What are we trying to achieve?
Many professionals who work with parents experience mental health difficulties of their own and are often left with trauma or frustration at not having the resources or support to help the parents in their care.
We Are Pangs is aiming to develop a model of peer support that will provide a safe space for professionals to seek support for their own mental health issues.
We will also create a calendar of meet ups that allow professionals to network, build relationships, share best practice and discover ways they can help parents.
What will this committee do?
The initial targets for this committee are:
- Set up peer support groups for professionals to attend
- Create a calendar of events for professionals
- Provide a platform for professionals to share their experiences, concerns and ideas about how to support parents and fellow colleagues
- Have a We Are Pangs representative in each of the health trusts to act as a source of information and support
Once the initial training has been completed and support groups established, the role of the committee will also act as the point of contact for PSLs, monitoring training needs and annual assessments and dealing with any issues or concerns.
It is not initially anticipated that being on this committee will take up more than a few hours a week (perhaps getting busier closer to training days). This will be a team effort with tasks distributed fairly, ensuring that no one is taking on too much. We do ask that if you have been assigned a task that you commit to completing it, or if something comes up, to let the committee chairperson know as soon as possible so that tasks can be reassigned. This will be a key committee for We Are Pangs as peer support is the centre of our organisation. This group will have the challenging but also hugely rewarding task of setting up the first NI-wide perinatal peer support network which will make a huge difference to families directly.
Can I be on a committee and be a Peer Support Leader at the same time?
Yes, we want our charity to be volunteer-led and we believe that those on the ground meeting parents are well-placed to help us steer the organisation in a way that will best help parents. In fact, if you are a volunteer and a member, you can access a discount on the training fees (see below).
What are the benefits of being a volunteer?
You will be part of a diverse team from a range of backgrounds so not only will you learn new skills but you will also meet new friends with a shared passion for perinatal mental health. You will be part of growing an exciting new charity from the bottom up, a charity that will be supporting parents directly.
As well as this, we ask our volunteers to consider becoming members of the charity for a voluntary donation of £30 which will give you 10% discount on all training courses and events as well as a goody bag with We Are Pangs branded goodies. We are also looking into partnering with other businesses to offer member discounts for members and volunteers.
How much time do I need to dedicate?
The amount of time you wish to volunteer is up to you, however we do ask that if you make a particular commitment to doing a certain task or volunteering at a certain event, that you stick to it. That said, we know life sometimes gets in the way so please let us know if you don’t feel you can complete your commitments. Most of the work can be done from home with a computer and a phone though we do encourage our groups to meet face to face on a regular basis to help build a strong volunteer community and help you to make new friends.
I’m not sure what skills I can bring?
We aren’t expecting all of our volunteers to be trained professionals at everything. This is very much a learning environment so while you may not feel you have the adequate skills that is something we can help you with. We want you to get as much out of volunteering as you put in and if you are ever feeling unsure or have questions, please let us know and we will do our best to help.
What about childcare while I am volunteering?
We are a family-friendly organisation and we encourage you to do what works for you. If you need to bring your baby along to a meeting that is fine. We all know the challenges of getting things done with children around so we aim to support each other as best we can. There may be events where children can’t attend such as training days. Unfortunately at present, we can’t offer childcare but this is something we hope to be able to offer in the future.