Volunteering at Southdown
Most of our volunteering opportunities are predominantly designed for people who have accessed our services.
Our volunteers are across Sussex and carry out activities such as supporting groups, buddying, providing strategic input, peer support, meet and greeting clients and gardening. We fully value everything a volunteer brings to Southdown and are committed to ensuring your time with us is well spent.
Please note: Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, most of our volunteering and all of our recruitment for new volunteers is on hold.
For more information about volunteering at Southdown please email Mel, our Volunteer Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Client Involvement is a term used to describe the many different ways that clients of our services can be involved with Southdown. We have no set approach for involving our clients, instead we work with our clients to provide a variety of opportunities for them to share their ‘voice’ and tell us what they think. Some examples of client involvement at Southdown include sharing feedback through surveys or having a conversation with a member of staff about a service. It could also include being part of designing or developing a service.
Why get involved?
- Develop teamwork, communication and problem-solving skills
- Improve your confidence in a safe environment
- Make a real impact within Southdown and help develop what we do
- Access to training
- Develop skills and experience to support you to secure paid work or progress further education
‘Getting involved with Southdown has helped me to gain confidence and improve my mental health.’ - Southdown client
Opportunities to be involved
Southdown offers a variety of ways that clients can get involved across the organisation. For information on these opportunities, we have produced a 'Menu of Involvement'.
If you'd like to chat through any of these opportunities or would like more information, please get in touch using the details at the bottom of this page.
Southdown’s Client Involvement and Inclusion Manager is currently looking at the development of client involvement opportunities across the organisation. Working alongside our Client Involvement and Inclusion Manager are our Client Involvement Champions, members of staff working across our services who are passionate about developing client involvement opportunities.
Client Involvement Advisory Group
Our Client Involvement Advisory Group is at the very heart of delivering and developing client involvement across Southdown. The team is made up of clients of our services or former clients who have used our services within the past 12 months.
We are currently recruiting for clients and former clients to join the team. This opportunity is ideal for clients who:
- want to get more involved with, and give back to, Southdown
- are passionate about clients' needs
- can meet and travel regularly (expenses will be paid)
- feel at ease in group environments
If you are interested in being involved, please contact us using the details below. We would particularly like to hear from clients who are from BME or underrepresented communities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I want to get involved but I’m not sure how?
Please get in touch with us using the contact details below. We'd love to hear from you and can talk through any questions you have.
Q. Can I still get involved if I get anxious and need special requirements?
We appreciate that people might feel anxious in group environments, as such, it may be possible for your support worker to attend opportunities with you. Alternatively, we could put in place measures that would make you feel more comfortable. Please make us aware of your situation so we can help you to get involved. We also recognise that clients might have special requirements that we need to be aware of. Again, please let our Client Involvement Advisor know of any barriers that might prevent you from attending meetings that you would like to come to.
Q. What is the difference between client involvement, peer support and volunteering?
Client involvement means involving people that use services; in the planning, delivery and development of those services. A client’s perspective is invaluable as they can share their experience of support and help an organisation adapt its practices to their needs. Peer support is when individuals who share the same lived experience support each other with their knowledge and skills. Volunteering is when someone gives up their time, without payment, to help an organisation in a variety of ways, and that is mutually beneficial for both parties.
Q. What does the term ‘co-production’ mean?
Co-production is where clients and staff work in partnership with an equal say and influence over decisions made about that service. Southdown encourages the use of co-production in the design and delivery of our services.