Making a difference by working together
There are two volunteer options within SWMCRC:
- Mentoring and Motivational Support Volunteer Mentors
- Education, Training and Employment (ETE) Volunteer Mentors
It is important to note that once volunteer training is completed it is possible to engage in either role.
When vacancies are live, an application form will be available to download on the latest vacancies page, under the careers tab.
Volunteers – making a difference
SWMCRC recruits volunteers from diverse backgrounds across Staffordshire and the West Midlands. They act as role models for offenders, they are positive influence on them and assist them in gaining confidence and achieving their goals.
Could you make a difference?
- Would you be available regularly?
- Could you be available to volunteer on a regular basis for the next 12 months?
What can I do as a volunteer?
Volunteers can make a significant contribution to reducing re-offending. Their work is built into a range of services delivered by SWMCRC and partner organisations designed to tackle offending behaviour.
Volunteers are not expected to undertake tasks for which professional training is required. All clients working with a volunteer will have been fully risk assessed and considered suitable for this type of contact before commencing work with a volunteer.
Mentoring and Motivational Support Volunteers
Support Volunteers assist offenders by supporting and encouraging them to comply with and complete their community sentence or licence under direction of their officer by:
- Providing practical support, eg helping offenders to register with a GP or register for benefits
- Helping to complete application forms
- Helping offenders identify and access positive ways of using their spare time
- Providing support to people with addictions or mental health problems
- Assisting in community connection/resource centres and hostels as well as prison projects
- Providing support to offenders in custody
- Providing support to offenders’ families
- Working closely with officers
Education, Training and Employment (ETE) Volunteer Mentors
These volunteers work with offenders on their Education, Training and Employment (ETE) needs.
This could be in a group, or one-to-one.
Groupwork tasks include assisting a college tutor in a Skills For Life class, or working with a Probation Service Officer to run job clubs for offenders, where they receive help with job searches, making applications, interview skills and researching funding for training.
One-to-one mentors meet with an offender every week to provide motivation support, assist with setting education, training and employment goals, and developing a plan with the offender to achieve these goals. It could include simple things like accompanying an offender to college for the first time, or giving a pep talk before a job interview.
Leaflet for prospective volunteers
Leaflet for probation clients
Skills and qualifications
No formal qualifications are needed to become a volunteer, although there are some skills you will need.
All of our volunteers need to:
- Have a belief that people can change
- Demonstrate pro-social behaviour (acting as a positive role model)
- Understand and maintain confidentiality
- Be non-judgemental and non-discriminatory
- Be able to work individually and as a part of a team
- Establish relationships with offenders and others while maintaining professional boundaries
You will also need to be able to commit to a minimum number of hours and months volunteering an hour a week for a minimum of 12 months as well as attending initial training. Further training is offered to volunteers, should you wish to develop specific areas of interest.
What if I have a conviction?
All volunteers accepted onto the training programme will be required to consent to an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check. This check will show any cautions, bindovers and convictions.
If you do have any convictions, please make sure you declare these on your application form. If you have any convictions, these are not an automatic bar to volunteering. Applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Consideration will be given to the circumstances surrounding the offence, their relevance and impact on the project and the applicant’s current circumstances. However, Volunteers will need to be able to demonstrate a sustained period of time being offence-free.
SWMCRC’s Human Resources department will make the final decision as to whether any previous convictions could make an applicant unsuitable for volunteering. Please do not be discouraged by this process. If you have any concerns, please feel free to discuss them with:
SWM CRC Volunteer Coordinator
SWM CRC Head Office
4th Floor, Livery Place
35 Livery Street
Tel: 0121 273 5070
Mobile: 07736 186 694
Please note we are not able to consider applications from persons who are currently subject to Community Orders, Suspended Sentence Orders or on licence. If you have previously been sentenced to a custodial sentence, you will need to wait until after your sentence expiry date (SED) to apply.
To help you understand more about disclosing previous convictions to employers, SWM CRC has created a video starring Benjamin Zephaniah – Making Your Past Pay. The video is available to watch/download online from https://vimeo.com/105214823.
How to apply
You will need to complete an application form and attend an interview to confirm your suitability for the role. If you are accepted, you will be required to complete some training, submit references and undergo vetting and a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check before starting work with offenders.
When vacancies are available, contact details and how to apply with be posted under the ‘Latest Vacancies’ page.