Pathways to health is a small community health project. We run a community ear acupuncture service that is open to all and focuses on supporting people with and/or affected by drug and alcohol and mental health issues. We offer treatments that are low cost, open access and people can self- refer. The treatments help people at all stages of their recovery journey and clinics are run in venues across Brighton and Hove.
What does the opportunity involve doing?
The volunteer works within a small staff team helping to run the ear acupuncture drop-in clinic. Each clinic is staffed by paid practitioners and volunteer clinic assistants. Most clinics are run on a drop-in, no appointment necessary basis and people can self refer. This means that some clinics can be very busy at times and other clinics quite quiet. The treatments are received with people sitting together in a group, so up to 15 people may receive a treatment at any one time. It is the volunteers role to welcome all clients, offer them de-tox (herbal tea) and assist with filling in forms and keeping client records. Volunteers need to be at the clinic 15 minutes early to set up the room before the opening time and stay to the end and help clear up. Preparing herbal tea and washing up cups is part of the work.
Clinics run for 2 or 3 hours at a specific time every week. Volunteers need to be available for a 3 or 4 hour shift. This can be every week or fortnight depending on and negotiated with the staff team for that clinic. Currently all clinics run during the week – we do not have a weekend clinic.
What induction, training and support is offered?
Volunteers complete and application form (2 references needed) and the meet initially with the Project Coordinator. Then the induction to the volunteer role is done in the clinic with the new volunteer 'shadowing' one of the current volunteers. The staff team meet every month/six weeks which is an opportunity to discuss issues in clinic and to do with the service. We are a small supportive team so volunteers are encouraged to speak to practitioners or the Project Coordinator if they have any worries. Volunteers are encouraged to access training courses that enhance their understanding of and increase their knowledge of working in the Drug and Alcohol and Mental Health fields. As we do not have a large training budget – many of these courses are free through Health Promotion, DAAT (Drug and Alcohol Team) and other Community Projects
What skills or qualities are needed?
First and foremost to be a friendly and welcoming first point of contact for people who may feel anxious and vulnerable.
A non-judgemental approach to people and an openness and willingness to learn are essential to this work.
Volunteers must be punctual and reliable. It is their responsibility to work as a member of the staff team and cover the sessions that they sign up for. If unable to cover they should find a replacement. An open mind, good communication skills and ability to listen are qualities that help volunteers make a significant contribution to our service.
Deadline for applications
27 Sep 2020
People with health problems People with mental health problems People with drugs/alcohol problems
Volunteering as part of a team