Volunteers are crucial to the operation of Freshwaters Contact Centre (FCC). We need people with all sorts of skills and experience but the most fundamental requirement is that you have a heart for the work we do.
Most of our volunteers have a Christian faith but this is not a requirement. However all volunteers do need to be happy to work within our Christian ethos, which includes prayer before and after sessions.
There are a number of different volunteer roles that are needed and these are explained below. If you are interested in any of these roles then please contact us.
FCC relies upon grants and donations to fund its work (click here for more information). If you could help us in finding grant providers and submitting applications then we would be really pleased to hear from you (we need a commitment of around 7 hours per month). Also if you would like to raise money for FCC, e.g. through sponsored activities or by organising a fundraising event then our Treasurer would be very happy to hear from you.
Saturday Morning Volunteer
These volunteers have the privilege of working directly with families at the contact sessions on a Saturday morning. The basic role of the volunteer is to offer parents and children support, so that contact runs as smoothly as possible for the benefit of the children concerned.
Volunteers can offer to help for as many or as few session s a year as they can manage, most help between 6 and 8 times a year. Each sessions last around 3.5 hours (9am to 12.30pm).
In addition to helping on Saturday mornings volunteers are required to attend 3 evening training sessions a year. Usually these start at 7pm with a buffet tea and finish at around 9.30pm. As well as providing essential training these sessions also provide an invaluable opportunity to get to know other volunteers, staff and Management Committee better.
Volunteers set the atmosphere.
The atmosphere you create is going to be your most positive contribution. Children and parents respond to interest in them if it is reassuring and friendly. Give them time to get used to you, work at their pace, don’t force issues. Remember it is all going to be very strange for them.
A volunteer will seek to be
- Cheerful but not artificial
- Assertive but not dominant
- Able to understand issues that affect separating families
- Able to build relationships while remaining impartial
- Able to deal with difficult situations and parents under stress
- Prepared to work as part of a team where people exchange information and support one another
- Aware of and prepared to follow any policies or guidelines the Child Contact Centre has in relation to Confidentiality, Child Protection, Equal Opportunities, etc
- Prepared to attend and participate in any training events either at the Child Contact Centre or regionally or nationally.
Basic Tasks of the volunteer
- Helping prepare the Child Contact Centre in advance of people arriving (9am to 10am)
- Welcoming Child Contact Centre visitors
- Registering Child Contact Centre visitors
- Acting as a host who explains the use of the facilities: provides toys; provides refreshments
- Talking to, listening to and helping the Child Contact Centre visitors to relax
- Talking to, and where appropriate playing with the children
- Helping parents to play with their children
- Keeping a watchful eye throughout the contact rooms
- Tidying up once the Child Contact Centre has closed.
Management Committee Member (Trustee)
In addition to help on a Saturday morning we also need members of the Management Committee who meet around 4 times a year to agree the strategic direction for FCC as well as it’s policies and procedures. Members of the Management Committee are it’s Trustees and have certain legal responsibilities.
Although not a requirement, members of the Management Committee will benefit from also helping on a Saturday morning at least a few times each year because it provides valuable ‘front line’ experience which will greatly assist in discussions and decisions.
There is a separate application process for members of the Management Committee and during recruitment those with specific skills and experience with be sought to compliment existing members.
We are seeking to recruit a Chief Executive in a voluntary capacity to supervise our Team Leader and Administrator and to provide support and assistance in the day to day operation of FCC. Click here for a role definition.
If you have other skills or expertise in an area which you feel might be of help to us please contact us to discuss this further.