Grow seeks Volunteer Mentors for Walk and Talk Programme

Written by Grow

Grow is a youth development charity that works with vulnerable and disadvantaged young people based in Sheffield. Many of the young people we work with face mental health difficulties that have resulted in social isolation and a lack of engagement in work or training prospects.

Our Walk and Talk project is an exciting new programme, launched in response to Covid 19 as we recognise for many this has been an incredibly isolating time. We aim to continue to offer support to young people whilst observing socially distanced guidelines with accompanied short walks, in a local green space with a volunteer.

Overall purpose of the role

To be part of a team of volunteers to deliver the GROW Walk and Talk programme.

The volunteer will use their skills to encourage positive conversation to promote wellbeing and reduce feelings of isolation with a regular walk. The aim will be to support the young person to transition towards work, training, further education or signing up for the main Grow Programme (in Jan 2021) or for Grow weekly drop-in sessions at Holly Hagg Farm.

Volunteers in this role will report to Steven Cotton, Managing Director and Founder of Grow.
How you can support the walk and talk project (tasks and activitiesMeet with a young person registered on our project, at their home and walk in a local park, green space or as close to a nature setting as possible. The walks should last approximately 45 minutes but will depend on the ability of the young person.

Chat as you walk with the young person about their life, current situation, hopes and aspirations for the future.

Expected outcomes include; building confidence, promoting wellbeing, reducing isolation and to start helping the young person develop employability skills.

The programme will run for 8 weeks and walks should take place weekly.

Start date will vary depending on when the young person is referred but this will be from the 14th September 2020

We are looking for volunteers who can commit to the full 8 week programme.

Skills and qualities

Experience of either coaching, mentoring, or working with young and or vulnerable people is an essential requirement. We ask all volunteers to complete training with us prior to beginning the volunteer role. This means you will be able to find out more about GROW and have an opportunity to think through situations that you may face whilst volunteering and identify ways to deal with them in line with our policies and procedures.

All volunteers will also receive training in basic coaching skills and safeguarding training
You will need to have good communication skills to be able to ask questions to promote positive conversation in situations where the young person may find this a difficult thing to do. Excellent listening skills and being supportive are key, the aim is to coach not counsel.

Volunteers will be expected to comply with GROW policies and national and local guidelines regarding Covid 19.

How we can support you

We will offer ongoing support with our programme coordinator, with planned check-ins during the 8 week period. We will also undertake a debrief at the end of the programme so we can capture your experience of volunteering with us to seek improvements and identify the outcomes from your coaching sessions.

We can supply confirmation of your participation in the programme to support any studies being undertaken.

Reasonable travel expenses will be paid in line with our expenses policy.

Locations

The participants on the Walk and Talk programme will be drawn from across Sheffield.Where possible, we will try to match you with someone within an easy travel range.

Disclosure and Barring Service

Acceptance as a volunteer is subject to a satisfactory enhanced DBS check. If you have signed up for the DBS update service we can check your certificate is up to date online.

All volunteers are required to provide details of a referee.

Application process

If you are interested in applying for this role, please complete our application form. We will be conducting short telephone interviews with each candidate as part of our volunteer recruitment process.

Completed application forms must be send to steven.cotton@growuk.org

Closing date

12 noon Friday 18 September 2020