Autism East Midlands Call for volunteers!

Published on 16 August 2023, by Gainsboroughlive | No comments yet |

Autism East Midlands is looking for volunteers to assist at its Family Support Hub in Gainsborough 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 for them 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 hub to meet growing demand.

“Those who join us as volunteers have the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of local families,”  said Lesley Lock, Autism East Midland’s Children and Families Service Manager.

“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. The hub meets once a month at Gainsborough Adventure Playground on Riseholme Road in Gainsborough. The drop in sessions for the whole family to enjoy, aimed at children under 11 years of age. Children (including siblings) can participate at their own pace with support from parents and AEM’s staff team. Families can engage in activities or sit back and enjoy refreshments, whilst talking to other families and sharing experiences or
speaking with staff for advice and support.

 “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 for a few hours once a 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.

In addition to the Family Support Hubs, Autism East Midlands provides support through a children’s service and an adult residential support service.

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