encouraging women to make changes to improve their lives.
What experience do I need?
Womankind provides comprehensive training and supervision, but it’s helpful if you have some of the following skills and qualities:
- To be non-judgmental, reliable and patient.
- To be a good listener.
- To be enthusiastic and interested in helping someone regain confidence in doing everyday things, such as going to the shops or joining an activity class.
- To be honest and friendly with good communication skills.
- To be confident in social situations.
- To have the ability to calmly respond to the needs of the woman you are befriending, including managing a crisis situation.
What commitment do I need to give?
- To volunteer for at least one year once you are matched.
- A willingness to travel anywhere in the South Gloucestershire or Bristol area and to factor in travel times added to you weekly or fortnightly commitment.
- To attend and complete all sessions of the Befriending Volunteering Training Programme.
- To attend monthly supervision. Group supervision is held at our offices in Brunswick Court, central Bristol from 7pm to 8.30pm on the second or third Monday of every month. Individual supervision can be arranged as necessary.
- To adhere to Womankind’s guidelines, policies and procedures including Safeguarding, Equalities and Confidentiality policies.
What you will gain as a volunteer
- A rewarding experience and opportunity to make a positive difference.
- Comprehensive in-house training that will enable you to develop new skills and broaden your knowledge.
- Out of pocket expenses. We reimburse travel and any parking expenses for your befriending visits and carers/childcare expenses if applicable. Expenses are claimed on a monthly basis.
- Support and supervision
- On-going training and opportunities for personal development and progression.
- Valuable experience of providing face to face support in a mental health setting.
- The chance to meet new people and attend volunteer social events.
What to do next:
Please complete all sections of the application pack and email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or return by post to Womankind, 3rd Floor, Brunswick Court, Brunswick Square, Bristol, BS2 8PE
If you would like help with completing your application, or have any questions about the role please leave a message for Nicola on 0117 616 6461 and she will contact you.
We welcome volunteers with lived experience of mental health and other relevant issues, although we require you to have had a period of stability of at least one year before taking on this role.