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Could you support a child in care in Somerset? Route1 Advocacy in need of new volunteers  

More volunteers are needed to help children in care and act as a significant someone in their lives.

For many children in care, everyone who features in their day-to-day lives is part of the care system. Somerset County Council’s Route1 Advocacy service is seeking Advocates and Independent Visitors in both short and long term roles to spend quality time with them and transform their lives. The independent visitor role involves taking a long-term interest in the life of a young person in care – something which many of them have never experienced. Trained volunteers are matched with a child in care and provide an invaluable service, one which is potentially life-changing for the young person involved, and even for the volunteer themselves.  

Kate, currently a Route1 independent visitor, said: “I love being an independent visitor. My young person and I both get to try new activities and visit new places. Being a consistent someone in a young person’s life is so important, even if it is just once a fortnight for a few hours. Now my own children are grown up, I have the time to try something new which is both rewarding and good fun.”  

Cllr Tessa Munt, Executive Lead Member for Children and Families, said: “Before coming into care, a child or young person’s experience of relationships will have often been a negative one. Being in care provides an opportunity for them to experience safety, stability and a chance to build meaningful relationships and trust.

“Having the support of a trained volunteer, whether to act as a voice for them or to become a longer term figure in their lives is such a valuable thing to these young people; and often leads to better long term outcomes that extend beyond the care system.”

Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts, Executive Lead Member for Communities, said: “Voluntary positions with Route1 Advocacy are so rewarding; you are quite literally having a potentially life-changing impact on a vulnerable young person’s life – so we are looking for the best people we possibly can.

“For some, they simply want to give their spare time and make a difference to young people who have faced a challenging start in life; for others, they may also want to gain experience in working in children’s services, and these roles give incredible insight into the realities of being a child in care.”

Volunteers are asked to commit to visiting their young person in care twice a month for two years. Visits are intended to be fun, supportive and to allow the child in question time to spend with someone they look forward to seeing and trust.  

Those who are unable to commit to a long-term role may be interested in becoming a Route1 volunteer advocate instead. This opportunity is about assisting children and young people with having a voice at meetings about their wellbeing, where their own wishes and feelings are made clear.   Advocacy is a short-term commitment, in which new advocates attend an additional 2 days of training before being added to a ‘bank’ of volunteer advocates, to be contacted when needed.   Full training is provided by Route 1 Advocacy.

To find out more about the roles and apply, please visit: https://volunteering.somerset.gov.uk/route1    You can also visit the Facebook page at:  www.facebook.com/volunteeringatsomersetcountycouncil     Alternatively, email Volunteers@somerset.gov.uk

or call 01823 359200 to make a difference to young people in your community.

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Records Retention Schedule

Financial Risk Management Policy - March 2023

Grant Application Kings Coronation Form

The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III will take place on Saturday 6th May 2023, with an additional bank holiday on Monday 8th May 2023.

We are keen to hear from groups/organisations in Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge that are looking to celebrate the Coronation. The Town Council has £1500 available to allocate to events being organised to celebrate the Kings Coronation. The maximum grant to be allocated per event will be £500.

You must meet the following criteria for your application to be considered:

– The event will be open to all members of the public

– The event will be free of charge

– The event will take place within the Coronation weekend

– The event will take place within Burnham on Sea or Highbridge

 

Applications will close on Monday 6th March at midday. 

Your organisation and contact details

What happens next....
Applications will be considered at the Finance and Resources Committee Meeting on Monday 13th March 2023. You will be notified after this date whether your application has been successful.
Burnham & Highbridge Town Council takes your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information for the purposes of contacting you about this grant. The Council’s privacy notice can be found here.

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