Why we value volunteers

The Rainbow Project couldn’t carry out its work without the help of our amazing team of volunteers. We have a strong volunteering ethos and seek to create opportunities for people to contribute to our overall organisational aims and objectives.  From our safer sex pack assistants to our befrienders to our volunteer Board of Trustees, our volunteers are the lifeblood of our organisation and we strive to ensure we provide recognition and support along their volunteering journey.

Why should I get involved?

Our volunteers come from all walks of life and are driven by a range of motivations for why they volunteer. From an opportunity to meet new people, to help continue to help the fight for equality for LGBT people in Northern Ireland to those who are hoping to sharpen their CV- volunteering is a two way relationship. We seek to remove all barriers to volunteering and also endeavour to ensure our volunteers get as much out of the relationship as we do!  We also seek to up-skill our volunteers in working with others or providing services for those in need.  Most volunteers receive mandatory training ranging from Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Awareness to safeTALK training and more.

A big part of volunteering is the social aspect; opportunities to making new friendships, attending events as part of The Rainbow Project team etc. Many people volunteer their time to give something back to the community by supporting people. Here are some statements from volunteers; both current and past volunteers:

“I was looking to volunteer in the LGBT sector again after taking time to raise my son. As a parent the hours of safer sex packing team suits me perfectly so I can enjoy the criac with a diverse group of people who I may not have met otherwise. We also have social gatherings throughout the year”. Grainne, Volunteer Sexual Health, Safer-Sex Packer

“Trying to make loneliness less lonely. Lending an ear to listen, a heart to care and hopefully make a tiny difference” Jude, Volunteer Befriender

“I came to the board in May 2016 with a real passion for human rights and advocating for equal marriage, the eradication of the blood ban and better sexual health education in schools for LGBT youths.  I loved the enthusiasm, integrity and leadership TRPNI staff projected and knew it was a charity I would happily give my time to.

I volunteer to give something back to a community that has supported so many of my family members in recent years.  I want to try and remedy the situation in which our community does not have equal rights with other citizens. Over the last year I’ve had the privilege of meeting so many wonderful people - staff and volunteers – who keep me enthused about what role we have in securing a better N. Ireland for the LGBT community.  Their passion fuels mine and I’m keen to see us achieve equal marriage in the coming year.” Kate, Volunteer Trustee Board Member

“I started volunteering for the rainbow project because I wanted to give something back to the LGBTQ+ community and the project itself. I was a service user 10 years ago. I struggled after an attack and a few other homophobic incidents. I felt isolated, scared and like I didn't belong. The rainbow project staff and volunteers supported me throughout my ordeal, with their support I've become a much more confident & compassionate person. Volunteering has not only helped my personal growth but has also given me an opportunity to support others.” Devon, a former volunteer with the Allotment group.

 “Volunteering the past year has changed so much in my life. I look different to so many walks of life. I have found getting to know so many amazingly talented and funny people through outreach, a lot are freaking crazzay, though that's in a good way of course. All people do a lot to improve our society! And the difference Belfast and a lot of cities have made for the populations and also ourselves. LGBT+ we are the shizz and TRP we will win this whizz 😉”. (Duno what the whizz is yet but Nuala and crew.. we’re winning and will keep on winning xx 😁) Ciaran, Volunteer Sexual Health, Outreach

“The Rainbow project has been so supportive to me in changes in my life that I wanted to volunteer to contribute back to the community that has helped me so much. It is so rewarding to see how a small contribution of my time helps to inspire someone who feels the benefit from the support of a befriender.” Karen, volunteer and befriender.

“Befriending is invaluable to LGBT people who want to meet other LGBT people in a safe and supportive environment, one that isn't based around going out on the scene and alcohol etc. We offer an alternative space and experience that is welcoming and non-judgemental.

“I am a Sexual Health Clinical Assistant at the bi-monthly drop-in clinics for both rapid HIV testing and full sexual health screenings.  I help to keep these busy clinics running smoothly and ensure our clients are happy and looked after.  My beautiful adopted home and community over in Melbourne, Australia, taught me that sexual health testing should be as routine and shameless as going to the dentist.  Sex is great, and it is even better when we look after our bodies and each other.  Volunteering with Rainbow lets me to bring a little of this philosophy back home." Lucas, Volunteer Sexual Health Clinical Assistant

 So far as what I get from befriending, I get to meet other LGBT people, whether as volunteers with Rainbow or as befriendees accessing our Befriending service, and feel I'm helping to establish community. A community based upon being mindful of the needs of others and recognising that, in spite of huge steps forward toward full equality, it can still be a struggle to be LGB/T in Northern Ireland.” Andrew, Volunteer Befriender

“What attracts me to volunteering with The Rainbow Project is that it’s an organization that punches above its weight.  With modest resources it has had a huge impact:  in promoting health and well-being; in helping people who have had difficult experiences; and in advocating for the full inclusion of LGB and/or T people in every aspect of life. 

