Mercy Law Resource Centre is an Independent Law Centre which provides a quality and holistic service to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. This includes people who are trying to move away from homelessness or are struggling with issues often linked to homelessness, e.g. addiction, violence and abuse, leaving prison, mental illness, family breakdown.
If you are interested in becoming a Befriender or if you would like more information, please contact Caitriona O Hara, Volunteer Co-ordinator, 25 Cork St, Dublin 8 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 01 4537459.
Our Befriending service
We recognise that the legal system can be alienating to our clients and difficult and frustrating to negotiate. As part of our service, volunteers are available to befriend clients in order to accompany them and provide them with emotional support as they go through the difficult process of trying to assert their rights.
We also recognise that our clients may have a range of legal and other underlying problems which need to be addressed holistically. We are committed to helping clients identify these issues and to link in with other legal and support services as needed. Appropriate referrals are key to the service we provide.
Role of the Befriender
- To befriend clients of MLRC as allocated to them by the Volunteer Co-ordinator;
- To listen to clients in a way that is caring and non-judgmental;
- To provide clients with emotional support and encouragement;
- To explore options/choices with clients;
- To motivate clients to access legal and other services they need;
- To assist clients with basic steps necessary to access such services e.g. making phone calls, filling in forms, etc;
- To accompany clients to court or interviews with people in authority or other hearings as required;
- To feedback information on client’s needs to the Volunteer Coordinator as appropriate including the need for any referrals, advice, counseling, etc;
- To undertake relevant training.
Volunteer training and support:
- Initial training;
- The Co-ordinator is available by phone at all times if the Befriender has any questions, concerns, difficulties;
- Regular support meetings with other volunteers;
- On-going training;
- Trial period of six months;
- Periodic review and supervision with Volunteer Coordinator.
- Each volunteer will be asked initially to befriend one client meeting them as required and appropriate;
- Usually volunteers will not need to meet with clients more than once a week for up to two hours but occasionally clients will require more support;
- Regular volunteer meetings.
- Excellent listening and communication skills;
- Capacity to empathize with people with a high level of personal problems;
- Ability to observe boundaries with clients;
- Willingness to learn good referral and feedback skills;
- Understanding the importance of client confidentiality;
- Ability to hear and process difficult personal problems.
- Applicants should note that two references will be required along with Garda clearance.
Click here to read some of our Befrienders’ stories.
Click here to sponsor a Befriender.
Thank you for your interest in Mercy Law Resource Centre.
All information provided on this Blog is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or a legal contract between this Blog and any person or entity unless otherwise specified. Click here to read more.