Volunteers Week 2022: West Sussex Mind needs you!

June 2022

This Volunteers Week, we're highlighting key areas where we need more help from volunteers. If you have a few hours to spare, please do get in touch!

Volunteers play a vital role in the support we provide to local people with their mental health and we depend on the support of our amazing volunteers across various parts of the organisation.

Could you make a difference and support local people with their mental health by volunteering for one of the following roles?

Befrienders for over-65s

Befrienders offer ongoing support for people on their recovery journey, with regular calls: weekly, fortnightly or monthly. They help people who are struggling with their mental health to feel less isolated and give them confidence to do the things they want to do.

We are looking for more befrienders for our Communities in Mind service for over-65s in Bognor, Chichester, Lancing, Southwick and surrounding areas. Being a befriender requires you to be non-judgemental, understanding, sensitive to people’s feelings, have good listening skills and you need good phone communication skills.

Being in regular contact with someone who is feeling low and lonely can make a significant impact and really help to improve their mental health.

Social & Leisure Activities volunteers

These roles support West Sussex Mind staff with our diverse programme of social and leisure activities, and include helping with and leading a wide range of groups.

As a Social & Leisure Activities volunteer, you will need to have an enthusiasm for working with others, possess confidence in communicating with other people, have good listening skills, as well as being practical, caring and considerate. Up to two hours a week in various locations across West Sussex.

Polish and Ukrainian-speaking volunteers

We are looking for Polish and Ukrainian speakers to reach out to these communities and provide mental health support.

These roles entail assisting and supporting our Help Point staff to field enquiries about support from the Polish and Ukrainian communities. An ability to speak either Polish or Ukrainian is essential for these position. Good listening skills, the ability to talk comfortably and with ease on the phone are all desirable for these roles.

Volunteer peer supporters (Littlehampton)

Peer supporters identify and support local individuals living with mental health issues who aren't accessing services in their local community. They use their own lived personal experience of mental health issues to help others with their mental health.

Lived experience of mental health issues is required in these roles. Further skills and requirements include participation in appropriate and agreed to training, good communication skills, confidentiality, understanding of boundaries, as well as being a friendly, approachable, reliable and motivated person. Confidence in using phones and IT is of great benefit for these roles.

West Sussex Mind is looking for more peer supporters across West Sussex, however there is particular demand in the Littlehampton area for more peer supporters.

Community champions (Littlehampton area)

A Community champion identifies and supports local individuals living with mental health issues in their local area who aren't accessing services. They also raise awareness of mental health and campaign to challenge its surrounding stigma.

There are a variety of requirements and skills for the role. Many are similar to that of a peer supporter, such as good communication skills, confidentiality, understanding of boundaries and being motivated, approachable and friendly. The wearing of a champions badge or lanyard is another requirement when actively undertaking the role.

Community champions need to be able to identify and respect those who are experiencing a mental health issue and be able to empower them, raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health, provide reliable information about mental health and be able to help people access care and support services.

West Sussex Mind is looking for Community Champions across West Sussex, however, there is particular demand in the Littlehampton area.

Volunteers for the rural Downs area (various roles)

Rural areas face their own unique challenges. People and services are scattered over a wide area, with often limited public transport. This can make it difficult for people to access the help or support they need or get involved in social activities, especially for those who are struggling with their mental health.

With more volunteers, West Sussex Mind can expand the services and activities offered to those living in rural communities. And we particularly need volunteers for our social or leisure activities, which can really make the world of difference to people and help them feel less isolated.

People who live locally and have local knowledge are particularly encouraged to apply.

The link below contains further detail about some of these roles.

For more information about these opportunities, contact Beth Osmond, our volunteer manager. Email Beth at Beth.osmond@westsussexmind.org