Safeena Muslim Cancer Support Network (SMCSN) is looking to recruit volunteers to become either, volunteer befrienders or volunteer community champions. You are invited to volunteer to become a Befriender or a Community Cancer Champion with SMCSN. Further details of the two roles are set out below.
SMCSN offers emotional and practical support to Muslims who have been diagnosed with cancer, as well as partners, family and friends of people with a diagnosis through the befriending service that it offers. The service will be provided by Muslims who have lived experience of either the diagnosis or being a loved one of someone with a diagnosis. This confidential service will provide the opportunity for people to talk openly and to ask any questions they like. Most of the support will be offered by telephone, but some volunteers will additionally provide support by email.
Cancer patients and their loved ones are at the heart of every aspect of our work. We need volunteer community champions to help grow our work by;
- helping to spread awareness about cancer and the early signs and symptoms
- to spread knowledge and save lives
- tackling taboos and stigmas associated with cancer within the Muslim community
- to raise awareness of SMCSN and the services we offer to people affected by cancer
- share resources with medical professionals, GP surgeries and hospitals
- raise awareness of local screening events
- help influence others and build support for Muslims affected by cancer within your communities
- to build friends and connections for SMCSN.
The activities are varied and range from attending events and talking about SMCSN’s work and sharing this on your social media and within your networks, delivering information to local GP surgeries, community centres and encouraging others to get involved. All of this is vital work to help share messages about early diagnosis, the faith based support element, building community networks and inspiring new activity.
What experience do I need to have had to apply to become a Befriender?
- To be a befriender you will either have had a diagnosis of primary cancer in the last four years and be at least 12 months past the end of your treatment; or be a partner, close family member or friend of someone who has had a diagnosis of primary cancer.
What experience do I need to have had to apply to become a Community Champion?
- No prior experience of this is necessary as training will be provided to enable you to undertake the role. You will be equipped with the knowledge needed to raise awareness about cancer, engage in conversation that could help to reduce the risk of cancer and encourage early diagnosis of cancer when treatment could be simpler and more effective.
- You should however be willing to have the commitment and passion to genuinely want to be actively involved within your community in educating and raising awareness on cancer.
What skills and qualities do I need to be a Befriender or a Community Champion?
- For a befriender you need to be non-judgmental, show empathy and compassion. To be a good listener, communicator and confident whilst using the telephone and to be willing and able to share to your own
- For a Community Champion you need to be passionate and committed to working with the local Muslim community. You will be confident in communicating and working with various stakeholders to educate them about cancer. There will be opportunities for you to become involved in your local community and other programmes currently being developed by SMCSN.
What commitment is required as a Befriender and Community Champion?
- As a befriender the number of people you support and how often you call them will vary based on the requirements of our service users and your capacity/time, but we would hope that you would feel able to make one or two calls each week if required. You will be contacted when you are identified as being a suitable match to provide support. Calls are made from your own home, at a mutually convenient time for both you and the service user. You will always be able to tell us if you are not free to provide
- As a Community Champion you will be required to be committed to educating the local Muslim community about cancer and attend events to raise awareness of cancer and to raise awareness of this on various platforms. You will need to have a few hours to spare each month and can fit the role around your work and other commitments. As with the befriender you will always be able to tell us if you are not free to provide your services as a community champion.
What training and support will I receive as a Befriender or a Community Champion?
- Volunteers will be asked to attend and take part in training before commencing their role. The training will predominantly take place via MS Teams / Zoom. Following your initial training you may be required to take part in further training as and when required by SMCSN. As a volunteer you will also be assigned a volunteer mentor and be offered further training on an on-going basis.
What will I gain from volunteering for the Befriending Role?
- It’s free, simple way to give something back to someone affected by cancer.
- Your calls can make a huge difference to people affected by cancer.
- Developing your communication and telephone support skills, and experience of supporting people during a difficult time.
- The chance to ‘give back’ to people affected by cancer, many volunteers report feeling a greater sense of purpose and mental wellbeing because of their
- Being part of the UK’s first Muslim Cancer Support Network and helping us support people with cancer to live
What will I gain from volunteering for the Community Champion Role?
- You will be trained in community development and participative practice.
- Gain knowledge on how to design and run projects on highlighting cancer.
- Be given an opportunity to attend a variety of events and meet lots of new people.
- Have the satisfaction of knowing that you are actively helping to change communities’ attitudes and behaviour towards cancer
How does it work?
This is your opportunity to apply to volunteer to become a befriender and community champions and help support fellow Muslims affected by Cancer. You sign up and start your volunteer application online by completing questions below by 5th February 2023. If suitable you will be called for an interview and will be required to provide references. If successful, you will be required to complete necessary training for the role.