Volunteer Support Group Facilitator Role
PeerTalk Support Groups are for individuals who experience depression, anxiety or similar distress.
The Support Group meetings are facilitated by two Facilitators who receive initial and ongoing training from PeerTalk.
We are currently developing other voluntary roles within PeerTalk which will support aspects of our work other than facilitating at our groups. Further information will be shared here as these developments take shape.
However, in terms of our support groups, we are recruiting a team of 12 Volunteer Facilitators for a brand new peer support group in Sunderland, which will start in May 2020. The support group will meet every Tuesday evening, 7.30 - 9pm at City Space, 3 Chester Road, Sunderland, SR1 3SD. Applicants will need to be available on a Tuesday evening.
Additionally, we are recruiting a further 6 Volunteer Facilitators for each of our existing peer support groups in Gateshead and Whitley Bay.
The support group in Gateshead meets every Monday evening, 7 - 8.30pm, at Bensham Grove Community Centre, Sidney Grove, Gateshead, NE8 2XD. The support group in Whitley Bay meets every Wednesday evening, 7 - 8.30pm at The Big Local, 158 Whitley Rd, Whitley Bay NE26 2LY. Applicants for each of these groups must be available on the nights on which they meet.
A Training Day for new Volunteer Facilitators will take place on Saturday 28th March, 9.45am - 4pm, at The Grand Hotel, Queens Parade, Sunderland, SR6 8DB.
Please note: the Training Day is suspended for now in the light of current Government advice. However, we are keeping applications open and will reschedule the training as soon as we are able to.
If you would like to train as a volunteer for any of our groups, you can apply online here
All volunteers adhere to PeerTalk’s ethos, policies and procedures.
The Facilitators work on a rota basis (usually at the same venue, same day/time of the week) for a minimum of three consecutive weeks per quarter and are supported by, and report to the Support Group Coordinator.
Facilitator duties at the meeting
- To arrive 20 minutes prior to the Support Group meeting time.
- To prepare the room for the meeting
- To engage in pre brief with co facilitator.
- To meet and greet new and regular attendees.
- To check that new people are at the right meeting and to introduce them to the rest of the group.
- To begin and close the meeting punctually.
- To facilitate the meeting according to the training given.
- To debrief with the other Facilitator after closing the meeting.
- To complete attendance statistics on a weekly basis.
- To keep a record and receipts of expenses incurred in your role as a Support Group Facilitator and to send your completed expenses form to the PeerTalk office.
- To ensure the meeting room is left as you found it.
- The minimum volunteer time commitment with the support group is 18 months, following the initial training. Additionally, we invite our volunteers to attend a meeting every 8 weeks for mutual support and to receive ongoing training. We may offer other training opportunities, which will be optional.
The sustainability of a PeerTalk Support Group depends on the commitment, personal qualities and enthusiasm of the people who volunteer as Facilitators. These personal qualities include:
- Being a good listener.
- Being able to show compassion and empathy.
- Being non judgemental.
- Having common sense.
- Having a strong sense of commitment.
- Being able to present balanced viewpoints.
- Having a willingness to learn.
- Having a sense of humour.
- Being able to keep a confidence.
- Having good communication skills.
- Being respectful of others.
- Having enthusiasm for this area of mental health or for the work of PeerTalk.
- Being a good team player.
- Being a person of integrity.
All Support Group Facilitators will undertake a DBS check and have an appropriate awareness of safeguarding issues related to fulfilling the role.
Creating a space where people feel accepted and valued is one of the core tasks of the PeerTalk Support Group Facilitator.
- There is an initial training day for Support Group Facilitators, followed by some online preparation.
- Volunteers are introduced to the requirements of the role in terms of commitment and expectations.
- Various characteristics of depression, anxiety and related mental health conditions are explained.
- The skills of facilitating a group are introduced and practised through role play.
- The policies and procedures of PeerTalk are explained.
To apply, please click here