How do I get involved in volunteering at Love Squared?
Firstly, thank you so much for wanting to get involved! We are so grateful to our amazing volunteer team who provide invaluable support to some of our most vulnerable children and families. The first step is completing a volunteer application form and returning it to Madddie, our lovely administrative assistant, at email@example.com.
What training will I receive as a volunteer?
We are so grateful to our volunteer team and want to ensure you feel as confident as possible while working with us and have the opportunity to grow and develop in your roles. Just to reassure you, you don’t need any formal training to get involved. Initial training includes internal safeguarding training, as well as project-based training e.g. therapeutic mentoring training or telephone support training. We also run ad-hoc training throughout the year. In previous years we’ve run developmental trauma training, youth mental health first aid and autism awareness training.
What project should I work on if I’m looking to build up confidence in a child-facing role?
There are still ways to get involved even if you don’t have much experience working with young people/families or in a support role or would like to build up experience! You can make a huge difference to a young person drawing on care, compassion, good listening and a genuine desire to help. However, for those who are a little nervous, we might recommend starting off in a group-helper role where you’ll usually have at least one or two other helpers and a group leader with you. Getting involved in groups can be a great way to observe and learn from other practitioners and youth workers.
Can I claim expenses on travel or activities?
This depends on the project however, we sadly can’t offer travel expenses to get you to your volunteer placement e.g. the Glow Hub or if you have to travel to a child’s house. Our volunteer mentors are provided an expenses budget so you can make the most of your sessions and time together. We are so grateful to our volunteers and don’t want you to be out of pocket where possible.
How many hours are involved per week?
This depends on the project too! We require a 2hr weekly commitment from our volunteer mentors for mentoring sessions. These sessions take place between Monday – Friday at a time that works for you and your mentee. Our Drop the Pressure volunteers need to be available from 4-8pm every Thursday. If you’re looking to get involved but can’t commit weekly, another option is helping at our in-person group sessions which are 1-3hrs every couple of weeks but typically take place in the school holidays.
How long do I need to make myself available for?
We ideally ask for a 1 year commitment. Many of the young people we work with have had difficult experiences including trauma, loss and instability in their lives. Because of this, it’s important that once you start working with a young person that you can keep up a regular commitment. This provides a foundation of trust and stability which creates the best conditions for supporting a child.
What happens if my circumstances change while I’m volunteering?
While we hope you will be able to work with us long-term, if something unexpected happens which means you can no longer continue your commitment with us, then please speak to the Glow project coordinator as soon as possible. Endings can bring up challenging feelings for our children and families and the people working with them. Ideally we would always try to give the family one month’s notice so they have time to process an ending in a safe and containing way.
Where will I have to travel to for placements?
Mentoring sessions typically take place at the child’s home or out in the community e.g. a cafe or library, and sometimes at school. The Drop the Pressure project takes place every Thursday at the Glow Hub, 40-48 Stokes Croft, BS1 3QD and our in-person group sessions take place at the Glow Hub, a forest school in St Werburghs in the warmer months and at a cooking school in Easton.
What information do we need to complete our onboarding checks?
We require 2 satisfactory references and if you are hoping to join a child-facing role we also require an enhanced DBS check (child and adult workforce) which is registered on the DBS update service. For the application we will need a complete record of your address history from the last 5 years, as well as x1 proof of address (your current address), x2 ID documents e.g passport, driving license or birth certificate. It sounds like a lot but we’ll guide you through each step!
What if I have a DBS already but it only covers me working for adults or children?
Sadly we can’t get you started until you have a DBS check which covers you working with both children and adults. This is important as you could work with a young person who turns 18 e.g. technically an adult, while you’re working with them. We cover the cost of all volunteer DBS’ and send off the application on your behalf once we’ve seen all your relevant documents. Again, we’ll support you every step of the way.
Lastly, thank you so much for wanting to be involved!
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org / 07399 145297 if you need any more details.