Independent Visitor (Supporting 6 - 25 year olds, Cornwall)

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Barnardo’s is committed to providing ‘Better Outcomes for More Children’. Our children’s services volunteers help the charity to deliver essential services in local communities, providing support to over 300,000 children, young people and their families. This role provides a great opportunity to join our fantastic children’s services and help make a real difference.

Our Independent Visitors provide a vital support to young people who are in care. They develop a long-term friendship with a young person and share fun and motivational experiences together. As an Independent Visitor you will help young people develop new interests, skills and hobbies or go on outings such as to the cinema, bowling or just a walk in the park. Each volunteer is carefully matched with a child or young person in their local area who shares similar interests.

We have recently received referrals for three young people in mid Cornwall (St. Austell, Truro and Newquay) who have requested male Independent Visitors. Men are largely under-represented in our service at this time, and are particularly in need for young people looking for a male role model. If you have a couple of hours free every month to meet up with a young person in care, we'd love to hear from you.

Barnardo’s Cornwall Advocacy and Independent Visitor Service is commissioned by Cornwall Council to provide Independent Visitors for children and young people who are in the care of the local authority. We receive referrals for Independent Visitors from Cornwall Council as well as other organisations, and include children and young people from a wide variety of backgrounds such as disabled children or unaccompanied asylum seekers. Independent Visitors provide a long-term supportive relationship to children and young people; to befriend, do activities and advise. Independent Visitors visit a child or young person on a regular basis, as agreed, for a minimum of 1.5 hours (not including travelling time) to promote the health, well-being and best interests of the child or young person as outlined in their personal plan. Ideally, we hope that our volunteers can commit to the role for a minimum of two years in order to offer continuity of support, as the best results are seen when an Independent Visitor can build trusting relationships over a reasonably long period. Independent Visitors will need to be available for some time between Monday and Friday after school or during weekends. The ability and willingness to travel within a reasonable distance for the service area is needed, as well as appropriate insurance whilst driving for your volunteering role. Our role-specific training programme prepares you for this vital role and your training will include face-to-face and/or virtual training sessions. On successful completion of all aspects of the training programme, this role will involve unsupervised contact with children and young people, so an enhanced criminal records check is required. Barnardo's fosters an environment that is inclusive as well as diverse for our staff and our volunteers, where our people can be themselves and be valued so that we reflect the children and young people we serve. All applicants, including those from the global majority and disabled persons, are encouraged to apply (and being particularly under-represented in this role, we would welcome applications from men). If you are passionate about transforming the lives of children and young people, we'd love to hear from you

Independent Visitors are outside the care system and provide young people with continuity, which is something not always possible with changing carers and social workers. We are therefore looking for people from all ages, backgrounds and walks of life to commit a minimum of 18 months (preferably longer) to working with a young person in this role.