This builds on our success in 2014 when we won the ‘Most Effective Partnership’ for the development of the trailblazing ‘Opt Out Protocol’ for Mental Health advocacy and our collaboration with Lancashire care Foundation Trust and Lancashire County Council.

In terms of this years awards category, training is a crucial element of many Social Enterprises and this category recognises those organisations that strive to ensure their staff or volunteers receive a high standard of training

What the judges will look for:

  • Scale and relevance of training provision
  • the improvement or difference this makes to participants
  • recognised quality of provision

Our bid is specifically based on our Volunteer Manager’s, Lauren Lovelace’s training, mentoring and development of the Volunteer team, highlighting the significant contribution our Volunteers make in supporting our service users.

Our Volunteer Manager recruits, trains and mentors volunteers across Lancashire to add extra added value to our service, allowing us to provide additional support to those with ill mental health, who lack capacity or have learning or sensory disabilities. Our volunteer team includes our Peer Advocates who have experience of ill mental health themselves.

All volunteers are provided with a rolling programme of training that includes:

  • A Foundation Course in Advocacy
  • Self-Advocacy Training
  • How to make a Health and Social Care Complaint
  • Training around the Mental Health Act, Mental Capacity Act and Care Act in order to enable them to support members of the community.

Our Volunteer Manager spends time individually mentoring each volunteer, alongside training them in a group setting. Each volunteer receives an Individual Learning Plan so that our volunteer Manager can support them to achieve their goals such as gaining interview and employability skill and building confidence and self-esteem. Several volunteers have been supported to gain employment outside of our service but there are also some l who have gained employment within our organisation.

Below is a quote from a Peer Advocate:

“I am really enjoying coming in to the office and being amongst people, it is putting structure in my life. Mental health is something I feel passionate about, especially after suffering with illness myself. I love feeling part of a team, and my self-belief and confidence is really coming along nicely. I feel like everything I have gone through in my life has led me to this point. I feel happy to just be somewhere, where I can be myself and not be judged. To empower other people and really believe in my heart that I am capable will be a dream come true and I’m beginning to know my worth.”     

The awards ceremony takes place on Friday 28th April at Mytton Fold Hotel in Lancashire.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed!