Volunteers at Options for Supported Living

Irene had been struggling with debt and money management. So Irene was matched with Martin, an ex-accountant. Martin supported Irene to get a better grasp of her own finances, which in turn has given her more control and choice in her own life. What was different about Martin? He’s a volunteer who was matched with Irene to give her guidance in an area that was his strength.


Rob loves the freedom that being in the water brings. To go swimming, Rob needs 2 support staff in the water with him, but only gets 1:1 support. Options looked to its volunteers and paired him up with Stuart, an energetic guy who loves sport and exercise. Rob, his Support Worker and Stuart now go to the pool every week, and really enjoy it.


Volunteers play a crucial role to the work that we do and enhance the support we are able to provide. Volunteers, just like staff are matched with people we support on an individual basis, matching people based on their interests and hobbies, personalities and personal skills. Volunteers can sometimes have a different perspective and background to other staff, helping us to provide support which is as diverse in its nature as the people we support.


Great support comes from having a dedicated staff team, who have been matched with the person they support. People we support are invited to attend recruitment workshops where they are able to point out any 'stars', anyone who they believe they would get on well with and would like as a member of their teams. We use activity based workshops to try and get a better sense of peoples values and see how they interact with those around them. Once recruited, staff will receive training to give them the best foundation to be able to provide great person centred support. Staff work together as a dedicated team with the person they support, building a Team Action Plan (TAP), which is a plan of actions which help to achieve the goals and aspirations in a person’s Essential Lifestyle Plan (ELP). The TAP is important in providing great support as it ensures the team is working as a whole, working towards the same outcomes and supporting a person to work towards their own goals.


Our Values and Beliefs drive everything we do and are regularly reinforced throughout training, supervisions and meetings. By having a clear understanding of the Mission, Values and Beliefs, staff are empowered to make more confident decisions and recognise the importance of person centred support.