Emotional Support Volunteer supports women who experienced childhood sexual abuse while they are waiting to start counselling through Check and Chat Call. Learn more about the role and how you can start volunteering with Quetzal.
What the Role Involves
Quetzal works to provide free, and inclusive, counselling, support services and outreach to empower women and girls who have experienced childhood sexual abuse to begin recovery from trauma. We are available to all women over the age of 16 in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and provide the longer-term support necessary to work with the multiple and complex trauma caused by childhood sexual abuse.
Demand for our services is ever increasing. The increasing demand outstrips our current capacity and we, therefore, operate a waiting list.
The purpose of this voluntary role is to support women who are on our waiting list by providing emotional and practical support in the form of ‘check and chat’ calls, pre-therapy calls and occasionally assisting with peer groups.
Volunteers are asked to complete at least one shift a week within the core opening hours and make pre-arranged calls to women who are on our waiting list and have been identified as needing additional support or advice. This role will be based in our office on Talbot Lane in Leicester City Centre.
Each scheduled ‘check and chat’ call takes around 15 minutes and will involve offering emotional support over the phone, guiding clients through our self-help guide, answering any questions and performing risk assessments as required.
Check and Chat is a powerful service for clients needing someone to talk to, it is not therapy, and you will not be expected to explore the abuse with the service users. The ability to put boundaries in place and respond sensitively to distress is absolutely essential to this role. It requires the use of focused listening skills to build rapport with clients and to promote their wellbeing.
Emotional support volunteers are required to:
- Understand, respect and uphold the ethos of Quetzal and its work with survivors.
• Abide by confidentiality and data protection.
• To follow all Quetzal policies and procedures in relation to providing an ethical and appropriate support service to survivors of sexual abuse.
• Contacting your allocated clients every week.
• Keep appropriate records of calls on our specialist database system.
• Report any safeguarding concerns to the designated safeguarding leads.
We support our volunteers by providing training in sexual abuse and emotional support skills. Volunteers have access to ongoing training, supervision with a counselling supervisor each month and regular team meetings.
We ask that volunteers commit to working with us for a minimum of 12 months.
Emotional Support volunteers are dealing with some very difficult issues to enable Quetzal to fully support you, volunteers must keep training and supervision up to date. Therefore, the commitment required is as follows:
- Initial training day and ongoing training as necessary
- 2 hours per week as a regular shift, within core hours (10am-5pm).
- One supervision per month. These are conducted in a group setting and last around 1 hour. Volunteers are required to attend supervision to promote their own well-being and skills.
There are no pre-requisites for this role in terms of professional qualifications, however, some experience, education or training in counselling, psychotherapy, support skills, criminology, psychology would be an advantage.
Emotional Support volunteers receive extensive training before they begin to support clients. The training will cover a range of issues and skills which will equip volunteers to deal with clients.
As standard Emotional Volunteers will receive
- Safeguarding training
- Childhood sexual abuse and its impacts
- Working in a trauma informed way
- Emotional support skills
Full support will be given during your time volunteering with Quetzal.
Volunteers are welcome to claim back expenses that are incurred whilst volunteering. This includes travelling via public transport and parking fees. Expenses are processed monthly and paid by BACS – bank details will be requested when the first claim is made.
Applying to Volunteer
Please email our Clinical Lead firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance with a brief outline of why you are interested in volunteering with Quetzal. An application form and interview will be required to determine your suitability for this role.
This role is not suitable for current clients of Quetzal or anyone who has used our services in the last 12 months due to the potentially triggering nature of the calls.
Female applicants only – This post is exempt under Schedule 9, part 1 of the Equality Act 2010 – We are a women-only group because we believe it is vital that women have safe and supportive spaces where they can come without fear of re-traumatisation to explore their experiences and begin to recover from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. Opening up about trauma is a deeply personal and vulnerable experience and clients tell us they feel more at ease in a female-only space. Research shows that women-only services create a safe space, physically and emotionally and result in better outcomes for women. We recognise that men care about women too and that many men and boys experience sexual violence. We can signpost men affected by sexual violence to specialist services in Leicester that cater specifically for their needs.
DBS check is required for volunteering with Quetzal. This is free.