West Mercia Women’s Aid
Join our Board of Trustees
We currently have a number of vacancies for women who wish to volunteer as Trustees of West Mercia Women’s Aid.
Our Board of Trustees combine a mix of skills, talents and personal interests and come from all walks of life. We are looking for three women to join us and bring their passion, experience and skills to our existing Board. More information about the role of the Trustees and of the Board can be found here.
Closing date for applications: 31 March 2022
For an application pack, please contact Sue Brazendale, Clerk to the Board of Trustees on 01432 356146 or email email@example.com
Working in refuge
Working as part a dedicated team in one of our refuges, helping out in some of the following ways:
- Accompany residents to appointments where they are unfamiliar with the area and/or need moral support
- Organise activities for residents and children to mark celebration days – e.g. Christmas, Diwali, Eid, Easter, summer break workshops
- Co-ordinate the receipt, sorting, distribution and storage of donations to residents
- Populate refuge notice boards with information about the local area, keeping them up-to-date and relevant
- Offer support and coaching to refuge residents as they prepare to re-settle in their new homes
- Help staff to ensure that vacant rooms are ready for new residents as soon as possible
- Support refuge staff in organising service user consultation and evaluation workshops in refuge
All refuge volunteers will have continuous ‘on-the-job’ training and induction from our refuge staff and managers.
Helpline Team Member
Access our internal training programme to then work as part of the WMWA Helpline Team to:
- Provide emotional and practical support and active listening to those calling the WMWA Helplines – including the West Mercia Men’s Domestic Abuse Helpline
- Respond to contacts via our LiveChat Service which could include emotional and practical support for survivors but also advice and guidance for professionals.
- Input relevant information on our client database
- Cover Helpline for the 5 – 9pm evenings Helpline shift
- Update the Helpline Resources as and when required with up-to-date contact details and referral information for other local services
- Encourage callers to provide feedback on their experience of WMWA Helpline, using online formats and engaging in wider consultation
Whilst Helpline volunteers have the same training and support as the Helpline staff, our volunteers will always have an experienced colleague to call upon for advice and support, regardless of when they are working.
WMWA provides opportunities for both counsellors who are already fully qualified and are looking to volunteer their time, and for student/trainee counsellors with appropriate skills and knowledge who are looking to undertake their practice experience with adult clients.
Student/trainee counsellor applicants should currently be enrolled in counselling training leading to professional qualification, working at least at Level 4 with some appropriate experience. Your institution/training provider must have given permission for you to start doing client work on a placement. Successful applicants can be provided with clinical supervision (by West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre) as part of the placement.
If you are a student/trainee counsellor looking to apply, please complete our Student Placement Application Form
If you are a fully qualified counsellor looking to apply please complete our Volunteer Application Form.
Working with young people
Working in any one of the areas covered by WMWA as part a service-wide programme to support young people who have experienced teen relationship abuse, and / or been affected by domestic abuse in their home.
- Make regular ‘Keeping in Touch’ calls to the parents of young people waiting to access support, to update on the availability of spaces on groups or 1:1 support schedules
- Send information to parents and young people about the WMWA programmes available
- Send information to professionals about the WMWA programmes available and the referral process
- Offer to talk with young people to give them an opportunity to discuss the programme and to better understand what to expect
- Work alongside the facilitators of group programmes for young people, providing additional support to participants as and when needed
- Enable young people to evaluate their experience of WMWA services
Working with children
Working alongside experienced Children’s Workers to:
- Assist the service in the booking of venues for group work programmes with children and young people.
- Make regular ‘Keeping in Touch’ calls to the parents of children waiting to access support, to update on the availability of spaces on groups or 1:1 support schedules.
- Send information to parents and young people about the WMWA programmes available.
- Send information to professionals about the WMWA programmes available and the referral process
- Offer to talk with children/young people to give them an opportunity to discuss the programme and know what to expect
- Work alongside the facilitators of group programmes for children and/or young people, providing additional support to participants as and when needed.
