Volunteering with Equal Lives


WELCOME TO EQUAL LIVES VOLUNTEERING!

We're really pleased that you've found your way here and are thinking about volunteering with us!  We've got several different opportunities available, so take a look around and once you know what you'd like to do, click the link on the right to set up an account and fill in the application form.  We'll be in touch soon.

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Opportunities for Volunteering

Welfare Benefits Adviser

Two women sitting at a desk looking at paperwork

Our volunteer Welfare Benefit Advisers offer advice to clients with disabilities and carers in our outreach offices throughout Norfolk. They may help by completing benefit claim forms, explaining decisions, or helping our clients write letters to challenge benefit decisions.

 

This is a great opportunity for you to learn all about Welfare Benefits, from finding out about conditions of entitlement to challenging decisions clients disagree with. Whether you already have some knowledge and you want to make use of this to help others, or if you have no experience and are keen to learn, this role could provide you with an interesting and challenging volunteering opportunity.
                                                 

ROLE OVERVIEW
The Welfare Benefit Adviser role could involve assisting our clients with some/all of the following: 
• Identifying benefits they may be entitled to
• Assisting them to make claims, including support with form filling
• Offering advice around the appeal process
• Challenging decisions (mandatory reconsiderations)
• Offering information by telephone or email
• Signposting or referring clients on to other organisations where appropriate.
• Keeping accurate and up to date case notes 
• Ongoing learning to ensure knowledge is kept up to date and accurate
Full training is available to provide you with the skills and knowledge required to carry out this.

 

FURTHER INFO

This role can be carried out on site or remotely, we will supply you with a laptop, Equal Lives email address and mobile phone if you are working remotely and if working on site you will have your own Equal Lives email and access to a computer and work phone. 

All volunteers are required to undertake our core training programme. This covers basic safeguarding and other key features, such as data protection 

New volunteers will have an opportunity to ‘shadow’ experienced volunteers and members of staff 

Dependent on the candidate, there may be additional opportunities to participate in a variety of accredited training courses. Please ask a manager for further details. 

Volunteers are required to adhere to the organisation’s policies and practice guidelines. 

Reasonable expenses, including travel whilst undertaking this role will be reimbursed. This includes mileage (currently £0.45 p/mile) and parking costs. 

Applications must include 2 satisfactory references from individuals who have known you in a professional or educational capacity for at least 12 months. Applicants must complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check before any volunteering can commence. 

Although you are required to do your training during office hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday, we are flexible to how many hours you wish to volunteer for and how long, in terms of months, you want to volunteer with us for. 

Shopmobility Volunteer

Shopmobility Logo

Equal Lives will be delivering a ‘Shopmobility’ Service from Chantry Place (Chapelfield Shopping Centre) Norwich.
Shopmobility is a scheme that supports people to rent mobility scooters or other mobility aids during their visit to the city. 

There will be several opportunities to volunteer and build your skills, meet new people, and feel more confident!

There will be opportunities to choose your days and hours. Training will be provided during induction.

The site will follow the COVID19 safety guidelines and volunteers will be reimbursed reasonable expenses incurred whilst supporting us.

If you're empathetic and enthusiastic then we need you for this role, fill in the application form and let us know you're interested.

 

ROLE OVERVIEW
• Open the site ready for business, and close at the end of the day
• Greet customers and support them to rent the equipment 
• Keep the site clean and tidy 
• Clean vehicles when they’re returned 
• Handle cash and take card payments 
• Support people to sign up as members 
• Support people to join Equal Lives as members 
• Answer some queries on social media 
• Take future bookings
• Some other occasional ad hoc tasks as required 

We are looking for volunteers that are:
• Dedicated to the empowerment of disabled people
• Conscientious and honest 
• Someone who enjoys a challenge 
• Looking for a new opportunity 
• Dedicated to making disabled people’s voices heard
• Able to do the tasks listed above

 

FURTHER INFO

There will be opportunities to choose your dayshours and the length of time which you volunteer with us for.

The site will follow the COVID19 safety guidelines and volunteers will be reimbursed reasonable expenses incurred whilst supporting us.  

