Volunteer Caseworkers are the lifeblood of SSAFA, supporting a growing number of people in need of financial, practical and emotional support.
Caseworkers visit clients to work out what type of help they need. Next, they find the right sources of support and arrange for clients to access it. This might be funds for special equipment for someone with a disability, adaptions to a property so an older client can remain at home or funds for a rental deposit. Caseworkers also sign-post clients onto specialist local services for advice on benefits, housing, mental health, debt, finding work etc.
The essential part of the role is visiting clients, so you will need access to a vehicle or another way to travel to meet clients at home or in a care home setting. As part of your local branch you might have access to an office, but many volunteers are based at home.
What does this role involve?
• Contacting clients and arranging to meet them at a mutually convenient time
• Meeting clients and completing a form to assess their circumstances
• Sign-posting clients onto local services providing specialist advice
• Applying on the client’s behalf to military and non-military sources of charitable funding
• Arranging for the purchase of goods and services
• Keeping in touch with the client so they know how their case is progressing
• Keeping in touch with your branch so they know your availability
• Keeping up to date with training and SSAFA news so that you are best able to support clients
• Being a positive ambassador for SSAFA remembering that anyone you meet could be a potential client, volunteer or fundraiser
What can you gain from this volunteering role?
• Support people in your community with a military background
• Use your skills, knowledge and life experience to benefit others
• Support and friendship from your local SSAFA branch and the wider SSAFA community
• Experience, training and skills that you can highlight on your CV and in job interviews
• Better physical and mental health – studies show that volunteers live longer and experience lower levels of stress and depression!
What skills or experience do you need?
• Good listening and communication skills including written and spoken English
• Ability to be respectful and non-judgemental with clients, their family, other agencies and SSAFA colleagues
• Ability to send and receive emails – you will receive your own SSAFA email address
• Ability to make enquires on behalf of clients by phone, email, letter or by filling in forms
• Willingness to use our on-line case management system (this is covered in the caseworker training course)
• Ability to keep within boundaries of the role with regards to friendship or giving advice
• Reliable attitude, contact clients promptly, keep appointments, update the branch regarding your availability
• Ability to maintain confidentiality and keep information safely