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volunteer week; celebrating the IV role

It's Volunteer Week! Over the years, asphaleia's service delivery has been supported and strengthened by the work of volunteers. This Volunteer Week we want to celebrate the volunteers that make a specific service we offer possible.


asphaleia currently delivers the Independent Visiting (IV) and Advocacy services for East Sussex County Council.


A promo image for the IV role with a man and young person laughing together

The IV service is a befriending service for children and young people in care, and relies on volunteers to fulfil the role of IV. The volunteer will be matched to a young person, who has requested an IV, and will visit their young person once a month and take them out to do things like play football, go for a stroll, or have a coffee.


This is a rewarding and accessible volunteering role for many people who work full-time hours during the week as visits mostly take place at the weekend.


IV's can have a hugely positive impact on the young people they spend time with. As an independent person from social care, young people can enjoy the company of someone who is there simply to be their friend, whilst also being a positive influence. We ask for a 12-month minimum commitment from our IV's so they can form a friendship and be a consistent presence in their young person's life. Some IV's befriend their young person for several years and continue the contact once the young person has left care.


IV stories

A few of our IV's shared some highlights from their recent visits:


“High points were his enthusiasm for the (smugglers) caves and him singing in the car on the way home.”


“He was full of conversation and very happy.”


“A fun time in De La Warr Pavilion (there was an interactive exhibition we did a few times, she loved it) and good walk on the beach (mainly a competition to find best heart-shaped stone…she won!)”


A stack of three stones on the beach

“I particularly enjoyed chatting with him on the bus each way. He’s a fun chatty kid and his knowledge of bus routes is incredible.”


“Arcades are a good activity as there’s a good balance of interactivity, competition and fun. He beat me again at Air Hockey and really enjoyed collecting the tickets from the machines and getting a toy.”

 

positive outcomes for young people

Our IV's support young people with many areas of life and here are some examples of how they do this:


Develop self confidence:

“It was a very busy area so I encouraged him and helped him to relax.”


“I think it was good for her to see me chatting with the people in the café, all were v.nice. A customer (teen girl) asked her if her cake was nice – it was a good interaction.” 


Deals with life changes/ challenges:

“We spoke through a difficult visit he had had with his dad.”


“We talked about being confident as she builds up to her GCSEs.”


Emotional wellbeing:

“She particularly enjoyed stroking ‘Kenneth’ the (v.gentle and small) dog at the café.”


Make healthy choices:

“Encouraged water for a drink at the trampoline park, and showed encouragement for the healthy bits of his packed lunch.”


“Discussed cooking, food she likes and making healthy choices.”


Access to public transport:

“We got four buses and he enjoyed learning about the routes.”


Budgeting skills:

“Discussed him wanting a job and how he saved for Christmas and discussed how he could save for future things.”  

 

We are so grateful for everything our volunteers do. Thank you! 

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