Our Volunteer Training programme


Our training programme leads to a level 3 Certificate and a level 4 Diploma In Peer Support for Parents. It takes year to complete the training to become one of our qualified peer supporters, but after the first stage of training our volunteers start their supervised work experience, where they work alongside experienced peer supporters and put what they have learned into practice.

During the first six months of the training programme, trainee Parent Peer Supporters attend one training session each week and monthly individual tutorials. They also shadow experienced volunteers when they are leading outreach activities, taking part in team review and planning sessions.

When they begin their supervised work experience the time commitment increases to the equivalent of two days each week.

We expect trainee peer supporters to attend most of the training sessions and if they miss any they must catch up on the work that was done. There will be some homework to do during the course but it will only take an hour or two per week.

Just like our qualified peer supporters, trainees have regular individual supervision sessions when we review their progress and discuss how things are going for them during the training programme.

All of our wolunteers can have additional supervision and mentoring as and when required. They also take part in regular group supervision sessions with experienced volunteer peer supporters. During those sessions they review and reflect on their learning, their practice, their personal development and how they are coping with the demands of their role

We have a monitoring system for tracking the progress and performance of our volunteers that helps us to spot and deal with any problems that may arise quickly and effectively.

 

Before they start their supervised work experience, they must submit an application to the Disclosure and Barring Service (what used to be called a CRB check). If a person has a criminal conviction this will not automatically prevent them from volunteering, but they will need to discuss this confidentially with the Project Manager first.

Trainee Peer Supporters do not have to write long assignments and there are no tests or examinations. They are just asked to keep records of the work they do during training sessions and how they prepared for and reviewed their voluntary work. Then we ask them to meet with the Trainer and Project Manager to tell them about a piece of work they have done and explain how they used what they learned during the training when they were doing it.

During and after the training, volunteers are invited to take part in Trustees meetings and meetings, activities and events abiout the chairty for people from the community and different agencies. The training programme prepares volunteers for those activities and events and by being involved in them the trainees can play an important part in helping to build the project and decide how it grows.

After finishing the training programme, Peer Supporters can choose whether they want to focus on offering individual support to parents or help to lead parent support groups – or both. They are expected to do a minimum of 2 days voluntary work per week for at least six months.