Join Our Team

Mentor
(One to One Mentoring)

16 hours per week, for 12 weeks at £11.50 per hour.
Fixed contract until October 2020.
Immediate Start

Our Place Support are looking to recruit an enthusiastic individual with the skills and passion to hit the ground running as a Child Mentor, working with children across North Birmingham on a one to one basis on issues impacting on social, emotional and mental health wellbeing. Applicants are expected to hold the minimum of a Level 3 Mentoring qualification or equivalent and will be required to undertake an enhanced DBS check and reference checks.

Role

To support children and young people in a one to one mentoring environment through online and telephone support. This role will require you to work from home.

As a mentor you will plan and deliver bespoke sessions which will enable the mentee to explore issues, identify resolutions, set goals and monitor their own achievements. This role includes working with the wider team and our partner agencies to safeguard children and young people.

Mentors are responsible for communicating with stakeholders including schools and will on occasions be required to submit reports based on their mentoring. Mentors will also be required to engage in practice supervision, team meetings and training sessions and to provide monitoring returns.

Successful Mentors will have personal qualities that reflect the Our Place Support ethos of being caring, supportive and encouraging.

Benefits / Investment for Mentors:

 Training opportunities provided including mandatory Safeguarding training.
 Public Liability Insurance
 Ongoing line management support and practice supervision
 Matches will be made on the basis of interests, skills, background, knowledge, and temperament of both the child/young person and the mentor.

Application Process:

Applications must be submitted to mentoring@ourplacesupport.org (CVs will not be accepted)

Closing date for applications is 3rd July 2020

Interviews will be held by Zoom on 8th and 9th July 2020

Downloadable Documents:

Job Description

Person Specification

Mentor Application form

Lockdown Laughter

Our Place Support and FOLIO Sutton Coldfield have come together to highlight the wonderful stories of community cohesion and kindness which are happening all around us as we navigate through the challenges brought by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Together we invite you – the community of Sutton Coldfield – to share your stories! We want to know about the moments that have made you laugh and the acts of extreme kindness that have touched your heart and together we will create ‘Lockdown Laughter and Covid Kindness’, a collaborative record of positivity, to document one aspect of this historic time. Whilst we mourn the losses and acknowledge the immense difficulties of life in lockdown, and in no way wish to diminish the challenges we have been facing, research shows that capturing and appreciating the positive and good things we experience helps wellbeing and gives us hope and optimism at a time when it is really needed.

We are also looking for submissions of artwork and photography documenting Lockdown in Sutton Coldfield. Perhaps you have been taking documentary photos you’d like to share. Perhaps your family has been creating artwork to as a way of finding calm and joy during these days. We’d love to be able to include these in our broader documentation of how Sutton Coldfield residents responded during Lockdown.

Initially we will gather stories and artwork/photography to publish online, but we hope to be able to create a book and library exhibition of stories and memories as the project develops.

To submit a story, please complete this submission form and email it to enquiries@ourplacesupport.org. To submit a photo or artwork, please create a digital version of it (a photo take on your phone perhaps) and email it to enquiries@ourplacesupport.org. Please note that we may not be able to include all submissions in possible publications, depending on the numbers received.

You information will be held in line with the Our Place Support privacy policy which is available at www.ourplacesupport.org

If you/your business would like to support this project (through sponsorship or in-kind support) we would love to hear from you. Please email Zoe on chair@foliosuttoncoldfield.org.uk, if you would like to discuss how you can support this project.

Autism and Lockdown

Lockdown has been a difficult adjustment for many people. There are many articles about how mental health is impacted by isolation itself and concerns about health, family, money and the future have raised uncertainty and anxiety for many.

For adults and children with Autism this can be a particularly difficult time.

Autism affects how people perceive and interact with the world and can make social interaction and communication difficult.

Autism is a spectrum condition, which means that each person is affected differently. Anxiety and overwhelm are often things that autistic people experience, and this makes lockdown and the uncertainty it brings potentially even harder for them.

Part of helping to keep overwhelm and anxiety to a minimum is routine and structure. Having daily routines in place and knowing about changes ahead of time can minimise these feelings and allow time to adapt to the ‘new’. Lockdown coming so suddenly would have caused a huge sense of anxiety for some autistic people, especially as all daily routines changed with no school/work and no going out to see people.

The fact that there are no definite answers to how long we will be this way and when things can start to look ‘normal’ again will add another layer of anxiety too. Having no answers means not being able to plan ahead or give the unhelpful thoughts that can come with anxiety an answer.

So what does overwhelm look like?

For children overwhelm can look like anger, sadness, needing more reassurance or cuddles, not settling to tasks or being argumentative and challenging.

