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Voluntary Work With Vulnerable Adults

By: Lynne Conner - Updated: 28 Jan 2020 | comments*Discuss
Vulnerable Adult Adult Vulnerable

A vulnerable adult is someone aged over 18 who may be in need of community care services due to a mental or physical disability, an addiction or a learning difficulty. This covers disabled people, people with mental illness and those with a wide variety of conditions such as autism, Asperger’s syndrome and Down’s syndrome. There are many rewarding opportunities available to volunteer with vulnerable adults if you can provide the necessary patience, sensitivity and calm.

Police Background Check

Most organisations working with vulnerable adults will invite you to have a police background check as part of your induction into their work. This is nothing to worry about it is simply a routine check to ensure that you do not have any relevant convictions which would prevent you from working with vulnerable adults. This will be conducted by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) formerly the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) in England and Wales and Disclosure Scotland in Scotland. Once you have had a clear background check you are ready to begin volunteering.

Contact your local Council for Voluntary Services to find out about relevant organisations which are local to you. They will be able to advise on the kinds of opportunities that are available. For example you may choose to become a befriender.

Becoming a befriender

A befriender is someone who spends one to one time with someone and builds up a relationship with them over time. You may accompany someone shopping or go to the cinema with them or spend time in the kitchen sharing recipes and cooking. You will provide a listening ear for problems and concerns and will provide a valuable link between the vulnerable adult and the wider community, helping to instil them with the confidence to take on new challenges. Most valuable of all you will offer them your companionship. In most cases this becomes a two-way street and will be as rewarding for you as it is fulfilling.

Becoming an advocate

A similar but more formal role is to volunteer as an advocate. This means that you act on someone’s behalf to represent them to organisations and authorities. You will speak up on their behalf in situations where they may find it too difficult or overwhelming to do so. This can range from accompanying them to the doctor’s and ensuring that they receive the correct treatment to acting on their behalf in benefits interviews or at a solicitor. At all times you will be respectful of the wishes of your client. You are simply translating those wishes in a way that can be understood by the authorities. You will receive a thorough training before you begin in order to equip you with the tools you need to perform this vital role.

Becoming a personal assistant

If you would prefer to be of more practical support to a vulnerable adult you could look into becoming a personal assistant. In this role you would provide everyday help with tasks ranging from shopping, cooking and cleaning to personal grooming and care. The nature of the tasks required will vary greatly depending on the nature of the person’s disability. You could act as a scribe taking notes for someone with a physical impairment or provide cookery skills for someone with a learning disability.

These are just some of the ways in which you can support vulnerable adults. Contact your local CSV for information on further opportunities.

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[Add a Comment]
hi. I would like to volunteer to work with vulnerable adults.I can volunteerfor 1 or2 days a week.. I have a degree in psychosocial studies from a UK university. I 'm farmillarwith the interrelationship between people and society. I currently have a full time jobbut still can afford to spare a day ortwoto help in order to make a difference in the life of a person.
PEE - 28-Jan-20 @ 11:14 PM
I woul lv 2 volunteers with the old people. .I've got experience that I got it while I was school at abafundi institute of health and techonology..I went for particals at old age homes and I hv a ancillary health care certificate
sphindy - 2-Jul-15 @ 12:31 PM
I used to run my own care home for older people in Gloucester. I want to do the same in Nigeria, where the Country has no plan for this vulnerable group. Your assistance would be appreciated.
shadeshade - 18-Mar-14 @ 3:10 PM
I liked to bea Voluntary WORK
Yang mulia , lembut, - 12-Apr-13 @ 5:54 PM
Hello! I have 26 years old andI´m from in Spain, I would like work in U.K for a time. I need learn english because I am teacher and it is neccesary in the bilingual schools. I could work in animatión,collaboration... What can I do? Thanks
Jorge - 20-Feb-12 @ 8:06 PM
i have been a student for the last 2 years and have been activly seeking voluntary work for vunerable adults for this whole 2 year period and have been unsuccessful i have my level 2 diploma is health and social care and am currently half way though my level 3 diplomaand i cannot get work placement anywere in the line of work that i want. i am currently doing unpaid vountary at a childrens nursery but this is not fulfilling for me.
tasha - 31-Jan-12 @ 3:18 PM
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