Volunteering as a Guardian

How to be a great Guardian!

    • Got a few hours to spare a month?
    • Got good networks – they can be professional or social – it is more about who you know rather than what you know!
    • Want to support people from excluded communities to achieve their dreams?
    • This could be for you…

 

    • We get customers referred from various organisations eg the City of Sanctuary or NHS organisations
    • The Director matches referrals up with a Guardian and links them up
    • You make a phone call to arrange a meeting in a public place – coffee shops are good!
    • You agree with your customer what their aims are and start agreeing a plan for what you can do to help and what they need to do.

What you might do for them…

    • Look at their cv and help them improve it if necessary
    • Help them understand ‘how we do things here’ and how systems work, like the NHS or Education or Local Government
    • Think of people you could introduce them to – they might be in leadership positions who can make things happen; they might be happy to arrange some shadowing in their organisation so customers can see at first hand how things work; they might offer some work experience or consider them for roles in their organisation
    • Think laterally…

What you need to remember….

    • Our customers have often been let down or even treated with disrepect by those in authority
    • They may lack confidence and self esteem
    • They might test you to see if you are serious about helping them!
    • Say what you are going to do and do it
    • Keep in touch with them regularly If only to say how are you doing?
    • Be persistent and consistent!

 

    • The relationship does not have to be a long term one – sometimes they just want a launchpad and off they go! Others come and go and some stay for a long time.
    • There may be a bit of mentoring or coaching but we are not there to sort out their everyday problems like benefit or housing – their referral agency will do that. We are there to support them to achieve their ambitions
    • We need to treat all their information confidentially and respect their privacy
    • If we find out something bad is happening to them or they are involved in something criminal for example we need to report it!

What sort of customers do we have?

    • Most are refugees but not all
    • Some are professionally qualified here or in their country of origin
    • Some just want to get a job or start some training
    • They all have ambition!

 

If you are stuck tell us!

  • You will be allocated a Guardian Angel who can advise you
  • The website can be found on www.growingpoints.co.uk
  • On the site there is a Guardian Zone where information is available on other Guardians whom you might want to contact
    (it is password protected and you will be given details)
  • There are policies on the GZ about confidentiality and disclosure to others
  • There is general information about resources on the site
  • There are some handy top tips

If you have any questions about this, or wish to become a Guardian, please contact the Growing Points Director, see Who we are.