Flexible opportunity to provide much needed support to people with mental health needs

What is the role: Benefits for Better Health Volunteer

Who is the role for: Oxfordshire MIND

When does the volunteering take place: During the week for 2 – 3 hours per session. Role is very flexible and volunteers can give as much time as they are able. There is no regular commitment needed.

Please note:

There are two information mornings on 7th and 9th March about this role and volunteer induction is on 23rd March.

Where does the volunteering take place: Oxford

What does the role involve: Volunteers are trained to offer one-to-one support to individuals who are claiming benefits due to mental health problems, an experience which can be very stressful for service users. Volunteers will…

  • Meet with service users before their benefits assessment to discuss anxieties and offer reassurance
  • Attend the assessment with them
  • Provide appropriate support
  • Develop skills in communication and teamwork
  • Receive ongoing training and support
  • No previous knowledge of benefits is needed!

Why you should sign up to this role: This is an opportunity to support people in a meaningful way and to make a positive difference to their lives. Evidence shows that if service users have someone with them in the assessment it is likely to last twice as long, enabling them to get themselves heard.

Current volunteers say: “Each time I have been along I have felt that the person attending had felt supported and had coped better with the assessment for having the moral support of someone going with them. And although gratitude does not matter, they expressed it despite each of them having struggled to cope with attending at all… A larger team of volunteers would help us provide more cover, which would be great!’

“The client desperately needs someone to attend the assessment with them, for several reasons: for moral support, to be a witness to the events, and to ensure that it all goes as smoothly as possible…You do not need to have specialist information to do the job. The mere fact that there is a second person there helps them.”

Skills required for this role: Volunteers need to be reliable and organised. You will need to be empathetic with a good awareness of your own health needs.

Interested in finding out more: Contact volunteering@oxfordshiremind.org.uk for a volunteer application form and more information.

Due to the nature of this role references and a DBS check will be required. Reasonable travel expenses are covered and training is provided.