My name is Anna and I am a client support volunteer for the Choices Assisted Voluntary Return service in London. Choices volunteers rotate every 2 weeks between running the reception desk, answering the duty phone, responding to email enquiries and shadowing caseworkers. We work very closely with caseworkers, and help clients prepare for their return home.
Today is Wednesday, so it’s a drop in. Some clients have pre-booked appointments with caseworkers, whilst others drop in to ask about their case or enquire about the service for the first time. I welcome clients and check on the computer to see if they already have a file open, then ask them to wait to be seen by a caseworker. It can get really busy, especially with families with young children, who enjoy playing with the toys in our waiting room. Sometimes clients need signposting to other organisations or services that can help them, so I have to make sure I have all the information I need to give them. Sometimes, people speak a low level of English or are upset, so I have to listen to them carefully and reassure them. Exploring the possibility of returning home can be very complex, so people are seen by caseworkers who go through their situation carefully with them.
Posted by Eleanor Dean