Get involved Volunteer Opportunities Can you spare a minimum of three to four hours per week? Are you local to Lancashire or Trafford? If the answer is 'YES', perhaps you could come and volunteer your time with Advocacy Focus! Our volunteers come to us from a wide range of backgrounds and life experiences, and we do not discriminate against any person in our community who wishes to offer their time, energy and skills to help others. Examples of some of the work you could get involved with are: Running drop ins on mental health wards Delivering feedback groups Supporting Advocates on home visits Helping out in the office Supporting us at promotional and fundraising events And so much more... Whatever your background, experience or qualifications, if you believe you have something to offer even for just for a few hours per week (or more if you'd like), call us for a chat about what's available and what skills you feel you can offer so that we can match you to the best possible role. If you have any fundraising ideas, that's even better! Peer Advocate Volunteers We also have a team of peer advocate volunteers who have personal experience of mental health challenges or experience of caring for family or friends. They draw on their own experiences to support people who access our service and give us invaluable insight into the needs of the people who use our service. What's in it for YOU? You would be part of an award winning team As winners of the Selnet Excellence in Training and Mentoring Award 2018, we are committed to the effective support and development of all our volunteers. We were Highly Commended for Volunteer Team of the Year at the 2018 North West Charity Awards. Just last year, our Volunteer Manager also received a Highly Commended award for Volunteer Manager of the Year. In joining our team, you can rest assured that you will be trained and supported throughout your time with us, and that you will be given opportunities to really make your role your own! Our volunteers come to us with the expectation to help others, and stay with us to witness how we can help them to build skills, develop abilities and apply their knowledge to get the best out of themselves as well as the work they do for us. We cover any out of pocket expenses and provide a one to one offer of support and mentoring from our Volunteer Manager. Is volunteering right for you? You're still reading this, so already you've probably answered 'yes' to being able to spare four hours every week to volunteer. This is a great start, because commitment is a key quality we look for in our volunteers. Commitment shows that you are reliable, a team player, and are looking to give and get as much from the process as possible. We look for passionate and empathetic individuals who can empower others to find their voice and champion an organisation to provide a quality service in the community. What do our volunteers think? I can’t thank the Volunteer Manager enough for all the help and understanding she provides. I feel as though she really values my role and makes me feel part of the team I’ve been volunteering with a number of organisations over the past year and Advocacy Focus is by far the most organised. The training was excellent and I felt that as well as helping the organisation the organisation was helping me. I would recommend volunteering for Advocacy Focus. I really appreciate the opportunity and all the effort staff put into training me. I gained great insight into my career as a clinical psychologist. Really interesting work and well run programme. Excellent training and the chance to be involved in so many different activities. I find it hard to explain just how much volunteering with Advocacy Focus has done to my confidence and self-esteem. I feel I’ve got a purpose again, I’m a lot happier with myself even my family have noticed. I would like to thank everyone at Advocacy Focus for this opportunity. Volunteer Stories Find out how we helped volunteers on more personal journeys below. Fiona I am really enjoying coming in to the office and being amongst people, I like being busy, sorting out my 3 children and then coming into the office. It is putting structure in my life. Mental health is something I feel really 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 and I feel like everything that 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 am beginning to know my worth. Hazel I was in my final year studying Criminology & Sociology at UCLAN when it was suggested I gain some voluntary experience in mental health wards to help me with my future career potential. I saw an opportunity with Advocacy Focus on the do-it.org.uk website and thought that it was an fascinating company doing valuable work, not only in the field of mental health but in other areas of health and social care. Read more... Siobhain In February 2016 I was looking to help out in my local community and came across Advocacy Focus on the internet. I called and spoke to the Volunteer Manager, and she told me all about the programme and different volunteer roles as well as asking me what my aspirations were. I was really impressed by the variety of shadowing opportunities available and the varied training programme as I knew it would provide me with experience in various different types of advocacy. Read more... Current volunteer roles Community Focus Volunteer - East Lancs Volunteer Independent Visitor - Rochdale Volunteer Mental Health Advocate Volunteer Fundraiser If you are interested in getting involved as a volunteer, find out how to contact us below. Contact our Volunteer Manager for more information on: 0300 323 0965 or email: [email protected] You will be invited to complete an application and attend a formal interview before being asked to join our programme!