We have a team of dedicated volunteers who use their skills and experience to give support in all sorts of ways. Many of our volunteers directly support parents and carers, some support children and young people, and others support staff in the office. If you’re a parent, carer or young person you might meet a volunteer if you are having support for some of the following:
How are volunteers trained?
Volunteers work under the supervision of our team and they follow the same confidentiality and impartiality rules.
All volunteers working with parents and carers, children and young people are trained in special educational needs and disability (SEND). Some of our volunteers choose to do extra training, or have knowledge and expertise in areas like mediation and tribunals.
All of our volunteers are fully Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checked if they’re working with the public. This means a check has been done to make sure they can work with vulnerable groups, such as young people.
We invite all potential volunteers for an interview and ask for references from people who know them in a work, volunteering or personal role.
Becoming a SENDIASS volunteer
Volunteers join us for all sorts of reasons – you might want to learn and develop new skills, work with new people, boost your CV credentials or make a difference in your own community.
Whatever your reasons, we can support you to get the most out of volunteering with us. We have a volunteer coordinator who will work with you to find the best role for you, depending on your skills and experience, your training needs and what you would like to do. We give our volunteers training when they join us and then regularly throughout the year. You’ll also have regular opportunities to talk about how you’re getting on and any support you’ve given parents.
There are lots of ways to get involved, from directly supporting parents to attending networking meetings and representing us at events. Volunteers also support us by doing administration and research in our office or at home.
If you’re directly supporting parents and carers you might be asked to:
You’ll need to be a good listener and be able to communicate well when you speak and when you write. You’ll need to be a ‘people person’ too – someone who can relate to others and understand what they may be thinking and feeling. We ask our volunteers to be impartial and keep information confidential, so you’ll need to understand what that means and be able to follow our guidance on it.
If this sounds like you and you’d like to find out more about being a volunteer for us, feel free to contact us to arrange a chat, we would be happy to hear from you.