A safe place where people learn and grow,
that serves our needs and enriches our lives
in a supportive, fun and caring environment’
Our organisation & the programme
Ozanam House is a community resource centre run by the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. It is located on the site of the original clothing and furniture warehouse in a building that has also been used by the Society for a variety of purposes for over 100 years. Since our opening in September 2002, we have continued to develop various programmes and projects aimed at addressing the issue of social exclusion as well as the many needs of the local community.
One of these programmes is our Children’s Centre with the Homework Club. The aim of our centre is to encourage all children to feel that they belong. We aim to create an environment where each child is happy, independent, secure and healthy. Our staff’s aim is to develop each child’s emotional, social, language, and intellectual skills. The Homework Club is open to all children at the age of 4 to 11 years.
Overview of the Volunteer Role
The Homework Club offers students from the inner city an opportunity to find a quiet space to do their homework. Not only do we offer them this space but we also offer them support in completing their homework.
- Attend the Child Protection Training session
- Provide support for the children and their learning
- Be a role model for the children
- Supervise the group alone or together with other volunteers
- Motivate and encourage the children to learn
- To attend meetings and training days if/when possible
- To follow the policies and procedures of Ozanam House which can be found in the induction pack or in the office
- Other general responsibilities in the context of the role as agreed with the co-ordinator
The Homework Club takes place weekly from Monday to Thursday from 1:30pm to 3:30 pm
To build up relationships with the children and support their learning volunteers are expected to commit to at least one or two afternoons a week (the exact times and dates of working will be agreed between the volunteer and the programme co-ordinator). The volunteer should commit to a minimum period of nine months.
In addition, we welcome applications from potential volunteers who have specific expertise or skills which they can contribute. For example, volunteers in the past have delivered some sports, arts, dance and other courses. The time commitment for these volunteers will vary and be agreed in advance with the co-ordinator.
Skills, Experience & Qualities Required
- Understanding of various learning styles and abilities
- Ability to address the varying needs of the children
- Ability to relate well to children and enjoy dealing with them
- Fun and Energy when working with children
- Good organizational skills
- An accepting and non-authoritarian approach
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to establish good relationships with children
- Patience, resilience, tolerance and flexibility
- Ability to treat children’s concerns with respect, tact and sensitivity, whilst always being aware of the limits that are required by confidentiality and the necessary boundaries
- Previous experience is desirable but not essential
Training & Induction
- The volunteer will receive an induction/information night in the centre prior to his/her first inset and will get a general information pack to become familiar with the centre and our procedures
- The volunteer will have an initial meeting with the co-ordinator to receive a role-specific induction and to agree a timetable and schedule of duties in line with the volunteer role description
- A Child Protection Training session will be provided. This training will inform the volunteer of the protection and welfare of children under the Children’s Act 1997 and best practices when working with young people.
- Ongoing individual training programmes will be provided if necessary
Support & Supervision
The co-ordinator will be responsible for the supervision of the volunteer. Volunteers will meet with their co-ordinator either in one-to-one meetings, or in larger group meetings to discuss ongoing progress and any issues arising.
General volunteer meetings, for all volunteers, will take place twice a year, in May and November.
- Personal development
- The change to contribute towards the development of children to enhance the sense of self-worth and belief
- Opportunity to work in and learn about a community resource centre
- Opportunity to build up valuable work experience
- Tea and coffee will be provided for all volunteers