Volunteering with Creative Support
The value of volunteers
Creative Support provides excellent standards of care and support for each and every service user; we have a team of dedicated volunteers that play a key role in making this happen. Our volunteers bring a range of different skills and life experiences that diversify what Creative Support can offer to service users – some volunteers support service users to access community facilities, such as shops, gyms and libraries; others lead activity groups such as arts and craft groups, health and wellbeing groups and holistic therapy groups. We are also lucky to have volunteer input in our back-office functions; the volunteers that provide administrative, marketing and technical support really do help to keep the cogs of social care provision in motion!
We recognise the value of volunteers at Creative Support and how volunteers enrich the lives of the people we support. Volunteering is not a one-sided relationship, we’re committed to providing opportunities for our volunteers, enabling them to develop new skills, develop personally and have fun. This is why we have developed our commitment to volunteers.
Our commitment to volunteers
We are committed to supporting our volunteers on a journey of personal development, and ensuring that every volunteer enjoys their time with us. This is our volunteer commitment:
- A formal induction and a Volunteer Handbook
- Regular supervision
- Access to the training you need to do your role including mandatory safeguarding and manual handling training
- Flexibility within your role
- Opportunities to develop personally
- Opportunities to feedback and get involved
- Recognition through events and opportunities
- A fun and rewarding experience
Opportunities for volunteers
We have plenty of opportunities across Creative Support services for anyone with a bit of spare time and a passion for improving the lives of vulnerable adults in their local communities. We advertise our available opportunities on the Creative Support Voluntary Jobs Board (please scroll down for the link), on Do-it.org and through local Volunteer Centres. Our voluntary opportunities involve:
- Supporting service users to access community facilities and resources
- Providing emotional support and guidance to our service users
- Providing support to your peers
- Supporting the delivery of interesting and meaningful activity sessions and workshops
- Supporting with key administrative functions
- Researching and writing content for our newsletters, websites, and social media
We recognise that the above roles will not match everyone’s skills and interests, so we are flexible with role development. We are happy to discuss any ideas you have about a role that might be useful for our services and clients and will make good use of your unique talents. To discuss any ideas you have, you can contact our Volunteer Team on 0161 236 0829 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer case study
Meet Aisha, our Communications Volunteer from Tower Hamlets…
“I have been volunteering at Creative Support Tower Hamlets for seven months now as the Communications Volunteer. I helped launch the Twitter account and I assist with the production of promotion materials as well as putting together the monthly newsletter.
I have had a great experience working with the staff at Creative Support and I have enjoyed the times that I have interacted with the service users, particularly when the opportunity came for me to complete surveys on the residents’ experiences at the various Tower Hamlets services. Through volunteering here, I have been able to develop my communication and interpersonal skills, as well as my confidence by working with both the lovely staff and service users.
As well as aiding my own personal development, I have found my time at Creative Support beneficial for what I hope to do in my future career in terms of developing my social media and marketing skills. Ultimately, volunteering has allowed me to grow both personally and professionally and I would highly recommend this opportunity to anyone who is looking to gain some professional skills, improve their confidence or if you’re interested in meeting some really great people in your community”
How to become one of our Volunteers
We want to make it as easy as possible to volunteer with us; however we do have to carry out some background checks which means the process will normally take one to two months. This is to ensure we can provide safe services and so we can assess whether you’ll need additional support during your placement.
Our recruitment process
- Fill out our Volunteer Application Form – this is available on our voluntary recruitment board, the link is at the bottom of this section.
- You can post your application to our Head Office, 5th Floor Dale House, 35 Dale Street, Manchester, M1 2HF, send it via email or you can drop it off at a service local to you.
- You will be invited to attend an informal volunteer interview at the service you’ve applied for – this includes some straightforward questions about why you want to volunteer with us, what skills you have and what goals youwould like to achieve from volunteering.
- After your interview we will ask you to fill out some paperwork including a disclosure and barring services application form and pre-placement forms which are used to assess whether you might need additional support.
- Our Head Office Volunteer Team will then process your application and send off for your references.
- Once you have received your DBS certificate you can take it into your local office to be scanned and sent to the volunteer team at Head Office.
- Your file will then be reviewed and signed off. If we require additional information, we will contact you to discuss this.
- Your volunteer supervisor will contact you to arrange an induction day where they will go through all the relevant policies, have a tour of the service you’re volunteering at and you’ll be given a copy of our VolunteerHandbook.
- You are now an official Creative Support volunteer!
To find a list of all our current volunteer vacancies you can follow this link to our voluntary role board on our recruitment website – http://www.creativesupport.co.uk/jobs/category/voluntary/
We also list our vacancies on www.do-it.org.uk and local voluntary organisation websites.
Disclosure and Barring Service
Most of our volunteer roles require applications to undergo a DBS check, this is free for volunteers. We also advise volunteers to register their DBS certificate with the online DBS update service. This is free for volunteers – the benefits of the update service are that you don’t have to start the application process afresh every three years.
Please note: having a criminal record does not necessarily bar an applicant from volunteering with us; each application will be considered individually and this might include inviting prospective volunteers in for a meeting with a representative from our Human Resources Department to discuss the criminal convictions.
Creative Support is committed to recruiting a diverse volunteer team that reflects our client groups and the local communities we work in. We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds, including current and ex-service users.
Creative Support is committed to providing placements that are accessible for all and we will endeavour to provide any additional support you may need. This will be discussed with you during your interview with us.
We can also provide our Volunteer Handbook, policies and other important literature in a range of formats including easy-read, other languages and audio. If you’d like to request a document in another format, or would like to discuss your accessibility needs please call our Head Office on 0161 236 0829 and ask to speak to someone from our Volunteer Team or email us at email@example.com
Creative Support is committed to working with businesses to offer employer-supported volunteer (ESV) opportunities at our services. We can provide a range of options for corporate volunteering including:
- Supporting with activities at one of our services or community centres
- Supporting social events (e.g. Christmas or Easter parties)
- Supporting our clients during day-trips (e.g. to the seaside)
- Garden and outdoor related activities
It’s a straightforward process; we don’t carry out disclosure and barring service checks or ask for references as corporate volunteers are supervised by staff at all times.
To discuss corporate volunteer opportunities we have, you can call us on 0161 236 0829 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’d like to speak to someone about volunteering opportunities, or you have a general volunteer query, you can contact us on 0161 236 0829, or you can email email@example.com
Again, please check our voluntary category on our jobs board for our current voluntary opportunities.