Voluntary Action South Ayrshire

Charity registered in Scotland SC028234

Voluntary Action South Ayrshire (VASA) is the local Third Sector Interface. It is recognised by Scottish Government and South Ayrshire Council as fulfilling a key role in ensuring the continued development of a robust Third Sector in South Ayrshire.

As VASA has been created from an amalgamation of Volunteer Centre South Ayrshire (VCSA) and Council for Voluntary Organisations in Kyle and Carrick (CVOKC) it is founded on a wealth of experience gained during decades of work with Third Sector organisations, agencies and groups operating in South Ayrshire.

Current opportunities

Your role as the Telephone Befriender is to engage in conversation with a client over the phone, building a rapport and engaging with them on a weekly basis (note: some befriending matches require more than one call per week). Most of the referrals come from our partners and other agencies but some are self-referrals. All referrals are due to the client being lonely and feeling isolated. It should be noted, that does not necessarily mean they are an older person living on their own. Some referrals are for younger adults who may live in a ‘busy’ household. As a Befriender your co-ordinator will match you to a suitable client. This will be done after finding out more about both yourself and the client to see if there are similarities in personality, hobbies etc. It will not be done purely on age – often the perfect match is with different generations. Your role will be to chat to the client, using your own phone from your own home. You will be required to actively engage and encourage conversation – sometimes this needs to be led by you, the volunteer, as there could be barriers with the clients such as: confidence, disability, speech issues etc. The Telephone Befriender will not be expected to offer advice or to ‘counsel’ the client – you are simply someone to have a chat to and be a listening ear – something for the client to look forward to each week. Befrienders should give minimal personal details about themselves and should never ‘off-load’ their own issues to a client. Your coordinator will always be there to deal with any concerns you have about any of your matches. VASA induction training will be given and guidelines issued around safety protocols for volunteers and clients. Workshops will be available from time to time to cover areas of interest around Befriending. A PVG check will be carried out prior to commencement as a befriender. It should be noted that this role does not include any face-to-face befriending and no volunteer should arrange to meet with a client. Post COVID, if a one-to-one, face-to-face service was developed, appropriate training would be given then if deemed applicable. DUTIES: The role of the Telephone Befriender will be as follows: • To offer friendship and encouragement, via a telephone call, to a client who is isolated and lonely. • To provide a listening ear. • To facilitate conversation and engage with clients. • To build up a relationship with the befriendee, giving them something to look forward to on a weekly basis. • To commit to a minimum of 20min per week to the service.

Are you a young person (12-25) with existing experience of volunteering? Do you live in South Ayrshire? Then you might be interested in becoming a Saltire Ambassador! Our recently formed 'Saltire Squad' are looking for new members to help us 'fly the flag' about volunteering across South Ayrshire. If you are passionate about the benefits and impact of volunteering, then this is the ideal opportunity for you. You will be a member of a growing group of Saltire Ambassadors who are promoting volunteering and the Saltire Awards in their local communities. This opportunity is flexible to your schedule and your talents - ideal for those in school, college or university. If you sign-up, you will have the opportunity to: • Plan and attend events across South Ayrshire to promote youth volunteering. • Create engaging social media content and videos to raise awareness about volunteering and the Saltire Awards. • Work as part of a team to come up with new and fun ideas for increasing youth volunteering in South Ayrshire. • Help to plan the Saltire Awards Ceremony - an annual event celebrating the achievements of Saltire Award participants. • Join a group of young people who are passionate about making a difference in their local community! All participants will be provided with a mentor for ongoing support as well as access to events, training, and opportunities.