Co-cultural Volunteer Counsellors and Clinical Placements

Closing date: 
7 Apr 2017
The Rainbow Project are seeking to appoint volunteer counsellors and/or clinical placements to be placed at its Foyle and Belfast Offices and to support the delivery of Co-Cultural LGBT Affirmative Counselling to LGBT people across Northern Ireland.

Clinical Placement / Volunteer Counsellor


Role Title:                            Clinical Placement or Volunteer Counsellor

Responsible To:                  Board of Trustees

Line Manager:                     Director

Reports to:                          TBC

Location:                              Belfast and/or Foyle

Hours:                                    A commitment of 3 sessional hours and 1 admin hour per week for a 12 month placement.

Additional time commitment is required for mandatory day-time organisational induction, training, clinical supervision & occasional organisation residential.

Due to the nature of this position, namely directly supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans clients, this post is exempt under the sex discrimination (Northern Ireland) order (1976) Section 10-(2) (e).  This post also has a Genuine Occupational Requirement (GOR) for the appointed person to be either lesbian or trans.  This complies with the GOR requirements of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (NI) 2003.

The Organisation

In 2011-2012 the Board and Membership of The Rainbow Project took the decision to expand the remit of organisation from a Gay and Bisexual men’s organisation to a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans organisation.  The organisation subsequently produced a three year strategic plan to support the organisation in this transition and to support its development into an organisation working to meet the needs of this client group.

The Rainbow Project has been delivering Co-Cultural Gay Affirmative Therapy to gay and bisexual men and those questioning their sexual orientation for over fifteen years.  In light of the strategic direction and plan of The Rainbow Project and in response to Objective 1.2 of the plan (to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and Trans people have access to LGB&/T affirmative and/or co-cultural mental health services) The Rainbow Project is expanding its co-cultural counselling delivery, to ensure that co-cultural counselling is accessible to LGB&/T people and those questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, and to increase the organisation’s competitiveness as a counselling organisation.  The Rainbow Project’s counsellors have been working with women and trans people over the past three years. The Rainbow Project is currently seeking funding to support the expansion of its current counselling service to further meet the needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual women and Trans clients.  Until funding is secured, the organisation is recruiting qualified counselling volunteers, and/or clinical placements currently in training who can facilitate co-cultural counselling for lesbian, gay and bisexual women and trans clients.

The Rainbow Project is committed to best practice in counselling and all other therapeutic interventions, as well as volunteer, staff and practitioner working environments.  The organisation is committed to the belief that every person has the right to appropriate support which should be high quality, independent and confidential.  The organisation’s values are Gay Affirmative; Sex Positive; Gender Aware; Evidence Led; Rights Based; Holistic; Innovative; Expert; and Inclusive


The Vision for The Rainbow Project is:

The Rainbow Project’s vision is of a society free from homophobia, heterosexism and transphobia where all people are recognised as equals.

The Rainbow Project’s Mission is to:

The Rainbow Project is devoted to promoting the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people and their families in Northern Ireland, as well as those questioning their orientation or gender, through partnership, advocacy and the development and delivery of appropriate support services.


