Why become an OABF Volunteer?
Our volunteer Honorary Representatives ‘Hon Reps’, play a major role in our work at the Officers’ Association Benevolent Fund, taking on tasks alongside and complementary to the work of our professional Grants & Welfare staff. Without our Hon Reps, we could not offer personal contact or meet all the calls that come through to us for assistance, in a quick and timely manner.
Some pros of volunteering with the OABF
By becoming an OABF volunteer you will be supporting the Tri-service Armed Forces Ex-Officer community directly and your input and support will help to change beneficiaries’ current situations for the better. As a valued member of the OABF’s Grants & Welfare Team, you will be helping to make a difference to people’s lives as well as gaining valuable volunteering experience within the charity sector. You may have served yourself or have a keen interest in the military and feel you want to ‘give back’ by supporting others, being involved and helping to make a difference to people’s lives.
Who can or should apply
Former or Serving Officers and those who have a keen interest in helping the former Officer community and their families who have left the Armed Forces.
Level of time commitment
The OABF requires its volunteers to have the time and commitment to undertake at least four cases/visits a year. You will have the opportunity to do more but we will never overburden you and you are free to turn down a case visit request if you are not available. You need to have the time to undertake initial Hon Rep induction recruitment training (1 x day) and complete on-line safeguarding training (45 minutes) annually. We also ask that, if possible, you are available to attend the annual Hon Rep Roadshow.
All Hon Reps are required to undertake initial induction training with our Volunteer Hon Rep Manager. You will be trained in using the ‘Outcomes Star’, which is an evidence-based impact measurement tool. This is a tool for measuring and supporting change when working with people. It is widely used in the UK by national and local charities, local authorities, the NHS, police, schools, housing associations, care and support services. The OABF Volunteer Hon Rep Manager is a licensed trainer of the Outcomes Star.
The OABF holds a dedicated Hon Rep Roadshow Conference once a year, which gives our CEO, Trustees and Staff the opportunity to say a huge ‘thank you’ to our Hon Reps. It is a very enjoyable event, giving everyone the opportunity to meet up in person, hear guest speakers, take part in training updates and to get involved in the OABF’s forthcoming activities.
How many people volunteer for the OABF?
We currently have 60 fully trained Hon Reps based in county areas in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We are actively looking to recruit new volunteers in Wales and some of the county areas in England, in order to bring our volunteer numbers up to 70 active and fully trained Hon Reps by the end of 2023.
What the role entails
As an OABF Hon Rep, you will help by:
- Visiting new applicants for assistance, and making visits to beneficiaries already in receipt of annual financial support from the OABF, in your area.
- Assisting applicants and beneficiaries with applying for support from the OABF, either through a face-to-face home visit or a telephone interview.
- Translating the information you’ve gathered into a report form, covering the beneficiaries’/family’s finances, housing, health, activities, social and well-being, covering specific aspects of their current circumstances, and providing the opportunity for you, as the Hon Rep, to add in your own recommendations.
- The Hon Rep also completes an additional Star Chart in collaboration with the beneficiary, which serves as a visual aide, highlighting the areas within their lives that are currently going well and the areas which are causing them concern. The Star Chart is particularly useful for annual review cases and visits, as it can demonstrate the impact that the previous support provided has had in hopefully resolving their previous needs with the support offered.