alex volunteer focus

Becoming a Volunteer Tutor for the Living Well Programme (LWP)

Alex - LWP Tutor

Twelve years ago, I attended an LWP course because I had seen an advertisement in the local paper inviting candidates to train to become volunteer tutors for the programme. I wanted to continue to use some of my professional skills I had developed teaching and running a community campaign. I wanted to feel I was doing something worthwhile after leaving paid employment. When I look back over those 12 years I remember a wide range of participants living with an equally wide range of chronic health conditions. What has always encouraged me is the positive change in participants by the end of the programme. Gone is the negativity and reticence of the first weeks and invariably enduring friendships have been formed.

The prerequisite of becoming a volunteer tutor is to have experience of living with a long term health condition and to have attended a “Living Well” course. When participants learn that their tutors have experienced many of their problems , there is almost always an immediate empathy between them.

What makes our course different from many courses dealing with similar themes is that it does not target one particular condition. The emphasis is not on the conditions themselves but on the techniques to improve the quality of life of those living with them. Participants realise that many of the problems they face on a daily basis are common to all on the course. This realisation is enlightening and strengthens the bond between participants and between them and the tutors.

Topics include: Problem Solving, Good Communication, Managing Depression, Falls Prevention and Decision Making. There are 4 new activities each week plus weekly goal setting and problem solving.

Some participants decide to apply to be trained as volunteer tutors themselves. Newly accredited tutors will deliver the course with experienced tutors and all volunteers undergo peer assessment once a year. In this way, delivery standards are maintained in a supportive way. Experienced Tutors can also train to become Assessors.

Courses are organised throughout West Sussex and Brighton & Hove.  Individuals can self refer by contacting the LWP offices in Brighton and Horsham.

Brighton office 01273 267545  

Horsham 01403 227000 ext 7547