About this role
Perinatal means the time around a baby’s birth. Perinatal befrienders help new mums and dads who are finding things difficult. You will visit a family once a week. Your time might be spent helping them get to appointments or local parent/baby groups, going for coffee or shopping together, or just sitting at home and listening to mum or dad’s concerns.
What is the time commitment?
This role is for 3 hours per week approximately. Minimum commitment for 1 year.
Who will you be helping?
Children, Families, Parents
This service is for families where a parent is struggling with their emotional health and wellbeing, or those who have been diagnosed with low to moderate perinatal depression or anxiety, or whose circumstances put them at risk of developing a perinatal illness.
Mums whose depression goes untreated can develop life-long mental illness. Research shows that maternal depression can have a negative impact on the unborn child, and the safe development of the new baby.
What difference will you make?
Perinatal depression can affect parents in many ways. They may feel that they are not capable parents, or struggle to bond with their baby; they might become very worried and anxious; their self-esteem and confidence can suffer; or they could just feel incredibly isolated and lonely. Research also shows that maternal depression can have a negative impact on the unborn child, and the safe development of the new baby.
Having someone to talk to who will listen without judgement and can empathise with the pressures that new parents face, can make a huge difference and help parents feel less alone. Your support will help new parents to feel less isolated and more able to build connections in their community.
You may offer this support through home visits, remote telephone or video call, group work or by signposting and supporting parents to access other local services.
Who are we looking for?
There is no typical Family Action volunteer. We want our volunteers to be as diverse as the people we support. We need volunteers with a range of life experiences, skills and knowledge to. In return for giving your time and talents, you will receive quality training, ongoing support, and the reward of knowing that you are making a real difference. This role will particularly suit volunteers who are:
- Someone who has experienced pregnancy and childbirth, and/or is able to empathise with the needs of families during the perinatal period
- Non-judgmental and accepting of difference
- Friendly and reliable
- Able to demonstrate good listening skills
What's in it for you?
Family Action volunteers tell us that volunteering with us can be challenging at times, but it is also very rewarding. Many of our volunteers also report that they have enjoyed:
- Being part of a team and becoming a part of Family Action, a national charity with 150 years of experience supporting families.
- Support and guidance from project coordinator including 1-1 and group supervision
- Regular training and development opportunities
- Opportunity to improve future employment prospects
- Develop new skills; increased confidence and self-esteem
- Opportunity to build a portfolio of your training, skills, experience and qualities
- Making a difference to the lives of people in your community.
All Family Action volunteers receive full training and access to ongoing supervision and support as long as they are in the role.
How can you find out more?
You may like to chat with a member of staff about whether this is the right role for you, or you may be ready to apply right now.
Either way, just click the ‘I’m interested’ button below to leave your contact details, and a member of staff will be in touch to discuss your next steps in becoming a Family Action volunteer.