Neil’s Hugs Foundation are an already established community charity based in West Lothian and strongly believe in working in communities to raise awareness of poor mental health and suicide which is affecting so many people. We believe that partnership work is the way to achieve our goal of reducing suicide rates.
Neil’s Hugs Foundation provides support to people who have lost someone to suicide, support people who are currently living with/supporting someone who has attempted suicide by signposting to appropriate support agencies. We run support groups for people who have suffered a loss to suicide; peer support groups for men and women with mild to moderate poor mental health. All the groups are safe spaces to talk, but 1-to-1 support is available for people who do not feel they are able to attend a group at this moment.
Neil’s Hugs Foundation provides a befriending service to reduce isolation working with the person to engage with external groups to increase network.
We are looking for people who wants to support others by giving some time to befriend someone who is experiencing poor mental health. You will help them access community resources, build their confidence and help promote a healthy wellbeing.
We need volunteers who can help out at weekly support groups for people who have experienced, or are experiencing, bereavement from suicide; people who have had experience of poor mental health in the past and want to help others (both men and women) in the journey.
Neil’s Hugs Foundation are looking for people who can lend an ear to others who need to talk and have phone contact with the individual.
The Foundation is run by a small team but we will link in with volunteers in West Lothian for a regular support group, where one can expect informal training and general discussions and support.
The Coordinator, Janice Muir, will work with you on a regular basis and hold supervisions. Here you will be required to provide briefs of case notes from contacts.
Training will mostly be given online, including: the experience of bereavement & grief; First Aid For Mental Health; Neil’s Hugs Suicide Awareness; Living life and good wellbeing training is in house; and further purchased training will be a large focus initially due to covid restrictions, our aim is to have our team ready to go once the lockdown is lifted. Training will be given, but all of our roles require an understanding and empathetic nature, and the ability to listen to others and provide non-judgemental support.
Times will be flexible and can work around what is good for the volunteer and the person they are supporting. All volunteers will be PVG checked to work with vulnerable adults.
Due to the nature of the support we offer, someone who is currently experiencing poor mental health should not apply as this work is likely to add additional stress ontop of what they may already be experiencing. However, this is a very good position for someone who has experienced the journey of recovery.
Given the nature of the support we offer this would be a role best suited to someone over 18, but we are working on a programme for young volunteers which will be piloted in West Lothian, with the intention of being rolled out in Clacks & Stirling in the future. Befrienders and the people we support will be matched according to circumstances.
The first few months will be shadowed around the zoom groups and training as above, to be ready for work with people directly once lock down has lifted.
Most support will be in the community but some will be in the local community centres or designated areas for the support group.
All workers will have a sheet to claim expenses. This can be submitted as often as needed, plus petty cash can also be made available.