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Volunteer Advocate
Merton Council put me in touch with Jigsaw4u when I went to them looking for work with children that was meaningful, good for the community and would play to my strengths without taking over my life. Having had a somewhat troubled childhood myself, I felt able to understand what children on a child protection plan would be experiencing and Jigsaw4u seemed to offer a great variety of different options for helping children cope with the difficulties in their lives.
I actually signed up to become an Independent Visitor and did my training mid July 2015. However Mandy took the trouble to get to know and understand me really well and it was mutually agreed (with no pressure at any time) that my personality, natural skills and background made me ideal for an advocacy role. So I’ve been working in this capacity for a few months now.
(Jigsaw4u) have a lovely way of working and have at all times made their guidance and support feel a needed bonus rather than being intrusive or bossy. They are warm and open and have a kind way of making clear what can and cannot be done and why.
Personally, I am enjoying the advocacy role enormously. I particularly love the challenge of getting to know the child and to being their voice in a variety of child protection meetings. It can be a bit of a pain getting hold of social workers, parents/schools etc to fix up appointments but the staff will do this for you if needed. Every now and again, (and this is the best bonus) it is obvious that the child really values being both heard and listened to.
Overall, being an advocate works well for me as I can choose whether or not to take on a new case depending on numerous other pressures in my life. As it happens, this last few weeks I also just started working as an Independent Visitor for a 10 year old little girl.  With respect to both my advocacy and independent visitor work, it has been a real eye opener to see and work with social services and witness the enormous pressures they are under from every front.
From what I’ve seen, the work done by Jigsaw4u is stand beside rather than replace Social Services and their work is very highly valued by all those who come into contact with them and I have no hesitation at all in recommending them most warmly.

volunteer party



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Charity No. 1109167