For adults it can include limited communication, no appetite or overeating, poor sleep or wanting to sleep all the time, difficulty concentrating or becoming obsessed over certain things.

What can help?

So, how can we support and help this feeling of overwhelm and anxiety when we can’t give the usual solutions?

It means being creative with your thinking, having time to listen and reassure and upping any sensory or calming activities to help offset some of the big feelings that are there. Below are some suggestions for ideas and support to help in this hugely unusual time.

  • Create a new routine that suits the way you are living now. Having times for study or work and times set aside to be creative and active can help create a sense of security and calmness. Keeping to a regular bedtime makes a difference too. Being tired makes it harder to manage big emotions.
  • Use a visual time table. These can be downloaded or you can draw one as a family. Using symbols and displaying it somewhere you can all see it helps with the feeling of what happens next.
  • Be active. This doesn’t mean having a walk, although if it doesn’t cause anxiety then being outside can be very beneficial to overall health. Dancing and yoga can also help to burn off the restless feelings or calm a busy brain. There are some excellent children’s yoga stories on YouTube that can be fun for the whole family to join in and aren’t about being still but encourage calm breathing.
  • Look at how sensory needs are being met. Having a warm shower or bath before bed can help sleep. Using weighted layers on the bed can feel calming. Big bear hugs or rolling up in a blanket can help ease overwhelm. Using headphones to create space and quiet in a noisy busy house can help. Fidget toys and stretchy items can help with restless hands.
  • Create a calming box or bag with things that comfort and support when overwhelm is happening. Maybe a glitter calming bottle, favourite toy, book or pens to draw or write feelings, squashy toys or slime, ear plugs or chewing gum. Put it in a quiet place that the person can go to for some calm time.
  • Stay in connected with friends and family but be sensitive to the fact that this may be hard via video or phone as social cues can be harder to read and it can add anxiety.
  • Be aware of how long it can take to process new information and limit access to news. It can take time to process ideas and each person’s needs are individual to them. Allowing time to process information can help manage overwhelm. Be aware that there may be a need for extra talking time about things at first.
  • Use social stories or videos to help convey information. There are a few available now regarding Covid 19 that can help explain what is happening. This is an example https://carolgraysocialstories.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Pandemics-and-the-Coronavirus.pdf
  • Be flexible with how you communicate. It may be easier to discuss things via text or make mind maps of ideas than to try and talk about them.

If you are looking for further information The National Autistic Society have produced some helpful information on Coronavirus to support adults and families. Take a look at their website https://www.autism.org.uk/services/helplines/coronavirus.aspx

Article written by by Fiona Hill

Announcement from Kelly round, Our Place CEO

Wonderful news!  Our Place Support launches new website!

As well as all our Mentoring, Advice and Support services, we have also been building a brand-new website!

What’s new?

Since January, Kelly, Beth and the team have been poring over plans, discussing designs and editing content, to try and make this website as informative and user friendly as possible. Whilst our old site had served us really well, we thought an update was due and would provide an even better showcase for our services.  One of the new additions – that we are most excited about – is the inclusion of a “News” page.  Since forming in 2011 we have had some amazing experiences, incredible successes, and invaluable learning, so thought it was time to share with you all!  This page is all about news, events, anecdotes, information, changes and updates – we plan to keep it nice and busy and chatty – and hope you’ll get involved too!

What will feature?

As well as News, you will see our declaration of Core Values.  Establishing these was a great team effort – plenty of flip charts were involved in their creation – and we are very proud to have them so clearly displayed. Our new “About” page gives more information about our staff members and their roles, whilst our “Training” page now gives clear learning outcomes and prices for each course, as well as a direct route to booking. Regular viewers of our site will notice that we have some excellent new additions here, which are well worth taking a look at, and booking. Our Mentoring, Consulting and Advice Service services have also been re-vamped, as have our meeting room profiles and volunteer services. You may also note that we are inviting Work Placements for College and University Students.  In the past these have been invaluable to us, as both sources of help AND learning.  There is also a dedicated “Staff Portal” so that everyone can keep in easy communication with each other. As we are a CIC, we are always keen to raise money for the maintenance and development of our service provision, so, on many pages you will see a “Donate Here” button, making contributions even easier to facilitate.

Can we contribute?

Yes! We are always keen to harvest news skills and experiences from the community, to benefit the community, so just drop us a line or phone us to talk about your talents!  Your financial donations are also very welcome indeed thank you!

In summary

We have tried to create a site that is a great ‘shop window’ for our services and skills, informs staff and community alike, and is regularly updated with news and information.

Why not have a look, and let us know your thoughts – it’s pretty much YOUR site anyway! https://www.ourplacesupport.org Thank you.