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Speech Support Worker

Speech Support Worker
Speak With IT
Description of the role:

Speak With IT (SWIT) are a registered charity whose mission is to improve the wellbeing of people with aphasia and their carers, by using technology, supported conversation and through the dedicated help of trained and compassionate volunteers, providing long term support. Your time will help the charity to meet its aims for providing support for people with aphasia and their carers:
1. To help people with aphasia and their carers to feel less isolated and more supported
2. To improve the communication skills of people with aphasia
3. To increase knowledge and understanding of computer therapy options among people with aphasia and their carers

This skilled befriending role involves supporting a client with aphasia in a one-to-one capacity to work on their speech and communication using speech therapy apps and supported conversation techniques. Volunteers are supported by the Service Coordinator and Speech and Language Therapist to complete the following duties:
- Working one-to-one with a SWIT client on the videocall scheme, or face-to-face in the client’s home.
- Reading and interpreting speech and language therapist referrals.
- Developing a good understanding of the speech therapy apps recommended for use by the speech and language therapist.
- Devising a bespoke care plan for the SWIT client, targeting specific functional goals.
- Hosting regular sessions with the client to review progress and relevancy of exercises set.
- Providing the opportunity for supported conversation practice using a variety of resources and mediums.
- Submitting weekly visit reports detailing the actions taken in each session.
- Attending regular training and supervision in-line with the expectations of the role.

Speak With IT clients around Harrogate are currently waiting for support. You would have the potential to make a significant difference for these clients in their day-to-day lives by helping them to improve their functional communication. Living with aphasia can be a very lonely experience when you don’t have the tools to tell people how you feel, or express your innermost needs. We use communication in almost every aspect of our daily lives, including using social media, talking with family, and even changing the channel on the television, but these things can all be very difficult when you have aphasia. To help out, SWIT sets functional goals that are designed with the client in mind, whether that be learning to text a friend, or participating more in group conversation. As a volunteer, you will help your client meet these goals and form new ones as needed so that they continue to progress forward towards a brighter future where communication is possible.
The good news is that the support works! As well as improving communication, volunteer support has also been found to help client’s improve their confidence and sense of social isolation. At SWIT’s last Client Satisfaction Survey 100% of our client base agreed that their volunteer “knows how to help and always encourages and supports me”, with 90% strongly agreeing. Join our team to keep the momentum going!

Skills and qualities needed for the role:

IT literate. Friendly, positive and patient. A self starter who is able to work independently. No qualifications required.
This position is particularly suited for:
Students of speech and language therapy, or those looking to explore or develop a career in that area.
People looking for experience managing an adult with support needs in a one-to-one capacity.
People looking to engage in outreach work in their community, as this role involves visiting people local to you at their home or over videocall.
People looking for a skilled befriending role with impressive responsibilities, this opportunity is sure to look good on any CV.
People looking for a flexible volunteer role with low monthly commitment and hours arranged flexibly.
People looking for a unique voluntary experience – Speak With IT is the only charity of its kind across the country and the only charity offering this role.

Practical information:

Recruitment opens periodically throughout the year for training dates held in February, May, September and November.
Minimum commitment of 6 months from client match (approximately 9 months from application). This is because SWIT work with adults with low confidence and time taken to develop a rapport with a client is integral to building trust.
SWIT asks volunteers to support a minimum of 2 clients where possible, usually face-to-face but some videocall appointments may be required. Typical working hours will vary depending on how frequently appointments are organised, so this will roughly range between 6 – 12 hours per month including travel time and report writing.


Additional Information
DBS check needed: Yes
Driving licence needed: No
Car owner: No
Open to: Age 17+
Is this role wheelchair accessible?: Yes
North Yorkshire
Last updated: 21.04.2022
Organisation Information

Speak With IT match people with aphasia (speech and communication difficulties) with a trained volunteer who will support the person to work on their goals using a variety of computer therapy programs available on Windows, iPad and Android devices, alongside supported conversation techniques.
All our volunteers are trained by speech therapists on the various computer therapy programs we support as well as supported conversation techniques to assist with befriending our clients, who are often elderly.
Speak With IT lends equipment and software to people so that they can test and determine which program best suits their needs. Our volunteers visit clients in their homes or online over Zoom videocalls (depending on availability and preference) to support them as they try the various therapies, giving family members and carers a little respite.
Role description:
Speak With IT are recruiting for Volunteer Speech Support Workers across Yorkshire who can provide valuable one to one support for people with aphasia on speech therapy apps. Our volunteers support people with aphasia in their own home and over videocalls, with visits organised around your availability and the people you are supporting.
Volunteers will schedule appointments each month to check on their client’s progress with the apps, make sure the exercises are an adequate challenge and that they are focussed on working towards useful goals for the client such as learning to text.
Volunteers will also provide a link to the world outside, as many of our clients are socially isolated or may be choosing to shield. Conversation with their volunteer, someone trained to communicate with them effectively can be massively beneficial to both communication and overall mood.

Skills required:
Volunteers must be IT literate, friendly, positive and patient. A self starter who is able to work independently. This opportunity would particularly benefit students who are keen to develop a career in speech and language therapy or the wider healthcare sector; or people who have recently retired and would like to give back to their community.
Availability must be during the day due to the nature of the physical condition the people we help are living with. Owning your own transport is definitely an advantage but not mandatory. All our volunteers are subject to Enhanced DBS checks and we request two references.
Skills gained:
This volunteer role is perfect for someone with an interest in speech and language therapy or the wider healthcare sector and/or someone who wants to give back to their community.
Volunteers will be trained by qualified speech and language therapists and will learn how to use a variety of computer therapies and supported conversation techniques.

Charity number: 1143106