|Organisation:||Hidden Voices Somerset|
Flexible to suit Volunteers availability.
We are looking for a range of volunteers to help victims of modern slavery and exploitation in Somerset. Initially the main work will be supporting people in the first seven days after referral, but we will also work longer term with many of the victims.
Official figures show 62 victims across Somerset applied for statutory support through the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) in the year to March 2020. Analysis of National figures indicate that 90-95% of victims do not wish to enter the NRM when offered the opportunity to do so, indicating a potential existence of 900 current victims across Somerset.
HVS has developed relationships with voluntary and statutory organisations, and after cross-agency consultation are running a six month pilot (Jan 4th 2021 - 30th June 2021) Victim Support project for victims and those at risk. The project will be carried out in partnership with The Clewer Initiative (the national Church of England’s anti-slavery programme) and the National Victim Support Helpline.
The project has two key elements:
Provision of Victim Support and building of an effective, self-sustaining Anti-Slavery Network across Somerset.
Volunteers are needed to enable provision of Victim Support
Referrals can be made 24/7 by anyone to the National Victim Support Helpline – initial contact point, and onward referral mechanism will be the HVS Project Co-ordinator.
A team of two core volunteers will be assigned to each referred victim, and will initiate the services required. Where appropriate they will contact specialist local organisations for support e.g. addiction issues, and will have access to a range of national specialists via Clewer networks.
The aim is for each individual to be given an initial supported space following their referral. The longer term engagement with them will depend on their legal status. Where possible, we hope they will become integrated within, and supported by, the local community to enable a consistent and secure recovery with a safety net, with the ambition of eventually being able to determine their own future, securing safe employment and housing.
We are looking for volunteers to support the following aspects of the project:
• General support from the two core volunteers will provide the victim with in-depth support and allow the core team to get to know them. Together with 2- 4 further “support volunteers” they will create a circle of support delivering everyday tasks like driving to accommodation, support at appointments and low level befriending, so that where the victim is planning to stay local they will have built up community ties to act as a preventative measure against further exploitation.
• Employment readiness and skills development: A different group of volunteers will be recruited to mentor and support victims with the right to work to obtain work with the “Bright Futures” programme, a national job placement programme for victims of slavery to which The Clewer Initiative belongs.
• Within the pilot we will also be looking at the possibility of volunteers willing to host victims
All work will be done to comply with a COVID Safe Environment.
Hidden Voices Somerset (HVS) is a local response to Modern Slavery and all forms of exploitation. Our primary focus is building asset-based community resilience through grassroots local groups - already established in Sedgemoor, Minehead and Chard, who themselves are training new church and community groups, businesses and schools using clear and consistent Apps, tools and resources provided by The Clewer Initiative, to identify and report modern slavery and exploitation.
What we are looking for:
There are a number of ways a volunteer could help.
Answering the phone and allocating victims to Support Volunteers.
Being a Core volunteer offering Victim Support, driving victim to safe-house accommodation or appointments.
Helping to fill in forms.
We will give full training.
Satisfaction of helping people who have come from awful situations.
Helping stamp out modern slavery.
Supporting people less fortunate than ourselves.
Can add onto your CV.
|Expenses:||Out of pocket expenses will be paid|
|Other:||Full training will be given and if a core volunteer or victim facing volunteer you will work in pairs. We have many tasks and will match volunteers to what they feel comfortable doing.|
Application form, Informal discussion, References, DBS Check, Interview