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2020 Volunteering Case Study

Volunteering 01 January 2020

Elizabeth was assigned this case in April 2020, just as lockdown began, and worked with the service user for a total of 9 months.

This was a high risk and complex needs case – the service user was autistic, had learning difficulties including barely being able to read and write, and had mobility issues. Whilst he was released in the Sussex area, due to his circumstances of not being able to return to his local area and Covid, he was moved to Medway area and placed in a 4-bedroom house on his own.

The first few weeks were particularly difficult for the service user due to being completely isolated and needing a lot of physical help – the house was not suitable for someone with mobility issues. During the first few days, Elizabeth had to raise safeguarding concerns as the service user disclosed feeling suicidal. She raised the issue with his probation officer, her coordinator and adult social services, who continued to support him by providing him a carer.

During the time Elizabeth spent working with the service user she assisted him with a wide range of things including any housing matters, filling in forms remotely such as council tax applications, assisted accessing benefits, registering with GP and accessing adult social care services, social isolation – finding appropriate online support groups, helping to manage money.

Service user was always very appreciative and felt like someone was ‘in his corner’ and really looked out for him. Many others had previously reported finding it difficult to work with him largely due to his mental capacity and emotional outbursts. However, he always engaged really well with Elizabeth and with the right approach he took on the information presented and had good understanding of what was going on. Once the pandemic was easing up, he was assigned a mentor in his local area to be able to conduct face-to-face mentoring. Elizabeth prepared a handover sheet and did a four-way meeting with the new volunteer, probation officer and the service user.

Probation officer expressed her gratitude for the work Elizabeth had done.