A Christian response to the emotional and spiritual needs of people losing their sight
Each day 100 people are told they are losing their sight across the UK.
Few receive any support - such as information, resources or friendship during this difficult time.
That’s where Journeying With comes in. Launched by Torch Trust, Journeying With brings Christian volunteers from local churches alongside people at their times of need with sight loss, to help them adjust to change and ensure they have good support in place. The role of a Journeying With by Phone Volunteer is central to this scheme, being alongside individuals as they journey through the life-changing impact of sight loss.
Role: Journeying With by Phone - Volunteer
Reports to: Journeying With by Phone - Co-ordinator
In co-operation with: Torch Trust
(Please refer to Torch Trust ‘Joining the Journey’ Volunteering Policy, which is available on request or on-line)
To provide people losing their sight with a friendly and supportive telephone call on a regular basis, and journey with them as they come to terms with this loss. Give emotional, spiritual and practical support through listening, and offering relevant advice when appropriate. Help clients to access other services available to them, be able to talk about matters of faith, and to feel more confident in facing the future.
Offer regular (usually weekly) phone calls in a confidential manner, from home, for a period of roughly six months on a one to one basis to people losing their sight
Listen to the concerns and issues of the person experiencing loss of sight
Enable clients to regain confidence through encouragement and support, and prayer if requested
Link clients with any other services and support which may continue to benefit them once the period of telephone support comes to an end
Have regular contact with the Co-ordinator to discuss progress, and notify immediately of any concerns/safeguarding issues arising from contact with your client
Complete the initial training session and any ongoing supervision/additional training opportunities
A good listener and able to empathise
Able to relate to the issues faced by individuals with sight loss
Non-judgmental; treats people with respect
Able to respond to invitations to pray with the client if requested
Good communicator; calm and friendly telephone manner
Reliable and trustworthy
Journeying With is a Christian befriending scheme. The role of a Journeying with by Phone volunteer will involve being able to pray with and offer Christian support to clients if requested. It is therefore a requirement that a volunteer has an active Christian faith, involvement in the local church and accepts the Torch Basis of Faith (please refer to ‘Joining the Journey’).
Because this role may involve working with vulnerable adults, an enhanced DBS (or Access Northern Ireland) check will be required.
Training will be provided by Torch Trust. Volunteers will be required to attend initial training (approximately 2 days at Torch House or at Regional Training days). Ongoing support will be provided by the Co-ordinator.
We anticipate that this role will require a commitment of 1-2 hours a week.
A volunteer provides emotional and practical support through listening and offering relevant advice when appropriate: acting as a friend would act. A volunteer is not replacing the role of any professional, but could signpost the client towards professional services such as counselling if required.
A volunteer helps the client come to terms with their sight loss, supporting them to make their own choices. A volunteer must never try to take control of the client's life - the autonomy of the client should always be respected.
We envisage each relationship lasting roughly six months. The relationship should not create a situation where the client becomes dependent on the volunteer; the aim of Journeying With is to help the client regain confidence and independence.
We recognise that volunteers and clients may wish to keep in touch with each other once the befriending period ends, as this is a sign of a friendship which has been formed, but this continuing contact would not be part of the Journeying With scheme.
Volunteers are Christians but should not view this as an opportunity to recruit for church membership or to preach, although we encourage volunteers to offer prayer and to respond to opportunities to share their faith if the client asks. "…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…" (1 Peter 3:15)
It is expected that all volunteers promote the good name of Torch at all times, ensuring that actions and behaviours are in line with Torch ethos and values, and comply with organisational policies and procedures.
If you would like any further information about the possibility of being a Journeying With by Phone Volunteer or if you have any questions at all, please do contact :
Torch House, Torch Way
t +44 (0) 1858 438260 or e firstname.lastname@example.org
The role of a Journeying With by Phone Volunteer is a practical opportunity for putting your faith into action. We would encourage you to take the opportunity to find out more about this and to pray about whether this may be something God is leading you towards.