Volunteer with us
Join us as a Volunteer Facilitator
We are currently recruiting new volunteer facilitators for a brand new peer support group in North Shields, which will start in August. The new peer support group will meet every Wednesday morning, 11am - 12.30pm at Meadow Well Connected Community Centre, Waterville Road, North Shields, NE29 6BA - so applicants would need to be available at this time. The Training Day takes place on Saturday 2nd July, 9.45am - 4pm at the Copthorne Hotel, The Close, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3RT, and applications are now open. The closing date for applications is 21st June 2022.
We are also accepting applications for our existing groups in Gateshead, Whitley Bay and Sunderland. The Training Day takes place on Saturday 2nd July (details in the paragraph above) and the closing date for application is 21st June 2022. Apply for these posts here
The training to become a Facilitator includes input around depression and how it might present in those who attend the group from a mental health professional. We practise skills used by volunteer facilitators in the group. There's role play of a peer support group scenario. We share information about how PeerTalk came to be, and we consider some of PeerTalk's policies and procedures. The volunteer's expected commitment and ongoing support is outlined. Plenty of interesting discussion along the way. And lunch is provided. We will reimburse your travel costs for the day.
Our volunteer facilitators do not need to have any experience in counselling or in mental health - we don't offer advice to the attendees at the support group. Instead, facilitators enable attendees to share and support each other, as it's peer to peer support, and we do this by facilitating the meeting using active listening skills.
Volunteer Support Group Facilitator Role
PeerTalk Support Groups are for individuals who experience depression, anxiety or similar distress.
The Support Group meetings are facilitated by two Volunteer Facilitators who receive initial and ongoing training from PeerTalk.
All volunteers adhere to PeerTalk’s ethos, policies and procedures.
The Facilitators work on a rota basis (usually at the same venue, same day/time of the week) usually for three consecutive weeks per quarter and are supported by, and report to the Support Group Coordinator.
Facilitator duties at the meeting
- To arrive 20 minutes prior to the Support Group meeting time.
- To prepare the room for the meeting
- To engage in pre brief with co facilitator.
- To meet and greet new and regular attendees.
- To check that new people are at the right meeting and to introduce them to the rest of the group.
- To begin and close the meeting punctually.
- To facilitate the meeting according to the training given.
- To debrief with the other Facilitator after closing the meeting.
- To complete attendance statistics on a weekly basis.
- To keep a record and receipts of expenses incurred in your role as a Support Group Facilitator and to send your completed expenses form to the PeerTalk office.
- To ensure the meeting room is left as you found it.
The minimum volunteer time commitment with the support group is 18 months, following the initial training. Additionally, we invite our volunteers to attend a meeting every 8 weeks for mutual support and to receive ongoing training. We may offer other training opportunities, which will be optional.
Our volunteer facilitators do not volunteer every single week. They volunteer on a rota basis, and the requirement is to facilitate for approximately 3 sessions in every 12 week rota. The rotas are produced every 3 months. Volunteers are asked for their availability in the 12 week period and we work as closely as we can with this.
The sustainability of a PeerTalk Support Group depends on the commitment, personal qualities and enthusiasm of the people who volunteer as Facilitators. These personal qualities include:
- Being a good listener.
- Being able to show compassion and empathy.
- Being non judgemental.
- Having common sense.
- Having a strong sense of commitment.
- Being able to present balanced viewpoints.
- Having a willingness to learn.
- Having a sense of humour.
- Being able to keep a confidence.
- Having good communication skills.
- Being respectful of others.
- Having enthusiasm for this area of mental health and for the work of PeerTalk.
- Being a good team player.
- Being a person of integrity.
All Support Group Facilitators will undertake a DBS check and have an appropriate awareness of safeguarding issues related to fulfilling the role.
Creating a space where people feel accepted and valued is one of the core tasks of the PeerTalk Support Group Facilitator.
- There is an initial training day for Support Group Facilitators, followed by some online preparation.
- Volunteers are introduced to the requirements of the role in terms of commitment and expectations.
- Various characteristics of depression, anxiety and related mental health conditions are explained.
- The skills of facilitating a group are introduced and practised through role play.
- The policies and procedures of PeerTalk are explained.
To apply, please click here