Volunteer with us
Pace is always interested in hearing from passionate individuals who want to make a difference to families affected by child sexual exploitation.
Become a volunteer befriender
Pace volunteer befrienders play a vital role in delivering Pace’s goal: to work with parents to end child sexual exploitation.
Over the years at Pace we have recognised receiving such support increases parents resilience and self-esteem and reduces any isolation they might feel. It is very important that parents voices are heard and that they feel listened to.
What is a Pace befriender?
There are two key things we look for when you become a volunteer befriender with Pace:
• A non-judgemental approach to parents. Befrienders need to understand and respect a parent’s journey with their child through CSE. No two experiences will be the same. You will need to have an empathic approach and a positive and supportive attitude to parents.
• A patient listener. By actively listening to parents and allowing them to offload, a Pace befriender provides emotional support which helps the parent.
A Pace volunteer befriending role can be both challenging and demanding but the rewards are great. The relationship between parent and befriender can be either face to face support or telephone befriending. You will be well trained, well supported and equipped with a range of useful skills. In return we ask you to:
• demonstrate a commitment to Pace’s aim and ethos;
• undergo our induction programme; and
• offer a minimum of two hours per week for, ideally, a minimum of 12 months.
We also provide peer support: this is where a two parents affected by CSE offer mutually beneficial support to each other. This support is usually over the phone, but some parents have met at parent network days or if they live near to each other.
What Pace offers volunteers:
• Initial training. This is usually held over two full days on a weekend. It covers: an introduction to Pace (history, aims, ethos, etc.); an overview of child sexual exploitation in the UK; parents’ experience of child sexual exploitation; the role and skills of a befriender; and a look at boundary issues in relation to befriending.
• Regular supervision with a named supervisor.
• Ongoing training opportunities. Recent topics have included: mental heath awareness, child law, dealing with difficult contacts, advocacy.
• Quarterly peer support group meetings.
• Occasional social gatherings.
• Out of pocket expenses.
If you’re interested in applying to become a Pace volunteer contact us.