What is a companion?
Our companions are people who live in the community we serve that have the time and the passion to work with an individual on an informal basis, much like a close friend would. One to one working has been proven to be more effective regards social inclusion than any other method, we want you to have an impact on others you share your community with in a safe and constructive way.
“Thank you for yesterday, I am getting more positive, You’ve helped with that”
“Thank you all, love you, thank you for believing in me”
“You are the first people I feel like I can trust. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you all”
How does it work?
After your initial training period we match you with a buddy based on your skills and interests and the needs of the person we match you with. The beauty of community companions is that we can maximise the skills and experience of the people we work with to achieve lasting results. During your training period you will meet your buddy without knowing, the friendships you make during this period will go towards helping us make the match. When you have matched with your buddy we will construct a plan going forward, this will include but not limited to things like what you both hope to achieve, training, personal development, social skills, leisure interests, employment and an agreed method of recording your progress.
*Remember, companions are informal only. However, a comprehensive record must be kept for safeguarding and data protection purposes*
What will we do together?
As an informal companion the choice is yours, what would you both like to do is for you both to decide, again based on a successful match. You could go for coffee, lunch, go for walks, be at the end of the phone, be a point of contact for support or an ear to listen. Maybe you have a skill your buddy could learn, photography, art, gardening, maybe you have academic skills you can pass on, or help them access courses and training and support them in attendance. Sometimes just being there is all people need.
One of the main benefits of being a companion is the sense of integration it can give to someone that may not have felt wanted or needed in a long time, to feel included and accepted can often be the tonic needed to inspire real progress and change and help that person move forward on their journey.
How much time do I need to commit?
There is no minimum time required you need to give to be a companion, no expiry date or length of programme. All we ask is that you are sure it is something you can commit to on a weekly basis, be trust worthy and dedicated to persevere. The amount of time you commit will depend on you and how much you can offer, also the needs of your buddy will determine your required commitment. Communication will be key to this role and a willingness to work/be available not just during office hours.
Training and skills
Our companion programme offers you the opportunity to make a real difference to someone’s life on a one to one basis. There will be an initial training period during which you will learn the workings of the charity as a whole, you will also gain experience in;
• Working with vulnerable adults
• Conduct and expected behaviour
• Communication and recording
• Pathway to success
• Building relationships
• Safeguarding and data protection
To be a companion you do not need previous experience, just a passion to excel and make a positive difference to someone’s life. Training will take a minimum of 8 weeks depending on availability but we are flexible and can tailor your training to suit around your lifestyle.
The team are available for an informal chat should you wish to know more, please do get in contact with your address so we can send you an application form.
Requests should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested you will be required to complete a comprehensive application form, pass a DBS check and attend an interview, only then will your application will then be considered.
All applicants must pass a DBS (criminal records check) prior to becoming a companion.