It’s not about knowing all the answers, but knowing who else can help
We will give you training so you can help signpost people who call our memory navigation helpline. You will also stay in touch with those who have registered for this service to give them updates.These calls will be to signpost callers to various services, offer information, support and listen. You will be required to take information to register callers and make review calls to those who are already registered. You will enter basic details of the caller and their call onto our database.
Jill was one of the first memory navigation service volunteers and says this about her role
I became a CiB volunteer last autumn after a career as a librarian. I first came into contact with Carers in Beds when I worked in Central Bedfordshire Libraries and was very struck by the thoughtful approach to their work. My brother and I – with our partners and children - had found ourselves caring for our parents, who both suffered strokes. The strain affected us all in different ways, but it was a very difficult time. I could see what a difference it might have made if my family had had this sort of support. When I left libraries and thought about voluntary work, Sally Petre was at the top of my list to call.
The sessions on the Memory Navigation Helpline give me a chance to put some of the skills I learnt in library work to good use. It’s not about knowing all the answers, but knowing who else can help. The caller’s situation is very often complicated because dementia is often just one of several problems. What the volunteers like me know is that the CiB support team are there to back us up and follow up enquiries. Our role is simply to put them in touch with the people who need extra help. But I’ve never felt I haven’t helped at all when I put down the phone. There’s no doubt that for most of our users the chance to talk to someone who really wants to know how they are, can make a huge difference to their day.
About the Navigation Service
The navigation service is a helpline for people living with dementia or memory concerns, and for people who care for someone with these conditions. This helpline is accessible 5 days a week.
Once someone has registered to the service they will also receive a regular proactive telephone call, to promote the feeling of being supported and encourage use of support services.
What we are looking for
Committed and reliable volunteers.
A good telephone manner, with excellent listening skills.
Computer literate, experience of using a database would be an advantage.
Experience of undertaking telephone support work or of signposting would be helpful.
Empathy and understanding of the needs of people with dementia and their carers.
An understanding of the importance of confidentiality and adherence to the confidentiality policy.
The ability to get to know local services in order to signpost the caller to something relevant to them.
Understanding of boundaries/safeguarding and ability to escalate a call to a support worker if necessary.
How you will be supported in this role
Named contact/ member of staff
One to one and/or group based support/supervision
Access to training on a range of subjects and skills
How much time will you need to give?
A minimum of 2 hours a week/fortnight, calls to be taken at the Bedford Office, Pilgrims Centre.
You will be expected to attend a peer support session once every 3 months.
What you get out of this
- Join a small friendly team and meet new people
- Regular times fixed around your circumstances
- Gain experience in social care and telephone support work
- Access to training