“What I like about volunteering with the Board is seeing ideas for new ways of helping become reality, and hearing the feedback from people who use our services - even when it’s to suggest improvements. Volunteers have been an asset to Rainbow and there is even more potential for new roles in the future, so I’d encourage people to get involved. I’ve learned a lot from my time as a volunteer and, as a bonus, have really found it helped me develop my skills.” Gareth, Volunteer Trustee Board Member

“Why I joined – I wanted to do something that would help people, as well as give back to a community which has helped shape my life since I was a teenager. What I like about volunteering – I love the warm atmosphere at Rainbow Project, being able to connect with like-minded people whilst doing good work. Why I think others should volunteer – It’s fun and it’s worth it.” Chris, Volunteer Sexual Health, Safer-Sex Packer

What roles can I do?

Sexual Health Team 

Sexual Health Clinical Assistant, Belfast – Not Recruiting at the moment (But you can still enquire for this role and if it becomes available in the future and maybe in the mean time think about doing some other volunteering or becoming a casual volunteer)

We’re looking for someone to work closely with our Sexual Health Development Officer to help manage our incredibly popular and often busy drop-in rapid and full sexual health clinics. The aim of the role is to  welcome people to the clinics, sign people in, collect their completed forms, escort clients to testing rooms and answer general questions from clients (e.g. “How long will I have to wait?” or “What STIs are screened at this clinic?”).  We need someone who can regularly attend clinics on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month 17.30-20.00. Due to the fact that some of these clinics happen at saunas; which are exclusively for male clientele we’ll need whoever applies to identify as male. If you are interested in applying for this role contact Leo Lardie at [email protected]

Sexual Health Admin Assistant, Belfast – Not Recruiting at the moment (But you can still enquire for this role and if it becomes available in the future and maybe in the mean time think about doing some other volunteering or becoming a casual volunteer)

A Sexual Health Admin Assistant volunteer role is to input data collected from testing onto surveymonkey, contacts clients via text or e-mail about testing, prepare safer sex materials for posting and generally help out the Sexual Health Development Officer. If you are interested in applying for this role contact Leo Lardie at [email protected]

Safer Sex Pack Assistant, Belfast - Currently recruiting

Our Safer Sex Pack volunteers are affectionately known as our ‘condom packers’! They work hard to maintain the work that The Rainbow Project undertakes at bars and clubs and come together on Wednesday nights to put together our safer sex packs. Volunteers have the opportunity, to meet, listen to music, have fun, have some food and help us put together packs to be used by service users. This is a social opportunity and perfect if you’re short on time and want a flexible opportunity with no long term commitment. If you are interested in applying for this role contact Leo Lardie at [email protected]

OUTreach Team – Currently recruiting

The Rainbow Project has a heavy presence on the LGBT commercial scene in Belfast. Our OUTreach team is a group of highly dedicated volunteers whose role it is to provide information and advice to people in bars and clubs on sexual health, advocacy, hate crime, counselling and other TRP services.
We are currently recruiting and if you are interested in either roles please complete an application form and return to Leo E: [email protected]

Fundraising and Events – Currently recruiting

Are you enthusiastic, reliable and passionate about improving the lives of LGBT people in Northern Ireland? The Rainbow Project is currently seeking to develop community fundraising activities to help us sustain our work in Northern Ireland to provide support to LGBT people and their families, and we need your help to raise awareness of our cause and also assist with the various events that take place throughout the year? Email: [email protected] for more information.


Peer and Social Support 

Befriending - Currently Recruiting

The aim of the Befriending service is a volunteer-led service and the aim of the service is to reduce LGBT individual’s social isolation. This is done by introducing people to new social experiences; both LGBT and non-LGBT offering them the opportunity to make new social connections.

The Befriending service offers befriendees six sessions with a volunteer befriender. During these sessions the befriender will support the befriendee to try out new social experiences, try new things and join new groups which will give the individuals opportunities to meet new people and build up their social connections.

