Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.'

While our volunteers are not 'recovery workers', in that they don't offer therapeutic interventions, they nevertheless work in busy services with a wide range of people, almost all of whom are vulnerable in one way or another. It's not as easy as it looks . . . . .

  • What does recovery actually mean? How can you support someone to make the choices that will improve their well-being?
  • What do you do when your definition of recovery clashes with theirs, and you disagree with their choices?
  • Prejudice is a normal part of human thinking. Do you know what yours are? How do you stop them sliding into becoming discrimination?
  • London is arguably the most diverse city in the world. There are more than three hundred languages spoken, twenty major religions, and its home to some of the richest and some of the poorest people in the world. You never know who is going to walk through the door. How do you prepare for that?
  • Sometimes you simply just don't like someone. How do you support them anyway?
  • This can be an emotionally draining role for everyone at times. How do you manage this and keep yourself safe and happy?
  • What on earth does 'unconditional positive regard' mean, and how do you incorporate it into your practice?
  • What are the limits of your role? What are the limits of the charity? What help can you really offer, and when do you have to say no?
  • What happens when someone asks you for advice on their substance use and you have no idea what they are talking about?

This workshop aims to help you learn to walk on the thin ice of volunteering in a challenging environment with a degree of confidence, and introduced many of the subjects that will be looked at in greater detail in subsequent workshops.