Womankind is recruiting reliable and emotionally resilient women, who are able to commit to 1-2 daytime hours each week for one year, to join our Volunteer Befriending Service. Befrienders encourage and support vulnerable women who have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse, empowering them to make their own decisions and improve their mental health and wellbeing so that they can lead more fulfilling lives.
Befrienders attend an initial online meet & greet session and then receive 4 taught sessions of comprehensive training over Zoom. These sessions will take place over 5 weeks, starting in early September 2023. Befrienders will be expected to complete homestudy in between sessions. You will be part of a team of trainees and benefit from peer support as well as help and guidance from the Volunteer Coordinator. Our training comes with over 30 years of experience working in women’s mental health, giving volunteers the very best preparation for the role, and a support network of like-minded women.
Upon the completion of training, each volunteer is matched with one woman who has experienced childhood abuse, trauma, sexual violence and/or domestic abuse, and will be experiencing mental ill health and social isolation.
As a befriender you would be expected to commit to 1-2 hours on a weekly basis for 6 months and attend monthly group and individual supervision. Many of our volunteers decide they would like to be matched with another woman after the completion of their first match and continue volunteering with us for another 6 months.
You and your befriendee would start by getting to know each other gradually. Once you have built up your relationship, you would support her emotionally, using active listening skills and providing her with a space to express her feelings and feel heard. You would help her to believe that she can achieve her goals and have safer relationships. Part of your role would be demonstrating what a healthy and boundaried relationship looks like.
You will be enthusiastic and interested in helping another woman improve her mental health and wellbeing so that she can lead a more fulfilling life. You will be friendly and non-judgemental, have good communication skills as well as being a reliable and patient listener.
The befriending role can be challenging and emotionally overwhelming at times. Therefore, we need befrienders who have adequate life experience and feel emotionally robust and resilient enough to take on the role. We welcome volunteers with personal experience of mental health and other relevant issues but will require you to have at least a one-year period of stability and ideally to have received professional help like counselling in your recovery.
As this is a remote service, we welcome applications from women who are based across the UK.
Please note, there is very limited availability for women who can only volunteer during the evenings and weekends.
Because of the nature of this role, it is only open to women applicants and is exempt under Schedule 9 Part 1 Equalities Act 2010.
At Womankind we recognise that while women share many characteristics and experiences as a result of living within a patriarchal society, women belonging to marginalised groups experience discrimination on multiple fronts. It is really important to us that the women who use our services feel represented amongst our volunteers. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and walks of life, especially from groups which are marginalised and underrepresented in our organisation, such as working-class women and Black and Minoritised women.
What Past Befrienders Say:
“I loved the training, that was possibly one of my favourite things about this whole experience...it was really thorough. I loved being in a space with like-minded women – and it was also challenging, which I liked.”
“In terms of supervision and knowledge, how to prepare the role – it was much more prepared, much more in depth than other places I’ve volunteered.”
“It’s been a pleasure, I love volunteering with you guys. It’s special being part of this – in a world where are so few spaces where you can have a direct impact on someone’s life, doing this role is really special.”
*** Please note, we are currently advertising two befriending roles. This listing is for remote befriending (over the phone/video call). We are also recruiting for in-person befriending in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. Please see separate advertisement for this role. ***
Please follow the link below to our website where you will find our general volunteering application form. For any further information or any questions, please email email@example.com