The Befriending service offers both present and past befriendees the opportunity to stay in contact and be part of a group by offering 2 befriending social events each month. If you are interested in this role contact Nuala Devenny at [email protected]

Gay and Bi Dads Group Host -  Not Recruiting at the moment (But you can still enquire for this role and if it becomes available in the future and maybe in the mean time think about doing some other volunteering or becoming a casual volunteer)

The volunteering role of a Gay and Bi Dads Group Host would be to meet and welcome any new dads of the group for a chat and answer any questions the dad might have a bout the group before introducing the new dad to the group and the other members and making sure the new dads have a positive experience of the group. If you are interested in applying for this role contact Michael Gray Sloan at [email protected]

Family Ties Group Host - Currently Recruiting

The volunteering role of a Family Ties Group Host would be to meet and welcome any new members of the group for a chat and answer any questions they might have a bout the group before introducing them to the group and the other members and making sure they have a positive experience of the group. If you are interested in applying for this role contact Michael Gray Sloan at [email protected]

Administration Team - Not Recruiting at the moment (But you can still enquire for this role and if it becomes available in the future and maybe in the mean time think about doing some other volunteering or becoming a casual volunteer)

The Rainbow Project relies on a diverse mix of volunteers to maintain and develop our office environment. Our administrators maintain our data systems, surveying and policy work as well as helping develop staff projects and maintaining our building to ensure that it is comfortable and inviting for vulnerable service users. If you are interested in applying for this role contact Dean Lee at [email protected]

Foyle LGBT Centre

Volunteer Drop In Host - Currently recruiting

Drop in Host provides, a safe inclusive and welcoming space to promote the health and wellbeing of the community. The volunteer responds to enquiries within the drop in space, referral to staff where needed, listening ear service, being the first point of contact to discuss minor issues with clients and ensures that everyone in the space feels comfortable, welcome and secure. They also provide essential support to TRP staff as needed. Drop in is open at the Foyle LGBT Centre every Monday 12.00pm-2.00pm, Wednesday 12.00pm-4.00pm and Thursday 12.00pm-2.00pm. If you are interested in applying for this role contact Mardi at [email protected]

Men’s LGBT Peer and Social Support Group - Not Recruiting at the moment (But you can still enquire for this role and if it becomes available in the future and maybe in the mean time think about doing some other volunteering or becoming a casual volunteer)

Men’s Group Volunteers provide a safe inclusive and welcoming space to promote the health and wellbeing of the community at our fortnightly Men’s Group. This is a peer to peer led group so the volunteers identify as male to be able to fulfill the role. The volunteers are friendly and organise the schedule of theme’s such as movie nights, health information and other fun activities. Men’s Group meets at the Foyle LGBT Centre every second Monday 7.00pm-9.00pm. If you are interested in applying for this role contact Mardi at [email protected]

 

Women’s LGBT Peer and Social Support Group - Not Recruiting at the moment (But you can still enquire for this role and if it becomes available in the future and maybe in the mean time think about doing some other volunteering or becoming a casual volunteer)

Women’s Group Volunteers provide a safe inclusive and welcoming space to promote the health and wellbeing of the community at our monthly women’s Group. This is a peer to peer led group so the volunteers identify as female to be able to fulfill the role. The volunteers support the facilitation of activities such as craft night, quizzes and health information sessions. Women’s Group meets at the Foyle LGBT Centre on the second Thursday of every month 5.00pm-6.30pm. If you are interested in applying for this role contact Mardi at [email protected]

Transderry - Not Recruiting at the moment (But you can still enquire for this role and if it becomes available in the future and maybe in the mean time think about doing some other volunteering or becoming a casual volunteer)

The volunteer provides, a safe inclusive and welcoming space to promote the health and wellbeing of the trans community in Western Health Trust. This is a peer to peer led group so the volunteers identify as transgender to be able to fulfill the role. Transderry is a Rainbow Project Initiative which aims to create a visible Trans Community in the Derry~Londonderry and surrounding areas providing support to Transgender people who are on a journey of transition to affirm their gender by meeting on the last Wednesday of the month 4.00pm-5.30pm. If you are interested in applying for this role contact Mardi at [email protected]

Creative writing - Not Recruiting at the moment (But you can still enquire for this role and if it becomes available in the future and maybe in the mean time think about doing some other volunteering or becoming a casual volunteer)

The Creative writing volunteer is a member of the LGBT Community and facilitates the group discussion and organises content for upcoming groups. Creative writing meets fortnightly on Thursdays 2pm-3.30pm. If you are interested in applying for this role contact Mardi at [email protected]

Casual Volunteers - Currently Recruiting 

If you can’t commit to volunteering on a regular basis why not become a casual volunteer with us. Casual volunteers are needed to support us at events, campaigns, during pride week and with other activities throughout the year. If you are interested in becoming a casual volunteer and would like your name and contact details added to the database, email [email protected].

Want to find out more?

Each Rainbow Project office has a staff member who undertakes the coordination of volunteers in their department. You can contact them if you want anymore information about volunteering with The Rainbow Project. These currently are: