Autism East Midlands is looking for volunteers to assist at its Family Support Hub in Retford for just a few hours a month.
The charity’s hub provides a vital service for parents and carers with autistic children, providing a place to meet other families and the chance to gain advice, guidance and practical support.
Hundreds of parents, carers and children benefit from the service across the region each year and now additional volunteers are needed to help out at the monthly hubs.
“Those who join us as volunteers have the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of local families,” said Lesley Lock, Family Support Hub Coordinator.
“Our Hubs are really relaxed and non-judgemental ‘stay and play’ sessions with a variety of things to do for the whole family. They give children a chance to play and parents and carers a chance to chat to others or talk to hub staff and gain support and information on autism.”
The role of the volunteers is to support families as they arrive by welcoming them and ensuring they have refreshments.
“I would urge anyone who thinks they might be able to help to contact us for an informal chat,” added Lesley.
A knowledge of children who have special educational needs and disabilities would be useful, but not essential. What’s more important is that volunteers are friendly and approachable and can provide families with a warm welcome to the hubs.
It’s also important that they will be able to attend a hub once per month. The hubs usually last between two and three hours. Volunteers undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for safeguarding purposes and receive training, along with support and guidance from hub coordinators.