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BSL Volunteers

Type: Emotional / social support

Location: All of Plymouth

Could you give friendly advice and support and practical help?

Purpose of the role, general: To give confidential emotional support as well as practical help to disabled and Deaf people in the community, over the phone. You would signpost them to Living Options Devon projects and services, as well as relevant services run by other organisations. Overall, you would be aiming to help reduce their feelings of isolation, and offer an improved quality of life.

Purpose of the role for Deaf / BSL Volunteers: To support Deaf clients on a one-to-one basis

Personal Specifications for Deaf / BSL volunteers:

  • Experience of engaging with Deaf people
  • British Sign Language Level 3+ or equivalent
  • Good I.T. Skills
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Willingness to attend other appropriate training

Typical tasks might include:

  • Recording phone calls made on a referral form, including details of what support was provided, and the service user’s preferred method of contact.
  • Identifying the individual needs of the service user, and referring them to the correct services accordingly, including our ‘Chat & Share Groups’, our life coach service, our Deaf counselling service, and training courses.
  • Empowering people to overcome the emotional and practical issues they currently face.
  • Being sensitive to the communication needs of the individual, for example, mediating tone of voice, or using an appropriate level of vocabulary.
  • Working with the service user, to help them access the services which they feel are right for them.
  • Attending training, support sessions and volunteer meetings.
  •  Recording accurate and clear notes on each case, so the team are informed of actions taken and progress made.
  • Reporting to your line manager with any concerns on particular cases.

All applicants must be 18 or over, and must undergo DBS disclosure (which will be paid for by LOD).

We also require Deaf volunteers with knowledge of British Sign Language to work with Deaf service users. You would be interacting over Skype or FaceTime, so as to communicate visually. To volunteer as a Deaf volunteer, you must have a Level 3 or above qualification in British Sign Language, and must have experience engaging with Deaf people.

We look for the following in all of our volunteers:

  • IT skills suitable for accessing the internet and record keeping.
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Able to commit to 2 – 4 hours a week, hopefully for at least 12 months
  • Having a caring, mature and supportive empathy towards others
  • A non-judgemental, impartial and confidential approach
  • A commitment to ensuring everyone has equal access to our service
  • Reliable and organised with a responsible attitude
  • Good listening skills and good spoken (or BSL) communication skills
  • Ability to travel independently
  • Willingness to commit to our initial induction programme, as well as mandatory training in Guided Conversations, Disability Awareness, Deaf Awareness, Safeguarding, and Data Protection
  • Willingness to commit to ongoing training about specific topic of importance to the role

Working times are flexible as the support line will be open (up to 8pm) on weekdays.  

Interested? Download our application form here.

For more information please contact our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Leila Manion.

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