Supporting People



24/7 support available

If you are looking for a role supporting children and young people in Somerset then you may be interested in volunteering with Route 1 Advocacy. You can choose between two roles; advocacy or independent visitor or offer to undertake both roles. Volunteer Advocate: Advocacy involves short term engagement with each child through the particular issue at hand. An advocate is an independent person who can offer one to one support to children and young people. Advocates can speak up for the young person, give advice, make them aware of their rights, listen to them and represent their views, wishes and feelings. Their aim is to empower a young person by supporting them to have their say.We have a bank of advocates and each one can agree to take on a specific case or not Volunteer Independent Visitor: Independent Visitors are volunteers who befriend and spend time with a child or young person who is in the care of the Local Authority. This role emphasises building a long term relationship with one child or young person (visiting once or twice each month and sometimes more often) - undertaking a variety of activities together, depending on their interests and the age of the young person.

Further information

These voluntary roles provide an excellent introduction to children’s services and to gaining knowledge and experience of working with vulnerable children.

Many professionals now employed as social workers, educators and employees in other children’s services commenced their careers as volunteers with this service.

In addition, both roles are also suited to older persons who enjoy the company of young people and who wish to share their life skills, resources, and problem solving abilities to help vulnerable children access what can often be life changing opportunities.

All volunteers with Route 1 Advocacy:

  • Receive 24/7 support from professional staff
  • Can act as both an advocate and an independent visitor if they wish
  • Take part in an exciting and stimulating training programme
  • Provide a highly valued service which can sometimes be life changing for a vulnerable young person and even for the volunteer themselves
  • Improve the well-being of vulnerable children, our communities and even themselves
  • Help ensure the child’s voice is heard and the child is empowered in such a way that their rights are recognised and acted upon.
  • These are statutory roles. All travel and general expenses are reimbursed.


Bridgwater and Strode College students have been supporting Route1 Advocacy and Independent Visitors to promote the child’s voice through animation. A massive thank you to Dylan Jones and Liam Jones from Bridgwater College for their contribution. More to come from students at Strode college.

Related opportunities

Volunteers say

A positive experience helping young people, listening and then giving them a voice when decisions are made concerning their future
Challenging, worthwhile feel like make a difference to some of young people and to give something back to society
It has enabled me to offer time and experience to young people and hopefully I have enriched their lives







  • Enhanced DBS with Children's barred list check (at no cost to volunteer)
  • Undertake mandatory training programme
  • Ability to relate to troubled and vulnerable young people
  • Confidence to relate to professionals and others in a variety of settings
  • Strong ability to encourage and listen carefully to the child's voice and record children's views and wishes accurately
  • Somerset County Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults and expects all volunteers to share this commitment.


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