A volunteer peer supporter is a guide. A friend. A resource who paves the way to success, and derives satisfaction from helping others succeed. Your role as volunteer is to inspire, encourage, and support your participant, and to contribute to their personal development.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What am I expected to do? Volunteers are expected to provide their match with about one hour of support and interaction per month. Most of this interaction will take place via email and other web-related tools (for example, instant messaging) or face-to-face, as appropriate. Volunteers should work with their match to determine what kind of support will be most useful—specific feedback related to finding jobs, general career advice, information on higher studies, technical information, personal encouragement, and so on.
- How long will the commitment be? We ask our volunteers to make commitments of at least six months to one year in order to ensure that the volunteer is able to fully benefit from the relationship. If a volunteer must leave the relationship early, we request at least one month's notice in order to search for a replacement mentor with similar background..
- Relationship is not going well or I am concerned about the connection, what to do? We encourage letting the participant know about the situation and contact the Admin Immediately. We will provide our full support to resolve the situation in a positive and satisfactory manner.
- COMMIT AT LEAST ONE INTERACTION/HOUR OF SUPPORT per month.
- Take responsibility to initiate the relationship.
- Set aside time for the connection process and honor all appointments.
- Invite your match to NPF activities, as appropriate.
- Be flexible on meeting times.
- Arrange frequent contacts through telephone, email, face-to-face, etc., as appropriate
- Respond to emails from your match within 2 days of receipt.
- Keep information that your match has shared with you confidential. If something concerning the participant needs to be discussed with others, it should first be discussed within the support relationship.
- Establish open and honest communication and a forum for idea exchange.
- Foster creativity and independence. Help build self-confidence and offer encouragement.
- Provide honest and timely feedback to your match.
- Provide opportunities for the participant to talk about concerns and ask questions.
- Above all, LISTEN.
- Give medical advice. You can speak to your own successes and failures with treatments, but encourage your match to discuss all options with their medical provider.
- Encourage match to be totally dependent upon you.
- Provide your personal history, problems, animosities, successes, failures, etc unless they are constructive contributions.
- Be too busy when the match needs your friendship or your support. If you do not have time, give the match a heads up, so that they know when they can reach you.