All volunteers are required to undertake our core training programme. This covers basic safeguarding and other key features, such as data protection 

New volunteers will have an opportunity to ‘shadow’ experienced volunteers and members of staff 

Potentially, depending on the candidate, there may be additional opportunities to participate in a variety of accredited training courses. Please ask a manager for further details. 

Volunteers are required to adhere to the organisation’s policies and practice guidelines. 

Reasonable expenses, including travel whilst undertaking this role will be reimbursed. This includes mileage (currently £0.45 p/mile) and parking costs. 

Applications must include 2 satisfactory references who have known them in a professional or educational capacity for at least 12 months. Applicants must also complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check before commencing volunteering. 

Customer Service Wizard

An office scene with a mans hands typing on a laptop

Do you want to help disabled people in Norfolk? Are you looking for experience in a busy office-based customer service environment? 


Equal Lives are excited to be able to offer the opportunity to work alongside our dedicated Customer Service Team in supporting them to increase the number of disabled people they can help in Norfolk. 

Our Customer Service Team are the first people our clients speak to when they access our services and have essential knowledge which helps them assess what clients will need to do next.  They also are approachable, friendly, and professional, meaning our clients get excellent customer service from their first point of contact with Equal Lives. 

Equal Lives is looking for volunteers to help us to build capacity in this service, which will allow us to help more people in Norfolk who are facing disabling barriers. 

 

ROLE OVERVIEW
• Answering phone calls and triaging clients. 
• Answering emails and triaging clients.
• Booking appointment for clients.
• Providing information and signposting to clients.
• Administrative tasks such as dealing with post and logging items on our database.
• Follow up calls with clients to see how our advice has helped them.
• Assisting Advisers and Representatives with day-to-day administrative tasks.
• Escalating issues to advisers or the team manager where appropriate. 

Measures have been put in place to ensure this role is safe during the pandemic and all volunteers will be protected by these measure whilst on site.  Please ask for further details of the steps we've taken to ensure your safety, if it is of concern.

 

FURTHER INFO

Please note that this role is office based, at our offices in Framingham Pigot, however, we are moving to Sackville Place, Magdalen Street, Norwich City Centre within the next couple of months. 

All volunteers are required to undertake our core training programme. This covers basic safeguarding and other key features such as data protection  

New volunteers will have an opportunity to ‘shadow’ experienced volunteers and members of staff. 

Depending on the candidate there may be additional opportunities to participate in a variety of accredited training courses, please ask your manager for further details.  

Volunteers are required to adhere to the organisation’s policies and practice guidelines. 

Reasonable expenses, including travel whilst undertaking this role will be reimbursed. This includes mileage (currently £0.45 p/mile) and parking costs.  

Applications must include 2 satisfactory references who have known the applicant in an educational or professional capacity.  Applicants will also be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check before volunteering can commence. 

Although volunteering must be done on-site, we are flexible to how many hours you wish to volunteer for and how long, in terms of months, which you wish to volunteer with us for. 

Money Matters Assistant Volunteer

 

Two people having a conversation over a table

Are you looking to volunteer for a few hours each week? 

Would you like a role which provides a life changing service to our clients?

This is an important and varied role, giving you the opportunity to offer personalised information, advice and support to enable your client to manage their finances and live more independently. 

The role provides you with an opportunity to really make a difference to others 

You will support and work together with your clients to help them establish the skills and knowledge they require to manage their own finances. This could take place in personon the phone or on a video call. 

The role aims to reduce the stress and anxiety associated with difficult or unclear personal financial circumstances and will assist the client to manage their finances in the future.  

Full training will be provided as well as the necessary tools, software and hardware required to fulfil the role. 

 

 

ROLE OVERVIEW

The Money Matters Adviser role could involve assisting the client with some/all of the following, leading to drawing up a personalised budget; 

Help setting up a bank account 

Help setting up direct debits 

Managing their budget  

Accessing specialist debt/financial advice 

Identifying any benefits they may be due 

General money saving tips and advice 

Signposting to the wider team for complex benefit advice  

This role would operate on a case-by-case basis, and to start with, whilst finding your feet you would only be given a new case when the existing one was closed.  Cases can take between 1 to 3 weeks to work on average; therefore, we are ideally looking for someone who would like to volunteer for a period of around 6 months or more. 

 

 

FURTHER INFO

This role is based in various locations, including our offices (the organisation is soon to move to Sackville Place, Magdalen Street), at drop-in centres, remotely from your own home and potentially in client's home (please note this is only if you felt comfortable in doing so). 

All volunteers are required to undertake our core training programme. This covers basic safeguarding and other key features.  

New volunteers will have an opportunity to ‘shadow’ experienced volunteers and members of staff. 

Depending on the candidate there is may be additional opportunities to participate in a variety of accredited training courses. Please ask for further details. 

Volunteers are required to adhere to the organisation’s policies and practice guidelines. 

Reasonable expenses, including travel whilst undertaking this role will be reimbursed. This includes mileage (currently £0.45 p/mile) and parking costs. 

Applications must include 2 satisfactory references who have known the applicant in an educational or professional capacity Applicants must also complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check before volunteering work can commence. 

We are flexible in our approach to how many hours a week you would like to volunteer for and the length of time, in terms of months, that you would like to volunteer with us for.   

Covid Support Officer Volunteer

A finger resting on the nozzle of an anti bacterial bottle

Do you frequently find yourself lending a caring ear and offering support?  

Would you like to be a part of a support system for those struggling with Covid-19 issues? 

Then you could be exactly who we’re looking for!  Read on for more info. 

The pandemic has been a difficult time for all of us, facing new challenges and finding new ways to look after our physical and mental health.  Equal Lives has been working hard since Covid-19 started to offer support to those in need and we’re now looking for volunteers who can help us to provide those support services to our members.   

The Covid Support Officer will be part of a listening service, providing a friendly point of contact for those who want or need to talk to someone about their experiences due to the pandemic.  Members could be calling because they’re struggling with loneliness or they could be contacting you because they’re frustrated with the lack of NHS services availability.  We don’t expect you to offer advice, just patience and kindness in listening and occasional signposting to our other services if you think this is needed.  

 

ROLE OVERVIEW

Reporting to the Development Team, the Covid Support Officer would be given training and provided with the opportunity to shadow a member of staff to gain an understanding of how the service operates.   

Once you feel confident enough, your responsibilities would include the following: 

Dedicate one day per week to phone calls to provide support (this day could be split amongst multiple volunteers if needed) 

Managing a calendar to make appointments with clients and keep track of service users 

Signposting to our various other services when needed 

Monitoring the usefulness of the service, the interactions with members and recording any signposting or further actions

 

FURTHER INFO

Currently, this role is remote, due to the restrictions of Covid.  However, there is scope to make this a site-based role in the future.  Equal Lives will be moving to Sackville Place, Magdalen Street, during the next couple of months, which can be easily reached by public transport. 

There is no set working pattern for this role, so you are free to, within reason, set your own working days and hours.  The length of time, within reason, which you volunteer for is also up for discussion.  This offers you the opportunity to fit the volunteer work in around regular remote work, childcare or other personal activities.  We envisage this role as needing someone to volunteer for half a day a week or more if they so desired.  

All volunteers are required to undertake our core training programme. This covers basic safeguarding and other key features.   

New volunteers will have an opportunity to ‘shadow’ experienced volunteers and members of staff.  

Depending on the candidate there may be additional opportunities to participate in a variety of accredited training courses, please ask for further details.  

Volunteers are required to always adhere to the organisation’s policies and practice guidelines whilst volunteering.  

Calls made to members would be via either video calls or a mobile phone, we would provide you with a laptop, mobile phone and your own Equal Lives email address to support this communication.  We will also provide you with any other additional resources or equipment necessary for the role. 

Reasonable expenses, including travel whilst undertaking this role will be reimbursed. This includes mileage (currently £0.45 p/mile) and parking costs. 

Applications must include 2 satisfactory references from individuals who know the applicant in a professional or educational capacity for at least 12 months.  Applicants must also complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check before any volunteering can commence. 

Advice Support Officer

Two women sit chatting behind a desk, one has an open laptop and the other a pen and notebook

At Equal Lives we want to make sure our members are getting the best possible service that we can provide, but to ensure this we need the help of friendly and professional volunteers to track our service users' experiences.  The Advice Support Assistants will spend their time contacting our members to record the outcome of advice given, signpost where needed and track the information on our charity database, enabling us to prove our worth to funders and improve our services.  This is a great role for anyone looking for experience in the charity, care, legal and data analysis sectors. 

