Volunteer Support Worker Training

A Volunteer Support Worker is key to the work of The Women’s Centre Cornwall, providing vital support to women and girls who have experienced sexual abuse and/or domestic abuse.

What does a Volunteer Support Worker do?

The Women’s Centre Cornwall runs a daily Rape & Sexual Abuse Helpline and a Domestic Abuse Helpline to provide crisis support to women and girls who have experienced or are experiencing abuse. Part of your role as a Volunteer Support Worker would be to help us answer helpline calls and provide a free, friendly, confidential service to survivors.

The role would also include providing emotional support to women of all ages, on an individual, face-to-face basis, to help them through the difficulties associated with the abuse they’ve experienced.

There are other opportunities to support women through our Bodyworks Programme.

Who can become a Volunteer Support Worker?

Any woman can become a Volunteer Support Worker.  Whoever you are, whatever your experience, education or background, we encourage you to join our team and embark on, what is for many, a life-changing experience.  All that is needed is your energy, enthusiasm, integrity and commitment. Whilst the work can be challenging at times and requires empathy and sensitivity, it is full of warmth and laughter too and you are invited to bring your strong sense of self and good humour to the work you will do.

What do I need to do to become a Volunteer Support Worker?

You will need to complete The Women’s Centre Cornwall’s free, accredited training programme, after which you will receive an OCN Level 2 Award inUnderstanding and Working with Sexual Violence.  Attendance at this course is one day a week, over a 12-week period, and includes a residential weekend.

Your volunteer role begins after graduating from the training programme and is subject to a six-month probationary period.

How often does training take place and where is run?

The Women’s Centre Cornwall runs training twice a year: typically in the early Spring and Autumn of each year.  

Training can take place in a number of locations throughout mid, east and north Cornwall, in the vicinity of our hubs (link to hubs), and is also held at The Women’s Centre in Bodmin.

How many hours would I be expected to volunteer?

Following the free, accredited training course, Volunteer Support Workers are asked to commit to a minimum of 12 hours a month to the The Women’s Centre Cornwall.  This can be made up of both help-line and face-to-face work. Women are also asked to take part in regular supervision meetings and 6 peer support sessions per year.

Is there anything else I should know?

Our work is informed by feminist research on the subject of violence against women in a patriarchal society and our training reflects this.  We would expect all women to work from this value-base. Our training programme offers you the opportunity to debate and discuss a whole range of subjects, including the politics of rape and sexual abuse, pornography and the role of feminism in our working practice. 

As well as providing free, accredited training, we offer access to further training in areas such as safeguarding, mental health, drugs and alcohol dependency, suicide risk and personal safety.

You are also invited to take part in a host of other lively and interesting activities associated with The Women’s Centre Cornwall including campaigning and fundraising events.

What people say about being a Volunteer Support Worker

Click here to read about our current Volunteer Support Workers’ experiences of the work they do and Why They Became Involved.

Who should I contact if I’d like to become a Volunteer Support Worker?

If you are interested in becoming a Volunteer Support Worker please contact our Support Services Manager or Volunteer Coordinator on 01208 76466.


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