We have several Little Sibs on the waiting list. Help us...
Any resident of the city of Cambridge that gets in touch with SCA to ask for a volunteer will be considered under our Taskforce project. Examples of requests include:
- Befriending lonely elderly people in their homes
- Helping physically disabled people to get out of their homes (for walking, shopping, exercise classes, to the library etc.)
- Befriending young adults with physical and learning disabilities.
- Gardening for elderly people
- Teaching English as a Second Language for adults
- Befriending people suffering from depression or other forms of mental health problems.
- A representative from SCA will be present during the first visit from the volunteer for each new client.
- If your friends want to meet the client you help out, that would be great, but please direct them to the office first to be registered with SCA. Only volunteers and clients paired by SCA are covered by our Health and Safety policy.
- When talking about your client to your friends you can use their first name, mention their age, what things you do. However, please keep the following details confidential: surnames, address, contact details.
- If you would like more information on learning disabilities, please visit http://www.cambridgesca.org.uk/node/355
Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults:
- All volunteers are encouraged to attend a 2-hour long training session on Safeguarding Children within their first term of volunteering (these are organised by SCA). Be aware of child and vulnerable adults protection issues. For more information, please visit the following links http://www.cambridgesca.org.uk/node/321 (child protection) and http://www.cambridgesca.org.uk/node/327 (protection of vulnerable adults)
- If you have any concerns about the wellbeing of the children or vulnerable adults, please contact Caroline Ward immediately, who is our safeguarding / welfare officer, on 07749 738 870
- When in the home of the client use your common sense. Always be on the lookout for potential hazards (such as fire and electrical risks) Do not stay on your own in the house with children. A parent/guardian should always be present as well. If you are asked to babysit, you must check with the office first. You should try to make sure that someone (other than the family you are visiting) knows where you are and when you will return. This could be a friend or even a college porter.
- Always stay in public places where there are other people about, such as parks, shopping streets, the cinema, the swimming baths. Always carry emergency contact numbers with you, including a contact number for a parent/guardian/next of kin if possible. If you have a mobile phone it is a good idea to take it with you.
- Please make sure the activities you engage in are appropriate for the client’s age and ability.
- Again, always be on the lookout for potential hazards, especially road safety.
Look after yourself:
- Stick to the agreed length of time for your visit (usually 1 - 2 hours). If you feel under pressure to stay longer, say no firmly and explain that you have an appointment.
- When travelling to and from the session, please use common sense in regards to your personal safety: plan ahead, if possible avoid poorly lit and isolated areas, carry a mobile phone and some spare change with you. For more information how to stay safe, please visit http://www.cambridgesca.org.uk/node/324
- Don’t do anything you feel uncomfortable about or are not happy with. If you have doubts, you probably shouldn’t be doing it! If you do have any problems, or questions, please get in contact with the Project Leader or the SCA office staff - we are here to help you!
- If you need to get the bus to visit your client we can reimburse your fare, just make sure to bring your tickets in regularly.
- Please try and stick to free or cheap activities with your client, however if there is anything special you would like to do, contact us in advance and we’ll do our best to cover the cost where appropriate.
- If the client would like to pay for you both to take part in an activity this is acceptable and you do not need authorisation to do so as long as you carry out a quick risk assessment to ensure you are covered by our insurance. To do this just e-mail email@example.com
- We encourage the sessions to take place weekly at the same time. However, we understand that this can sometimes be difficult. Please make sure that you agree the time and date of the next meeting before you leave.
- Elderly people may prefer things to be written down before you leave each session so they don’t forget when you are visiting next.
- Agree the best method of communication with the client. We find text messages work fairly well as it avoid the problems of playing telephone tag and people not picking up calls from numbers they don’t recognise.
- Make sure you have the client’s contact details and that they have yours. If you lose their number, get in touch with the SCA office.
- If you can’t make it to the session, you MUST let the client / their carers know.
- If you are unable to continue volunteering, or need to pause for a prolonged period of time (eg exams) you MUST inform both the client / their carers and the SCA office. We understand that sometimes other commitments take priority, but the clients are likely to be upset and confused if you just stop turning up.
IF ANYTHING DOES HAPPEN DURING A VISIT WITH YOUR CLIENT PLEASE LET THE SCA OFFICE KNOW IMMEDIATELY
Health and Safety brief
|HAZARD||RISK||ACTION TO BE TAKEN|
|g a r d e n i n g|
|Injuries on equipment, falling from ladders, back injuries from over exhaustion, hand injuries from bushes and brambles.||medium||Volunteers asked to assess each job they are asked to do and will only attempt the job if they have sufficient training and equipment.
Only simple gardening activities to be undertaken e.g grass cutting, pruning and weeding. No power tools to be used.
If volunteer required to use a ladder they must only do so once they have inspected the ladder to ensure it is safe and they have someone strong enough to hold and steady the bottom of the ladder. A ladder should only be put up on solid, stable and straight ground.
|b e f r i e n d i n g||Volunteer asked to do too much and client becomes too reliant on the volunteer.||medium||Volunteers will only make visits that have been agreed through the SCA office when the referral is made, and will contact the office if they feel pressured to do more or if they feel the client could use an extra volunteer.|
|m o b i l i t y a s s i s t a n c e||Over exhaustion and injury from pushing a wheelchair too far.||medium||The volunteer should agree before hand where they are going to be required to take the volunteer and should only agree if they are happy it is not too far for them.|
|Injuries from attempting to lift the client||high||Volunteers should NEVER attempt to lift a client.|