The Torch Trust aims can be summarised as ‘enabling people with sight loss to discover Christian faith and lead fulfilling Christian lives.’ To achieve this we provide Christian resources and activities for blind and partially sighted people worldwide.
Torch Trust has a distinctive culture that reflects its Christian beliefs and has been shaped by its history of seeking to be faithful to God’s guidance.
Our values inform the choices made by Torch, what we do and the way we do it. Our values are:-
Christ-centred; People-focussed; Openness; Creativity
We are a Christian mission and will seek to faithfully represent the Christian message in what we do and in what we say but we will never impose our faith or belief on others.
Torch is a Christian Mission working primarily with Christian organisations and Christian clients. This role requires that the appointed person is in close contact with our users and/or supporters who are likely to expect to be interacting with a Christian person and may be required to pray and share Christian experiences. It is therefore a requirement of Torch Trust for the Blind that the person appointed is able to accept the Torch Basis of Faith and has an active involvement in a Christian Church.
Torch Holiday and Retreat Centre (HRC) is set in a most attractive area close to the South Downs and adjacent to a bustling town. The Centre has been developed by Torch over a period of many years to provide a retreat, holiday and leisure base primarily for those who are blind or partially sighted. In recent years we have provided a Christ-centred programme that includes: activity holidays particularly focussed on providing an imaginative programme of activities for blind and partially sighted people; weekend conferences; day conferences; church and group conferences.
The Centre itself accommodates up to 22 guests and includes a lounge, dining room, TV room, sun lounge and a pleasant garden looking onto the South Downs. We provide full board accommodation and an inclusive programme of activities.
Gap Year Volunteer – Torch Holiday and Retreat Centre
Torch is only able to accept applicants that are over 18 and can stay for a minimum period of 3 months.
Liz Kinning – Facility Manager Torch Holiday and Retreat Centre.
Assistant Manger Hospitality and other staff and volunteers
To assist in the smooth running of the centre through helping with all the day-to-day activities involved in running holidays and conferences. In particular, supporting blind and partially sighted people on the holidays.
Help with the care of all guests and offer support where appropriate to those who are blind and partially sighted.
Support the Manager in the preparation of events and conferences at the centre.
Assisting in the kitchen, laundry, serving on tables.
Cleaning and general housework.
Simple centre maintenance and gardening tasks.
Cleaning, maintaining and driving (not essential) Torch Vehicles when required.
Lead times of fellowship if and when appropriate.
Such other duties as may be reasonably required, to ensure the smooth running of the centre and for the benefit of the guests.
Willing to learn new things.
Adaptability to changing situations.
Ability to understand the issues faced by individuals with sight loss.
Non-judgmental and able to treat people with respect.
Have an interest in supporting people in the community.
Good sense of humour. Honest and trustworthy.
Accommodation, food and an allowance of £30.00 as week
The occupancy levels at Torch HRC vary throughout the year. During January we are quieter and this is a period when decoration, maintenance and refreshing of the house occurs – During this period we are more flexible about working hours and time off and the working week is shorter
During the summer we are very busy. Volunteers work on a shift system to cover the period between 7.45am and 9.45pm the working hours can be very long. We balance this with less busy periods and try to ensure there are breaks between the major holidays. On average the working week will be 40 hours. Our aim is to create a ‘family’ atmosphere for our guests and some work is hard and intensive. Our experience is that during the busy periods our staff and volunteers enter into the spirit of this arrangement. There are quieter times during the day when staff and volunteers are able to relax in their rooms whilst still being available if needed.
Torch HRC is a busy active place to be, but there are quieter period and there is a need for volunteers to take the initiative in building up their own contacts and joining in the various local activities. In the past volunteers have done this very successfully.
It is expected that all volunteers:
Promote the good name of Torch at all times.
Ensure that actions and behaviours are in line with Torch ethos and values.
Comply with organisational policies and procedures.