SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, exists to relieve need, suffering and distress amongst the Armed Forces, veterans and their families in order to support their independence and dignity. Our caseworker volunteers support our clients by sourcing and signposting support and funding that fits their particular financial, practical or emotional needs. Our clients come from all backgrounds and age groups and may have served in WW2 or a more recent conflict like Iraq or Afghanistan, or be a widow or the immediate family of a veteran. As a trained volunteer you would listen to their needs without judgement to assess and provide tailored support to help them navigate life in and beyond military service.
You most certainly do not need a military background or connection to be a volunteer for this role. If you have an ability to listen, have some basic IT skills and good spoken and written English, along with a dogged determination to seek out solutions and answers, you are ideal.
Typically you will meet clients in their own home or another convenient location for them, so you’ll need access to a vehicle or be willing to take public transport to meet them.
You will be contacting clients and arranging appointments to meet them at a mutually convenient time. When you meet you’ll be listening to their stories and needs and working through our form to assess exactly what help they could access and which funding streams or other organisations will be able to help them. This can be a bit of a fact finding mission as sometimes things come out in conversation that show additional needs that hadn’t been apparent before. You would then work out a package of help for the client based on their individual needs. This might involve signposting to, or contacting local services that can provide specialist advise or practical assistance. For other issues you might be undertaking an application for financial assistance on their behalf and arranging for the purchase and delivery of goods and services. Throughout the case you’ll be keeping in regular contact with the client to let them know how their case is progressing.
You are not expected to know where and how to source appropriate support before you come and volunteer with us though! We have extensive training and guidance and your local branch office is always there to help support and advise you and also help you work through any complex cases. It is therefore very important that you stay in regular contact with your branch office whilst you volunteer so they can keep you up to date with any new funding stream or developments and allow you to access any training you will need.
All new volunteers do a three-day training course to equip you with the necessary skills, information and contacts to be a successful caseworker. You’ll also have short on-line training modules to complete at home so you are kept up to date with things like how to keep personal information safe. There will also be regular opportunities to update your training.
Due to the nature of this role we ask that all volunteers are over 18 years of age (we have no upper age limit), are willing to undertake a DBS check and are able to provide two references from people that know you well but are not related to you, or former employers if applicable.
Why get involved?
This is a very rewarding role supporting military veterans of all ages and backgrounds. You’ll meet lots of new and varied people as the clients, as well as becoming part of a strong and supportive team at your local SSAFA branch who you’ll met with regularly to share ideas, pick each other’s brains for problem solving solutions and also socialise. You’ll strengthen your IT and communication skills and get adept at effective advocacy for funding opportunities. Your problem solving sills will also be enhanced as you develop a keen knowledge of where and how help for a whole range of issues can be sought. These are great skills to have on your CV or to be able to talk about at interviews, or equally to negotiate your own journey through life’s issues and problems.
We are also able to offer reimbursement of out of pocket expenses such as travel or telephone costs.
If you would like to find out more about the role without committing yourself please go to http://www.ssafa.org.uk/volunter-ssafa or get in touch with the Gloucestershire branch of SSAFA on 01452 520255 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
How to get involved?
- Sign into your account or sign up to Volunteer Makers.
- Accept the challenge
- Await a response from SSAFA with more information
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