Well the interview went well, the woman was very lovely and easy to talk to. I spoke about my Bipolar and how I’m trying to overcome the Agoraphobia; how it is getting slightly easier to travel around our county but going to cities etc still isn’t something I’ve managed to conquer. I decided there was no point in hiding that from her as the last thing I’d want to happen is to be matched with a child and then be asked to take them somewhere that I can’t go to. But she was totally fine with it all and said I spoke passionately about becoming a volunteer and my aims for when I complete my Uni course. She also said that she got the impression from talking to me that if I felt my mental health was heading towards a bad place she was quite reassured that I would tell her so other arrangements could be put in place for any child I was working with; she said as I’m open and honest about my conditions she has no reason to think I wouldn’t express any concerns I had about my own mental health should it ever be an issue, so that was good.
We spent a good hour and a half together before she went off to meet a befriender who lives locally to have a catch up; if I’m approved I will be the 3rd child befriender covering our part of the county. We talked about some example situations of the types of situations children referred to the befrienders service may be living in. I had a good idea of what they might be, for example young carers who need some time to be a kid, children trapped in a drug and/or alcohol addicted household who need some time out away from it all, households where there is domestic violence, or maybe just a case of a child having a sibling with an illness which means the parents have to devote most of their attention to that child so it gives the sibling a chance to have some time devoted to them as well.
So the next step is to wait on her receiving my two references and once she has received them she will put in the application for my PVG/Enhanced Disclosure Certificate. That is basically a certificate to show I have no criminal convictions (which I don’t) and it checks your background to show you are a safe person to work with children or vulnerable people. I have already phoned them to ask if the fact I have been detained under the mental health act will show up and they said they do not check your medical history. However there is one thing I’m slightly worried about and that is that I attended a Vulnerable Adult meeting at the police station after some events happened a couple of years ago and basically anything that they find out about you that is non-criminal they then make the decision on whether or not that information should be passed on to the potential employer/voluntary organisation.
I’m sure it will all be fine, I have never been in any kind of trouble so I’m not too worried. My only involvements with the police have been the Vulnerable Adult Protection meeting and going with the woman from rape crisis a couple of months ago to discuss reporting the sexual assault.
Once they receive my Disclosure Certificate then I can start training and then wait to be matched with a child. She said the full process shouldn’t take more than a couple of months, so I might get started with them by the end of the year.
What else has happened today?… I got my medication sorted out and I got a second copy of my gym application form and handed it in. This evening I have just sat and watched the soaps on TV. I’m just about to take the dogs out for their bed time walk and it is pouringgg with rain…ugh. I hope to get some proper sleep tonight as I am meeting my social worker tomorrow and going to meet the co-ordinator and the volunteer from advocacy who are going to assist with my housing application. I did have an appointment after that to see the woman from rape crisis but she text me this evening asking if we could swap to Friday afternoon.
I am relieved the interview is over with and went well, I’m glad I have now been able to put a face to the lovely woman I’ve spoken to on the phone a few times over the past month and feel much more comfortable with her now. I will be even more relieved when I meet the advocacy girls tomorrow and see what suggestions they come up with for helping push my housing application a bit further.
For now though it is dog walking time (in the rain) then medication time and with any luck a few hours sleep later on.
Glad today is over with – but in a good way!