Mind’s new sport programme Get Set to Go aims to remove barriers to sport participation, so that those of us with a mental health problem are more confident about getting active. We want people to see physical activity as being an important part of a healthy lifestyle. The programme is supported by Sport England and the National Lottery. Dudley Mind is one of eight local Minds across England delivering Get Set to Go nationally.
People with a range of mental health problems will be supported to participate in weekly sessions that focus on a particular sport. We will work in partnership with local sport providers to run taster sessions so people can find a sport that best suits them.
The Peer Navigator volunteer role is ideally suited to people who have experience of using physical activity as a way of improving wellbeing, and/or for people with direct experience of mental health problems – this could be from your own experience or from family or close friends.
It’s an excellent way of gaining practical experience and developing skills. You will be part of a team of volunteers, providing tailored support to people with mental health problems and developing skills within the sport sector. You will meet new people and make new connections, and you will be part of an exciting new national programme.
What will I do?
As a volunteer your role will include providing one-to-one peer support to Get Set to Go participants. You will help people as they build their confidence using community sport facilities, either on a 1-2-1 basis or as part of a group. You will:
– Work with participants to help them achieve realistic goals and attend sport related activity sessions together in the community
– Build the confidence of individuals by encouraging and motivating them to overcome any barriers to sport and physical activity
– Create a mutually helpful and supportive relationship between yourself and the Get Set to Go participant that will be of benefit to both of you
– Support the individual so they are confident joining local sport groups with the aim of sustaining their participation on a longer-term basis once they leave Get Set to Go
– Encourage participants to consider their health and wellbeing more broadly, for example improving their diet, smoking cessation, sleep hygiene and developing social networks that can benefit their mental wellbeing
– Give information about local services that can offer support to participants with needs not related to sport
– Complete brief records of the sessions with the individual, as directed by the Get Set to Go Coordinator
– Support participants to fill out questionnaires and surveys as part of the Get Set to Go evaluation
– Be able to work within agreed boundaries which are professional and non-discriminatory, which respect confidentiality and promote equal opportunities for all
– Be a positive role model – showing how physical activity has helped your own mental wellbeing
– Regularly review how participants are progressing towards their goals and promote their ongoing participation
How much time will I give?
We hope that you will be able to offer us a regular slot each week where you can work alongside participants. As you will be the main support for people trying out a new sport it is vital that you are able to be a reliable companion for that person while they are building their confidence.
We may ask you to attend meetings from time to time to give us feedback about Get Set to Go so that we can learn from what we do. We will also expect you to attend regular support and supervision sessions with the Get Set to Go Coordinator.
What skills, knowledge, qualities or experience will I need?
– Experience of using physical activity to improve physical and/or mental wellbeing is essential
– We welcome people who have their own lived experience of a mental health problem, either personally or from a close relative or friend
– Experience of working with people with mental health problems would be desirable
– As would experience of providing one-to-one peer support
– It is essential for you to know the health benefits of physical activity
– And desirable to have knowledge of mental health problems
There are several skills and qualities that we think are essential for the volunteer role, which are:
– Ability to communicate with both men and women of different ages and backgrounds in a friendly and supportive manner
– Ability to provide positive feedback
– Good time management skills and reliability
– Ability to maintain professional boundaries and confidentiality
– Open and non-judgmental attitude
– Positive, patient and tolerant approach towards supporting people with mental health problems