Supporting women in the community
Tasks will include:
- Work alongside the facilitators of group programmes for the survivors of domestic abuse, helping to create an inclusive and supportive environment and providing additional support to participants as and when needed
- Encourage group participants to provide feedback on their experience of the programme, and enable them to share their stories with others through the Survivors section of the WMWA web-site and the Survivor Network
- Provide befriending support to clients when attending Family, Criminal and Civil court hearings, in particular where they would otherwise be attending court on their own
- Make ‘keeping in touch’ (KIT) calls to clients who have not contacted their support worker for a while. This is to ensure that they are reminded that WMWA is here to support them, and to offer them additional information if that is all they need from us
Support for men who have experienced domestic abuse
Work with our specialist workers who support male victims to:
- Provide a ‘befriending’ package of support to clients in conjunction with their worker. This can be done through telephone contact, other virtual means and physical meetings
- Provide support when attending Family, Criminal and Civil court hearings, in particular where there is no one else to attend court with them
- Provide ongoing practical support with any concerns the client wishes to address. This may include finances, employment or training opportunities
Practical help – e.g. driving/sorting donations
Refuges often need some TLC – shelves putting up, curtain rails replaced – so anyone handy with a drill is always welcome.
WMWA is well supported with donations of toys / clothing / small furniture items for our families. What we lack is the time to sort through and distribute donations promptly: a small team of volunteers to take this on for us would make a real difference.
We are doing more and more work with local businesses to provide them with information and resources to give to customers where they feel that they may benefit from knowing abut our services and how to contact us. We will always need volunteers with the time and transport to distribute leaflets / posters / appointment cards / information stands to places like pharmacies, hairdressers, gyms, doctor’s surgeries. We make all the delivery contacts in advance, and will always pay mileage and expenses.
Fundraising and promoting services
WMWA is a charity and whilst much of our work is funded through contracts and grants – we will always need support through fundraising to enable us to meet what is sadly an increasing need.
We are always keen to hear from those who would like to support us by volunteering through fundraising such as coffee mornings or other events, sponsored activities or targeted appeals. We provide training and information about our services, as well as t-shirts, collection tins and posters to help those who want to help us in this way.
Community Ambassador for WMWA
Domestic abuse isolates and makes it all the more difficult to reach out for help and support. We provide training and support to local people who can then cascade that knowledge and information in their local community by raising awareness, challenging the attitudes that make violence against women and girls acceptable, and providing information about local services – like ours here at West Mercia Women’s Aid.
Volunteering for WMWA
How to volunteer
WMWA is a ‘third sector’ organisation and would not be able to provide its services without the help and support of volunteers. In return, those who volunteer with West Mercia Women’s Aid have the opportunity to;
- Gain valuable work experience
- Explore personal and professional development opportunities
- Access training from a specialist domestic abuse organisation
- Have the chance to progress in a career working in this sector
Many of our paid staff began working at West Mercia Women’s Aid as volunteers, and built upon that experience to successfully apply for paid employment with us – or with sister organisations.
Most of all, those who volunteer with West Mercia Women’s Aid become part of the movement to confront domestic abuse and to help those whose lives are touched by it – to recover and move forward with strength and with hope for the future.
As a charity, WMWA is governed by a Board of Trustees – all of whom are volunteers. More information about the role of the Trustees and of the Board can be found here.
Volunteers work alongside paid staff and managers in a variety of roles and across all of the services. Each brings their unique skills and experiences to further enhance the offer that we make to the users of our services. We have developed a set of roles as a guide to the type of work that volunteers can undertake when they join WMWA, which can be accessed via the buttons to the left.
We are also keen to hear from anyone who would like to volunteer in a professional capacity, for example as a counsellor or trainee counsellor. We can provide counselling students with the opportunity to undertake practice hours, where this meets the requirements of their place of study. In the past we have been supported by a volunteer breastfeeding consultant, a play worker and homeopathic therapists who have given their time ‘pro-bono’.
West Mercia Women’s Aid also has a number of opportunities for volunteers to support our ‘back office’ staff in office administration, in assisting the Community Fundraiser, or in rolling up your sleeves and helping to organise the collection and distribution of the many donations of clothes and household items that are offered to us.
To apply to become a volunteer with WMWA please complete our Volunteer Application Form.
All volunteers are provided with training and support both before, and during their time with West Mercia Women’s Aid.