Clinical Placement / Volunteer Counsellor

Role Description



  1. Provide co-cultural counselling services under the supervision and guidance of The Rainbow Project’s Counselling sub group of the Board of Trustees, Clinical Supervisor, and other TRP staff.
  2. Facilitate co-cultural counselling sessions for lesbian, gay and bisexual men/women and Trans clients at the organisation’s offices in Belfast and/or L’Derry.
  3. Read, digest and implement TRP policies, procedures and code of behaviour, working within BACP ethical framework.
  4. Work alongside programme team colleagues to ensure that collective objectives are met within the counselling ethical framework.
  5. Ensure that The Rainbow Project’s counselling service works to British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and/or Irish Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (IACP) Codes of Ethics and Practice.
  6. Develop, promote and facilitate the organisations peripatetic co-cultural counselling service targeting lesbian, gay and bisexual men/women and Trans clients.
  7. Attend regular clinical supervision organised by The Rainbow Project.  Additional supervision time may be accessed depending on client caseload; however, this must be approved by your Clinical Supervisor.
  8. Implement the counselling service monitoring and evaluation framework.
  9. Liaise with appropriate referral agencies.
  10. Provide regular reports to management and counselling sub group on counselling activities undertaken.Keep up-to-date records of client contact hours, supervision and training sessions attended.
  1. Have access to a mobile telephone that can be discreetly used for work purposes and a device that will allow access to the internet (i.e. a laptop, notebook or netbook).
  1. Access TRP’s secure client tracking system and email account on a regular basis – daily, if necessary.
  1. Be willing to travel to see face-to-face clients in their local community by agreement, using approved venues.
  1. Be available to provide counselling appointments within the organisation’s client response timeframes.
  1. Attend mandatory training days: including Corporate Induction, Clinical Assessment, LGB&/T Affirmative Therapy, Brief Solution Focused Therapy, ASIST, Mental Health First Aid, Trauma Response and Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Training.  (Attendance to TRP training must be paid for in advance and will be reimbursed if 12 months of service has been completed as a Counselling Volunteer / Clinical Placement. As an alternative to making payment to TRP, Volunteer / Clinical Placements can agree that no expenses will be paid to them until 12 months of service has been completed.)
  1. Attend The Rainbow Project’s Induction Training designed to introduce Counselling Volunteers and Clinical Placements to organisational Policies and Procedures, prior to commencement of face-to-face clinical practice.
  1. As part of providing direct counselling sessions to individuals, Counselling Volunteers / Clinical Placements:
  • Are required to contract with clients and maintain therapeutic boundaries.
  • May be expected to provide clients with further information if requested through follow-up calls, internal consults and relevant signposting / referral mechanisms.
  • Are expected to record and report information in relation to clients in accordance with The Rainbow Project’s procedures.
  1. Counselling practitioners must participate in The Rainbow Project’s clinical consult service for all child protection issues, disclosures and potential of harm to self or others, and any other clinical issues if and when necessary, maintaining accurate records throughout.
  1. Attend regular group management and support meetings with the organisational staff and volunteer team (4 meetings / year).
  1. Attend all arranged Counselling Service Team Meetings and CPD training.
  1. The Rainbow Project’s Volunteer Counsellors or Clinical Placement Counsellors are required to join BACP as individual members and commit to working towards counsellor accreditation.
  1. Organise appointments and facilitate on-going counselling following completion of The Rainbow Project’s Induction Training.
  1. Book room/venue as appropriate ensuring another adult is on the premises whilst engaging in client work.
  1. Volunteer Counsellors and Clinical Placements must work within allocated clinic times and venues as agreed with management.
  1. With consultation and approval, counsellors may complete actions that include follow up calls to professionals/external agencies/third parties, arranging safety contracts, administrative work and all other duties as per organisational counselling service protocols. 


Clinical Placement / Volunteer Counsellor Role



You must have the following qualities and attributes and be able to demonstrate your abilities through your previous work experience (either paid or unpaid):

  1. Be a confident, out lesbian, gay or bisexual or trans person with knowledge and/or experience of the commercial and non-commercial gay scene.
  2. Level 4 Counselling Diploma or Foundation Degree in Counselling Qualification, or working towards completion of these counselling training courses; or similar from a recognised awarding body.
  3. Provide evidence of undertaking such training courses that require a supervised placement (integral to the course) with a minimum 200 hours of tutor contact time already completed, involving at least one year full time or two years part time.
  4. Hold BACP Membership (student membership or higher), or equivalent.
  5. Have an appropriate understanding of the mental health needs of LGB&/T people.
  6. Hold a commitment to working with and for LGB&/T people.
  7. Have an appropriate understanding of the diversity of LGB&/T people.
  8. Have a capacity for self-awareness and ability to identify and appropriately address your own emotional needs, including having recourse to personal therapy.
  9. Have the ability to respond and adapt to the constant changing needs of a volunteer-led organisation.

10.Have an outgoing and approachable personality.

11.Be able to demonstrate a disciplined and reliable approach to therapeutic practice and manage clinical boundaries.

12.Be willing to engage openly and reflectively with feedback from managers, peers and supervisors.

13.Hold the capacity to commit to an optimum clinical placement of 3 hours per week over a twelve month period.

14.Demonstrate excellent oral / written communication skills.

15.Demonstrate excellent IT competence to include Microsoft Office and specifically Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Outlook.

16.Have a commitment to thoroughly understand and implement the BACP Ethical Framework (to include progressing towards full BACP accreditation).

17.Hold commitment to accuracy and data completeness of all client information and clinical records.

18.Have access to a form of transport that will enable you to meet the travel requirements of the role.

19.Be willing to attend mandatory training days: including Corporate Induction, Clinical Assessment, LGB&/T Affirmative Therapy, Brief Solution Focused Therapy, ASIST, Mental Health First Aid, Trauma Response and Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Training.  (Attendance to TRP training must be paid for in advance and will be reimbursed if 12 months of service has been completed as a Counselling Volunteer / Clinical Placement. As an alternative to making payment to TRP, Volunteer / Clinical Placements can agree that no expenses will be paid to them until 12 months of service has been completed.)

20.Be willing to work flexible hours including evenings and weekends when necessary.


  1. Experience of liaising with and/or working in the voluntary, community or statutory sector.
  2. Experience of counselling or other therapy work.
  3. Understanding of/interest in crisis/trauma counselling.
  4. Awareness of Child / Vulnerable Adult Protection related issues.
  5. Experience of working in an emotionally demanding environment.
  6. Applied curiosity to themes of diversity, social justice, equality and community development.
  7. Previous experience of databases.
Added by
Robyn Lardie
Closing date:
7 Apr 2017 5.00pm
Job Information
Fixed term
Part time
5 hours per week
Contact Information
John O'Doherty
The Rainbow Project, 23-31 Waring Street
Application Form / Job Information: