Making Space Project Support Volunteer

The role

This is a rewarding volunteering opportunity to become involved in our innovative Making Space project, which has been developed to support people with hoarding tendencies.

Compulsive hoarding is often a hidden issue and can severely impact on someone’s quality of life. Accumulation of possessions can inhibit people living safely and comfortably in their home, prevent essential repairs or adaptations work being carried out, delay hospital discharge and can make the prospect of moving feel overwhelming. People with hoarding behaviours accumulate possessions for a number of reasons.

We Care Home Improvements work closely with the Psychology Department at Bath University, their staff and students, to ensure our approach and service delivery is within the best interest of our clients. The project has been very popular resulting in a waiting list of over 100 referrals. We are looking for committed, enthusiastic and passionate volunteers who, after training, will be able to help empower clients to address their hoarding behaviours. We adopt a therapeutic and patient approach to support, as one of the core aims of the project is to sustainably help people to make their home safe and comfortable.

What will you be doing and how often?

  • Empower clients to understand why they gather possession, why they find it challenging to let go of these and establish their motivations for why they would like to part with them
  • Build a therapeutic relationship with the client and together form a plan for clearing areas of the house and organising their possessions
  • Coordinate the clearance of the client’s items; ensuring they have consented to which items are being cleared and agreed to where they are being disposed (i.e. to friends and family, to a charity shop or to a recycle and waste disposal centre)
  • The role involves lone working on a one to one basis as you will be visiting clients in their homes
  • The length of a visit is flexible however we wouldn’t ask for a commitment of more than five hours in any one day.
  • The frequency of visits is ideally between seven to ten days and will need to be mutually agreed between the client and volunteer
  • The period of support is also flexible and an official review will take place after three months
  • Volunteers will work in liaison with Caseworkers and support will be provided from the Volunteer Coordinator along with mutual support from other Making Space volunteers
  • There are opportunities to become involved in the Making Space steering group, volunteer training and recruitment, and in informing the strategic direction of the project
  • The locations of the visits vary as we support clients across Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire.

Personal qualities

  • A passion for supporting vulnerable people and in particular, people with complex needs
  • Have a warm, empathetic and non-judgmental communication style
  • The ability to accurately and concisely document information, have access to email and demonstrate basic computer skills
  • Ability to listen well
  • Be patient and reliable
  • Have the confidence to support people with complex needs on a 1-2-1 basis in what can often be a challenging environment
  • Preferably have access to a car or a willingness to travel on public transport.

Other information

DBS check: Due to the nature of the role you will need to have completed an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check including a check of the DBS barred list before supporting a client.

To get an insight into the lives of people with hoarding difficulties, click the link to watch this video.

How to apply

Please download this application form, complete and send to volunteersmailbox@wecr.org.uk