mental health

Self Help Guide from Amigo

Amigo’s Self Help Interactive Services Guide

During this COVID-19 pandemic our time spent in lock-down has made it easy to become overwhelmed so we’ve produced a guide which you can download here – highlighting the range of free online services that can be used to relieve your stress or anxiety and help you to cope with your mental health.

Our new Amigo project manager Leeah Jones has created this helpful guide and encourages you to actively take part in some of the online activities and have a go at downloading some of the apps.

Please contact us if you are unsure about how to access any of the services in the guide, or you are new to the online world.

The Amigo project supports people who need encouragement to move forward on their journey of recovery from mental ill health. We match our buddy volunteers with people who need help to make connections within the local community in order to boost confidence and increase motivation. If you think you would benefit from a buddy or you would like to be a volunteer buddy please read more about the project and complete our contact form.

The project covers the residents of several boroughs; Runnymede, Spelthorne, Surrey Heath, West Elmbridge and Woking.

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Amigo Project Manager for Voluntary Support North Surrey

Job Description

 We are recruiting two Project Managers (one permanent role and one maternity cover role) to manage the Amigo project covering 5 boroughs (Runnymede, Spelthorne, Surrey Heath, West Elmbridge and Woking). The Amigo project helps people in their recovery from mental ill health by providing them with a trained volunteer buddy, to support them to access local community activities enabling them to increase confidence and improve motivation. The role involves assessing and managing clients as well as the recruitment, training, management and retention of volunteers. The role also involves the organising and management of the buddying between clients and volunteers.

 Role Details

 Amigo Project Manager (Permanent)

Amigo Project Manager (Fixed Term – Maternity Cover)

Hours: Full time (35 hours per week) or part time (28 hours per week minimum)

Salary: £24,000 – 26,000 or part-time equivalent

Location: Flexible but required to work across our 3 office locations (Camberley, Chertsey and Staines).

 Main Responsibilities

The post holder will:

  • Recruit, train, supervise and support volunteer buddies
  • Manage and oversee client referrals that are either self-referrals or via our partners, making initial assessments by phone and then meeting clients to determine suitability
  • Signpost clients as appropriate to other partners if Amigo is not suitable for them
  • Use the Recovery Star (a 10 point monitoring tool) to monitor the client’s wellbeing at both the beginning and the end of the process, helping them to understand their recovery
  • Match clients with a suitable volunteer buddy who will support them to attend an activity or group in the local community
  • Source activities for each client as appropriate and organise the planning, frequency of buddying, timing and timescale for each activity, attended by both the client and the volunteer
  • Regularly review the buddying with the client and volunteer to make sure that goals are being met and that the client continues to benefit from the support
  • Oversee the buddying by gaining regular feedback from both the client and volunteer, as well as managing issues as they arise
  • Regularly promote Amigo via social media and local magazines etc to maintain awareness of the project, supporting volunteer recruitment and client referrals
  • Promote the project with community connections partners and referrers to maximise the number of client referrals
  • Provide detailed quarterly monitoring reports to Partners and internal reports at monthly team meetings

Benefits

25 days holiday per annum or part-time equivalent (increasing by 1 day per year of service, up to a maximum of 5 additional days)

Additional days between Christmas and New Year

Applications

Please send your CV and a covering letter stating which role you are interested in to Laura Butler (laura@voluntarysupport.org.uk) by 5pm on Monday 3rd February 2020

Interviews: Tuesday 11th / Wednesday 12th February 2020

For more information download a full copy of the amigo job and person specification here

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Mental Heath Awareness Week 2019

Monday 13th May is the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme for 2019 is Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies.

Last year the Mental Health Foundation found that 30% of all adults have felt so stressed by body image and appearance that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. That’s almost 1 in every 3 people.

Body image has profound implications for our mental and physical health. The more comfortable you are with your body, the greater your overall wellbeing, and the less likely you are to engage in destructive behaviours.

This week we’re appreciating the strengths of our bodies and helping one another feel comfortable in our own skins. Here are a few ideas about image positivity that may help improve your mental wellbeing:

  • Write down 10 things you like about yourself that aren’t related to what you look like but what’s good about you on the inside.
  • Help others – it will make you feel good about yourself, reduce stress, improve your emotional wellbeing and benefit your physical health. There are lots of ways to volunteer in North Surrey and we can help you find a role.
  • Appreciate what your body does for you by giving yourself some ‘me time’ – try yoga, have a bubble bath, go for a walk in a peaceful place or just put your feet up!
  • Surround yourself with positive people – you’ll hear positive views and stories and their positive words will help you see yourself and the world around you in a more upbeat way.
  • Celebrate all of the amazing things you CAN do (breathing, laughing, walking, dreaming) and take care of your body by eating well.

The Mental Health Foundation are running a body image challenge called Be Body Kind. They are asking people to post on social media a picture of a time or a place when you felt comfortable in your own skin – this could be now, five years ago or at the age of five. It can be a photo of yourself or something else that reminds you of the moment. Using the hashtags #BeBodyKind and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.

There’s lots of support from organisations in North Surrey if you need to talk to someone. Have a look at the websites of Cornerhouse, Oakleaf, The Mary Frances Trust, Catalyst and Healthy Surrey.

Our Amigo project offers support to anyone recovering from mental ill health who needs help to reconnect with their community and take part in local activities to continue in their recovery. If you are interested in being a volunteer or feel you would benefit as a client please contact us.

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Amigo Success!

We are delighted with the success of our Amigo project and wanted to share with you the story of one client who has had a positive experience.

‘We received a referral for an individual who was suffering from anxiety and seeking support to go out and attend community activities. She felt isolated during the day as she does not work. Overall, this lady has a good support network but needed extra help to boost her confidence and increase her motivation to leave the house.  We matched this client with a volunteer who agreed to accompany her to attend a weekly support group.  As this individual was not comfortable travelling independently, the volunteer buddy arranged to meet her at the end of the road and accompany her to the group.  We matched the individual with a volunteer who had had a similar experience and had attended the same support group.  The client’s increased confidence encouraged her to try a different social group and enabled her to travel there by bus.  “The best thing about Amigo was being able to find a group where I felt I fitted in.  This has helped me to feel less isolated”.

It’s been really encouraging for our team and volunteers to have such positive outcomes and we really believe Amigo is making a difference to people’s lives in North Surrey so if you know of anyone who might benefit from an Amigo buddy or alternatively if you would like to volunteer to become a buddy, then please get in touch with Laura or Lynnette on 01276 707565 or email buddy@voluntarysupport.org.uk

 

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