Community Companion Volunteers receive training to become part of a team of volunteers offering one-on-one companionship and community support to individuals in recovery from mental illnesses. Volunteers learn how to forge healing relationships through conversation and engaged listening. As a volunteer you will walk alongside, encourage, and empower others as they reconnect to their community. Volunteers meet with Program Participants weekly in the community for conversation over coffee or tea, and get support from other volunteers between appointments, as needed.
This brief but regularly scheduled time with Participants, dedicated to engaging them in one-to-one conversation, has proven to be immeasurably healing. The simple power of conversation and human connection in promoting health and well-being will astound you.
As a volunteer you will also support Program Participants as they reestablish ties to their community, because connecting to the community plays a key role in promoting mental health and combating homelessness. This is accomplished through group ventures to low cost/free community musical performances, plays, picnics (to name a few!), by encouraging and empowering participants to utilize and seek out community resources, and by encouraging them to connect with other people.
SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES of a COMMUNITY COMPANION VOLUNTEER (CCV)
- Invite clients to meet one-on-one in the community. (Individual meetings can range from sharing coffee, tea, or snacks to pursuing an interactive activity like drawing or walking. CCVs are welcome to bring games and other creative tools to their meetings with clients.)
- Attend one affordable or free community event each month as a team with other CCVs and clients, such as a concert, street fair, or trip to the park.
- Develop supportive, genuine, side-by-side, public relationships with clients according to an established model of companionship while maintaining appropriate boundaries. Encourage and empower clients to connect with the greater community.
- Regularly meet with the Community Companion Team to discuss experiences, gather insight, and provide/receive support.
- Regularly meet with the Community Companion Team Leader for individual check-in.
- Attend two initial training sessions and other ongoing training events.
- Commit to one year of volunteer service.
- Age 21 or older.
- Good listening skills and the ability to communicate well. Skill with interpersonal relationships. Ability to set and hold boundaries. Compassionate outlook!
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team. Willingness to contribute to positive and supportive atmosphere of volunteer program.
- Appreciation of diversity (e.g. differences in ability, age, belief system, class, culture, gender, health, lifestyle, national origin, political views, race, and/or sexual orientation).
- Ability to approach difficult situations with clarity and composure. Willingness to seek support and care for oneself.
- Comfort with ambiguity. Ability to honestly and promptly admit confusion or need for clarification. Please ask questions!
- Ability to attend all initial and follow-up training sessions. Desire to learn about mental illness and homelessness.
An upcoming training will be held on two successive Saturdays, June 4 and June 11.
GET IN TOUCH!
Please contact Anne Mathieson, PHC Community Companion, for a volunteer application.
We appreciate your interest in Plymouth Healing Communities and look forward to hearing from you!