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 please contact Jane Rennie, Director of Growing Points on 07809151595 jane@growingpoints.co.uk

If you wish to become a Guardian, please contact Jane at the email address/mobile number above