Volunteers needed in Scotland
Caudwell Children is looking to support more children in Scotland, but in order to do this they are appealing for more volunteers to deliver their services.
The charity’s Family Services programme has been developed in Scotland with funding support from the Big Lottery.
The charity’s growth, since the injection of the cash, has seen it inundated with requests from families eager to access the in-hospital and in-home support, treatments, therapies and specialist equipment that it offers to disabled children and their families.
Victoria Bruce, Senior Family Services Coordinator for Caudwell Children in Scotland, says that demand for the charity’s services has resulted in a number of exciting volunteer opportunities. As she explained: “We need to recruit volunteers who can support families through their transition from hospital to home, whilst we also need Interpreters who can support those families where English is not their first language.
“We also support children with a range of conditions that affect their hearing, so I’d be delighted to speak to those who can communicate through British Sign Language.”
Victoria says that she would welcome support in a number of locations across the country including: Glasgow and the surrounding areas, North and South Lanarkshire, East and West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and East Renfrenshire.
“There are opportunities within administration, events and family support,” continued Victoria. “Whilst we also require volunteers to assess the services that we provide by getting feedback from the families that we work with.”
Volunteers often support families who are in crisis and Victoria says this can be extremely rewarding. As she explained: “One family came to us in 2015 as they required emotional support with her child. We sent two volunteers to work within the family home for 6 weeks where they helped the child to understand his emotions.
“They came up with a number of different activities that promoted routine within the household, as there were no set bedtimes which was frustrating the child.
“Because mum was giving most of her attention to the disabled child his siblings were being overlooked, which was having an adverse effect on them. But with our support mum finally began to spend more time doing activities with all the children.”
Nicola and Charlie Meek’s daughter, Casey, was diagnosed with autism in 2011. They admit that they initially struggled with their daughter’s condition until they contacted Caudwell Children.
“We were given loads of information in a pack, but when you are given that kind of news the last thing you want is to read lots of pamphlets,” said Nicola. “You need practical support and that’s exactly what I got when I contacted Caudwell Children.
“When my husband and I met Victoria she wasn’t judgemental in any way and over coffee we chatted about our daughter, our struggles, our good days and bad.”
The initial support given to Nicola and Charlie made them feel that they were doing the best for their child.
“This gave us confidence,” said Charlie. “We felt that we were making the right decisions for her.
“The charity came along at just the right time and gave us the support that we needed, without being overbearing and intrusive.”
Victoria says some of the work involves simply sitting down and helping parents to complete the necessary paperwork to access statutory support. She said: “Some parents simply don’t know where to start.
“Even when they have got the process underway filling in the required forms can prove to be a considerable challenge.”
Although it’s always helpful if volunteers have experience of working with families and children it doesn’t preclude those who don’t. As Victoria explained: “I want to hear from anyone over the age of 18. There are clearly opportunities for those who are either retired, unemployed, or working part-time.
“Volunteers undertake a detailed one day induction, followed by a thorough, on-the-job, training programme.
“Volunteering for Caudwell Children is not only a great way for some to gain experience and improve their skills, it’s also an opportunity for others to share their knowledge.
“As long as potential volunteers have an empathy with those with a disability I want to hear from them.”
For further information on volunteering for the charity contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 07964 356723.
email@example.com or ring 07972465494.