Volunteer supported services

Recovery Colleges

Recovery and Wellbeing Colleges cover Wakefield, Barnsley, Calderdale and Kirklees. Each service runs a range of workshops and courses, which promote wellbeing and good mental health.

Recovery Colleges do not support a person to gain a formal qualification, but instead help a person learn how to stay well and be well; there is a focus on personal development, wellbeing and recovery.

Recovery Colleges not only have a small number of ‘Trust volunteers’ but in addition have an informal network of helpers known as a ‘league of friends’. The ‘league of friends’ are people who are not formal ‘Trust volunteers’ but offer support to Recovery Colleges as part of their own recovery journey.

Recovery colleges will ensure that ‘league of friends’ are properly supported and supervised and that their skills are used appropriately.

Befriending service

The ‘Befriending service’ recruit volunteers through the ‘Trust volunteer service’ to become a companion to (someone), especially when they need help or support.

The ‘Befriending service’ not only supports people but also helps to reduce stigma, increase confidence and self-esteem of the individual to support and develop positive mental health.

By helping people connect with their local community it in turn encourages positive mental wellbeing and reduces isolation. In addition to the Trust wide formal recruitment and training offer the befriender service requires befriender volunteers to complete a two-day ‘Befriender Training’ course to support them in their role.

Creative Minds

Creative Minds is a charity hosted by the Trust and is all about the use of creative approaches and activities in healthcare, increasing self-esteem, providing a sense of purpose, restoring hope, and promoting social inclusion.

Creative Minds charity develops community partnerships to not only co-fund but also co-deliver projects for local people. Creative Minds draw on a network of community volunteers, that support projects and contribute towards decision making in their locality.

The bulk of volunteers within projects are supported by the partner organisations.  Volunteers fulfill many roles within projects and the partner organisations. They develop their social skills, increase confidence, meet new people, and develop employable skills. Creative Minds also plays a role in encouraging volunteering and signposting people to volunteering opportunities in Trust wide services and partners in the community.

Live well Wakefield self-management services

Live well Wakefield provides health and wellbeing related services to people living in the Wakefield area. As part of this provision, they offer self-help courses such as ‘Expert Patient Program (EPP) and workshops that give attendees tools and techniques to help understand and manage their health more effectively.

The courses are led by dedicated volunteers and staff who live with chronic health issues themselves. These volunteers are recruited through the ‘volunteer service’ and are supported with mandatory training. Additional training to support their role is through the ‘Live Well Wakefield self-management service’. Volunteers support the courses and workshops. which are designed to enable people to take control of their own health by learning new skills and increasing their confidence.

Lay chaplains

Lay volunteer chaplains go through the Trust formal recruitment and training process and are required to undergo comprehensive training. The pastoral and spiritual care strategy is to attract people from a variety of faith and non-religious backgrounds to the role.

A volunteer lay chaplain will visit, listen, empathise, offer compassionate care, and refer to a senior member of the chaplaincy team anything they consider to be beyond their role in the promotion good mental health care.

The Lay Chaplin service offer is a unique and vital role in the provision of pastoral, spiritual and emotional support in the multi-disciplinary environment of mental health care. They embrace the values that underpin the role of a chaplain and are committed to deepening their understanding of the role through reflective practice, continued learning and training.

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