Details of the Charity:
Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice provides practical and emotional support to children who are life-limited or life threatened, and their families, living in North London. We work within the boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington.
Noah’s Ark supports families to ensure that they can face the future with hope by providing a variety of essential support services. These services include a Family Link Team who are trained Social Workers, Specialist Carers who provide respite, Play Specialists who provide therapeutic play sessions and also our Family Support Volunteer team.
Details of the Volunteering Opportunity:
Home Support volunteers aim to provide emotional, social and practical support to family members during the child’s life and during the period following the child’s death if appropriate. Becoming a Home Support volunteer is a serious commitment but it provides a rewarding opportunity to directly support children with life-limiting / life threatening conditions and their families.
Volunteers would usually commit to visiting a family once a week / fortnight; however, frequency and times will vary dependent on a family’s needs and a volunteer’s availability.
The needs of individual families will differ and much will depend on the personal skills, qualities, interests and availability of an individual volunteer. However, support will typically fall into one of four categories:
- Playing together, sharing hobbies or activities
- Helping with homework or reading
- Going on trips out
Noah’s Ark Children:
- Playing together, sharing hobbies
- Doing sensory or developmental play activities
- Helping with homework or reading
- Supporting them with getting out into the community, e.g. attending a parent & child group
- Playing with the child to allow them to get chores done in the home or have a break
- Helping with light housework chores such as laundry & ironing
- Driving the family to medical appointments
- Gardening & mowing the lawn
- Decorating or helping to pack boxes for a house move
- Supporting the family on a day trip out
PLEASE NOTE: Volunteers will not have sole responsibility for a child with a life limiting or life-threatening condition and will not be expected to undertake any personal care or administer medication.
Interviews and Training:
At Noah’s Ark we value volunteer support, but we are also aware that not all roles are suitable for everyone. The interview and training process is in place to ensure that the Noah’s Ark staff get to know more about you, to ensure that you are given the correct training for the role and so that you can find out if this is a role you would like to undertake. The training process is as follows:
- Volunteer Induction: All potential volunteers have to attend one of these sessions before they are able to get involved in any capacity.
- 1st Interview: This will take place at the Noah’s Ark Office at a mutually agreeable time.
- Core Module Training: Any volunteers wanting to work directly with Noah’s Ark families are required to attend the training spread across 1 weekday evening and 1 weekend day.
- 2nd Interview: A chance to recap on the training and discuss if both parties feel the role is suitable.
- Activities Module Training: 1 weekday evening to prepare volunteers for the specific requirements of the Family Activities Volunteer role
- Safeguarding Module Training: 1 morning or 1 evening, depending on the schedule, this helps to ensure the safety of our service.
Training programmes are run at regular intervals throughout the year.
Location: Noah’s Ark supports families living in Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey, Islington & Hertsmere. Volunteers will be matched geographically as much as is possible.
Volunteers would usually commit to visiting a family once a week/ fortnight for approx. 1-2 hours, however the frequency and times will vary dependent on a family’s needs and a volunteer’s availability. Home Support Volunteer roles are available 7 days per week, between 8am-8pm.
Home Support Volunteers are required to complete and return written Support Records following a visit and to attend Supervision (support groups) every 3 months.
It is hoped that volunteers can commit to supporting a family for a minimum of 12 months
Skills you Require from the Applicant:
Although experience of working with children or families is desirable, it is not essential and we welcome volunteers from all backgrounds with all sorts of skills. However, for this role volunteers will need:
- Ability to work well with others
- A good understanding of the role and of Noah’s Ark’s expectations of volunteers
- Good communication skills
- Reliability, commitment and engagement
- Initiative and problem-solving skills
- A good level of self-awareness
Additional Benefits to the Volunteer
- Build knowledge of many different play activities
- Gain experience of working directly with family members
- Develop communication skills with children that have unique needs
- Travel expenses reimbursed
Interested? Apply below: