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Hello my name is Tina

One 2 One Support Worker

 

My name is Tina, have been volunteering for KCUK for a few years now, following protracted legal proceedings to ensure the Nipper remained safe. Once I had discovered KCUK and the incredible support they offer, I realised that I could repay the support by “paying it forward” and supporting other carers in similar positions. Being suddenly thrown into the unknown, labyrinthine world of social workers and children's services; the probability of legal proceedings frequently causing anxiety and distress, besides understanding the processes and terms used by the “professionals”.  

The Children who are also thrown into this unknown world deserve so much better than statutory bodies offer them. While love is so important, for these vulnerable children, the correct support at the correct time is equally important. My volunteering is a way to empower both carers and children through support and education of their rights and access to appropriate services.   

 

What I do

A typical day would include getting an email from our head of services outlining the support a carer needs.  The support and issues can vary and so can the hours I spend with a carer, these issues can be from simple to complex.  I spend time getting to know the carer; to understand their issues; and empowering them to respond to that issue.  It could be helping them respond to emails; letters or important documents; including court documents, to giving a carer the one2one support they desperately need.   

We have monthly meetings with our support volunteers, it is really important to share how we are coping; discuss any presenting issues; sharing new insights and news.  It's a very welcome opportunity to have a social time with people in my situation.   

 

“Volunteering gives me the opportunity to utilise and develop important workplace skills: communication; teamwork; problem solving; planning and organisation” 

 

My reward 

I lead a busy life; volunteering allows me to give my time and energy to a great cause dear to my heart. I’m unsure how I fit it into our schedules but I do balance it well.   Volunteering is important for many reasons and doesn't have to take up too much time and the benefits are huge: improved physical and mental health; meeting new friends and avoiding the loneliness can come from our lives; and a sense of purpose and deeper self-confidence. A side benefit is that for the Nipper, there is an awareness that they are not the only child in this position and that I am actively supporting their families.