Volunteering for the LGBTQIA+ group

“How can I support the LGBTQIA+ Wellbeing Group?”

Our volunteers are the heart of what we do. We know that we cannot offer the services we provide without the passion and support of our wonderful volunteers.

With that in mind, we are always looking out for members of the LGBTQIA+ community to help facilitate our LGBTQIA+ Wellbeing Group so that we can continue to support those from this community.

We understand how important it is to have and provide a safe space for members of this community to come together and talk about their wellbeing. We also understand the importance of having people who identify as being part of this community to help facilitate this group.

One of the wonderful things about volunteering as a facilitator is that you are able to support members of the community, other facilitators and yourself too. Our volunteers help to facilitate groups but they are also a member like everyone else and it is important that you get something from it too.

“Volunteering for the LGBTQIA+ Wellbeing Group helped to give me a sense of purpose. After experiencing a lot of homophobia and struggling with my mental health, it felt amazing to be able to offer a space and a listening ear to others from my community.

Changes Bristol is a centre of excellence for volunteering. Our charity relies on the good will and expertise of our volunteers. You do not need to have used our services before to help support us as a volunteer. That being said, we encourage the participation of those that currently use or have previously used our services to become volunteers in various capacities. We are looking for people who want to help make a difference and support others from your community.

We have over 60 volunteers at any one time and there are usually volunteering opportunities throughout the year.

There are many things that people can get out of volunteering. Some people find that it is a great way to increase their self esteem and build confidence, it can be a wonderful way to get back into work if that is what you are looking to do and it is an excellent way of developing new skills and experience. It is also a lovely way to ‘give something back’ to others and connect with those with shared values.

Are you a people person? Do you have an ear to lend? If you are able to commit to 2.5 hours per week, this might be the perfect volunteer opportunity for you. 

Changes runs peer support meetings for people experiencing mental distress. Our groups are open to all (18+), offer free support with no requirement for a referral, a mental health issue (or formal diagnosis), or a limit to the number of sessions anyone can attend. The sessions provide members the opportunity to share anything that is on their mind, if they wish to do so, whilst the group listens and supports each other. The group provides acknowledgment, reflection and acceptance to each member after they have shared. In order to run our meetings effectively, we need volunteers to facilitate them. This is where you come in!

Facilitating is an extremely rewarding role in which you help to run our peer support meetings. This involves being responsible for creating inclusive, safe, non-judgemental and empathetic spaces that enable members to connect and support each other. We will provide full training and supervision. After 3 training sessions, you will be expected to commit approximately 2.5 hours of your time, the same time every week. We need volunteers to be dependable and committed when taking on the role.

As we operate from a model of peer support, we value lived experiences of mental health challenges, so while this is not a requirement for the role, it can be to your advantage when running the groups.

There are many reasons for joining our LGBTQIA+ wellbeing group including gender identity, sexual orientation, coming out, faith and religion amongst many other things. As people, no one is immune from mental health difficulties but we understand that people from this community may face many things which can contribute to their mental health and wellbeing.

Remember, whilst we are a mental health charity, we are not mental health professionals. You cannot know everything and you will not have all the answers but your time and presence can be an enormous thing to offer someone. If you have the time and the passion, we would love to hear from you and provide you with further training to support you in this role.

If you would like an information pack to apply for the next training course please email service@changesbristol.org.uk

If for any reason you’re not able to email us or complete an application form digitally, please give us a call on 0117 941 1123 and we will be happy to discuss this with you over the phone.

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More volunteer roles…

You can also support us as a Telephone Befriender in our Befriending Service or volunteer for our Walk and Talk Service. You can email befriending@changesbristol.org.uk for more information.

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Changes Bristol
Barton Hill Settlement
41-43 Ducie Road
Lawrence Hill

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