Volunteer Community Engagement Officer
Could you engage with a range of people to raise awareness and understanding of living with visual impairments and other sensory impairments such as hearing loss? Could you encourage individuals and groups with sight loss to engage with our services and activities? Do you have experience of facilitating focus groups? Could you share your own experiences and knowledge with others, particularly if you have experience of a visual or hearing impairment?
We would like your support to:
Develop focus groups to engage users to collect evidence around the types of facilities and activities individuals would like to see in the new Learning and Living Zone we are developing in our new build, e.g. is there demand for sensory sessions, British Sign Language classes, self-defence classes for people with a visual impairment, etc.
Identifying organisations and groups, with staff support, to approach to book in informal talks
Preparing and delivering (the latter would be optional) informal talks to groups and organisations to raise awareness and understanding of living with visual and hearing impairments, the support available from The Wilberforce Trust and opportunities to get involved (as staff or volunteers)
Being prepared to share your own personal experience, where appropriate, of visual or hearing impairments in an appropriate way for different audiences, particularly if you have accessed support from the Trust
There is also the opportunity to engage with different elements of this role; are you great at chatting to people or public speaking but don't like writing or doing research; do you prefer working behind the scenes on written work to direct contact with the public? The role can be shared amongst volunteers to play to these strengths, e.g. a volunteer may do lots of public speaking, and another may help with identifying organisations and groups to reach out to.
How much time would I need to give?
As much or as little as you can — it is your decision. Two hours a month or a day a week, all is equally valued, all that we ask is that you communicate with the member of staff you are working with about your availability and when you are unable to fulfil agreed activities as early as possible. Occasional contributions, for example helping at a fundraising event, are also welcomed.
What will I get out of it?
Volunteering for the Wilberforce Trust gives; a chance to meet new people; to develop new skills; gain experience and knowledge; to be respected and valued for your involvement; the satisfaction of helping others; and valuable use of your spare time. You will also gain insight into the third sector and a small local charity, and training and support from staff.
A range of training opportunities are available to all volunteers. Ongoing support and supervision will be provided. Engagement in fundraising and events is also welcomed. We will also provide a reference.
What special qualities do I need to be a volunteer?
Proven experience of facilitating workshops, and focus groups
Ability to facilitate with sensitivity towards participant’s emotional and psychological wellbeing
Confident in delivering talks (if agreed to do this part of the role)
Some spare time
An open and friendly nature
Good communication skills
A sense of humour