Venues of individual volunteer placements vary depending on the location of the project the volunteer is working with.
Volunteering with RB Mind
RB Mind is incredibly lucky to have the enthusiastic support of around 100 volunteers without whom our services could not flourish as successfully as they do. Volunteers support each of our projects in different ways such as: helping to run an activity group (e.g. drama, creative writing or music appreciation) in our Wellbeing Centre; making sense of figures and paperwork in the office; running stalls at our community fairs; counselling and running groups; providing companionship when illness makes it difficult to get out and meet people; and so much more.
What volunteers do
Volunteers give their time freely and are not paid for the contribution they make (although volunteers can reclaim travel and lunch expenses if they incur these while volunteering with us). Volunteers work alongside paid staff to complement the work that RB Mind does, empowering our Service Users to get the most out of the projects we run.
The benefits of volunteering
Volunteering has been shown to be good for your mental health. As volunteering is a commitment taking place at a regular time and designated place, it provides a structured activity which some people find helpful when they want to build a routine. Volunteers report improved confidence, self-esteem and sense of purpose as a result of their volunteering activities.
Volunteers also speak warmly about the range of people they meet and the friendships they make through their volunteering. People from all backgrounds volunteer and it can be a great way to get to know a wider circle of people and feel more involved with your community.
Our volunteers have a wide range of motivations for wanting to support us. Some people have experienced mental health problems themselves or have known someone else who has. Volunteering might be a step towards recovery or to getting back into work, or it might be a way to give something back to the community that has supported them. Other people might be seeking to volunteer to gain experience for a training course or a career change into mental health. Whatever your motivation might be for volunteering we’re keen to hear what has inspired you and do our best to make sure you get the most out of volunteering with us.
How we support our volunteers
RB Mind’s volunteers are managed in accordance with our Volunteer Policy, a copy of which can be found under the Policies and Procedures section of our website.
All of our volunteers have a written role description which clarifies what the purpose and scope of their role is, what the practical arrangements for it are and which member of staff is responsible for supervising them.
On starting a placement a new volunteer is given an induction, a copy of our Volunteer Handbook and information on how to claim their expenses. Our volunteers receive regular supervision, ongoing support and a Work Reference once 3 months active engagement with RB Mind is completed.
How to apply to volunteer with us
Please take a look at our webpage Volunteer Vacancies where we advertise all our available volunteer roles. If you see a role you would like to apply for please email our Volunteer Co-ordinator at [email protected] for a volunteer application form.
Once you have completed the application form you will be invited to meet with our Volunteer Co-ordinator who will discuss with you what volunteering with us involves in more depth. This will also be an opportunity for you to discuss what has attracted you to RB Mind and what you would like to get out of volunteering. If all goes well and both parties wish to proceed, our Volunteer Co-ordinator will request two character references for you and process a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Once the necessary paperwork is complete you’ll be invited to an induction and then start your volunteering shortly after.
If you are interested in applying for a counselling, psychotherapy or clinical psychology placement with our Counselling and Therapy Service then the application process is different. Please see our Counselling and Therapy webpages for more information.
Volunteer Case Studies
Here are two stories on the experience of volunteering with Richmond Borough Mind:
Diana’s Story – which focuses on volunteering with our Peer Group Network
Sophie’s Story – which focuses on volunteering with our youth projects