 

ROLE OVERVIEW

This is a vital role to the work of the charity as it will enable us to make sure every client is properly taken care of, and each case is completed to the best of our abilities.  The role will involve helping Equal Lives ensure they are supplying a high-quality service to disabled people across Norfolk by following up on cases and collecting their feedback.  This allows us to adapt and learn from our client’s experiences and lets us demonstrate the great service we offer to Funders.   

  

The role may include, but is not limited to, the following responsibilities: 

  • Contacting clients to follow up on advice given by Advisers 

  • Identifying issues and flagging these to the appropriate members of staff 

  • Giving advice to clients on how to proceed with the next stage in the process 

  • Reporting on the outcome of each conversation using our in-house systems 

  • Scanning in bundles of documents from legal proceedings to our online database 

  • Updating our database with necessary information and follow up actions 

  • Signposting and sending actions to different teams within the organisation depending on the support needed by the client 

  • Collecting feedback from clients on the services they have received and completing feedback collection forms 

 

This role would be excellent for anybody hoping to work in the legal or charity sector.  You will gain a wide range of skills and knowledge from your time volunteering with us and we will ensure your professional development requirements are taken into account. 

 

FURTHER INFO

Due to the nature of this role and the high level of sensitive documents and information you will be dealing with, you will be required to complete Safeguarding, Data Protection and GDPR training before commencing volunteering.  All training is provided by us, and we will arrange this for you after the interview process. 

 

This is an office-based role to ensure we can provide you with the maximum amount of support you will need, including offering plenty of training via shadowing a member of staff and/or volunteer.  Our office is currently in the process of moving to Norwich City Centre and so the role will commence post move, towards the end of May/beginning of June. 

 

We will provide you with any equipment necessary to carry out this role, potentially this may include a laptop, mobile phone and personal charity email address. 

 

All volunteers are required to undertake our core training programme. This covers basic safeguarding and other key features.  

 

Dependent upon the candidate there may be additional opportunities to participate in a variety of accredited training courses. Please ask for further details. 

 

Volunteers are required to adhere to the organisation’s policies and practice guidelines. 

 

Reasonable expenses, including travel whilst undertaking this role will be reimbursed. This includes mileage (currently £0.45 p/mile) and parking costs. 

 

Applications must include 2 satisfactory references who have known the applicant in a professional or educational capacity for at least 12 months. Applicants must also complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check before commencing any volunteering work. 

Mission Statement

To remove disabling barriers so that people have equality, dignity and independence – in Norfolk and beyond.

 

Our Shared Values and Principles 

The key shared values and principles that underpin our work are: 

Equality, dignity, and human rights. 

Independence and inclusion. 

Fairness and natural justice. 

Openness and honesty. 

The social model of disability. 

Impairments are a normal part of life, discrimination is not. 

People are experts in their own lives. 

Professionals should be on tap, not on top. 

Nothing about us, without us. 

Rights not charity. 

 

Welcome! 

Firstly, the most important thing that I must do right away, is to say a very big Thank You for becoming our volunteer, we all collectively, from the bottom of our hearts, welcome you aboard Equal Lives. 

 

We thought the world we live on was slowly improving in removing disabling barriers for us but considering the austerity Measures following the financial crash in 2008, and now the Covid-19 Pandemic, has caused our world to be simply turned upside down and every single person with a disability continues to face many many difficult situations ahead. 

 

It is you, bringing with you your time, energy, and enthusiasm to Equal Lives that we value very greatly, and we will really benefit from, and enjoy working with you on our many different projects. Your contribution will aid us to fulfil our goals, allow us to expand our services, and broaden the outlook and scope of Equal Lives. 

 

You are a valuable member of Equal Lives and do please let us know any of your ideas, concerns, impressions, and solutions you may have tucked away. We are a team, and we all work together, sharing our time and energy so do not hesitate to get into contact with your team leader or indeed myself or any of the trustees. 

 

Shaun McGarry 

Acting Chair 

March 2021