Where

In and around Tower Hamlets.

When

We ask volunteers to commit to 3 hours a week (usually at the weekend), for a minimum of 6 months.

Organisation

Sense is a national disability charity that supports people with complex communication needs to be understood, connected and valued. We are here for every person who faces communication barriers in a world that relies on being able to see and hear well to be connected. Our flexible and personalised services empower people to communicate and express themselves – be it through speech or sign, touch or movement, gesture or sound, art or dance. Together, we connect differently and campaign passionately for the right to lead connected and fulfilled lives

Purpose/Objective of the Role

Volunteer today and you can support children and young people with complex communication needs to get involved with activities in the local community and make the most of their free time.

Each volunteer in the Sense Tower Hamlets Buddying Service is matched with just one buddy, so you can concentrate on building a friendship that is truly special. You could be swimming, bowling, sensory storytelling or visiting museums and parks. Whatever activities you choose together, you will deeply impact your buddy’s life.

Since the Tower Hamlets Buddying Service was founded, we have seen children and young people blossom thanks to the support of their volunteers. Many of our buddies have few opportunities to make friends and access activities outside of home and school, so their buddying sessions give them the chance to develop their independence, boost their confidence, discover new passions and most importantly, have fun!

Tasks/Duties Involved

Typical tasks include:

  • Building strong relationships with children and young people, and their families.
  • Supporting children and young people either 1:1 or in a group to access activities that meet their needs, wants and aspirations.
  • Supporting children and young people to develop new interests and explore new activities.
  • Supporting children and young people to travel to and from activities, either on foot, by public transport or accompanying them in their own vehicles.

We ask volunteers to:

  • Take time to get to know the children and young person/people that they are supporting, to develop good communication and understanding.
  • Ensure the children and young people involved are given choice and dignity when you are participating in activities together
  • Work with the coordinator and buddying assistants to ensure that activities are delivered in a safe way.
  • Be prepared to support the child or young person with their care needs – this may involve help with eating, drinking or going to the toilet
  • Take part in training that will help them to be successful in their role

Skills Required 

We’re looking for people who are:

  • Interested in meeting new people and enjoying leisure and social opportunities in their local area.
  • Willing to develop the knowledge and skills to get to know and support children and young people with disabilities effectively.
  • Having some previous knowledge or experience of working with children and young people with disabilities would be desirable but is not essential.
  • Able to work well individually and comfortable with the responsibility of supporting a child or young person alone out in the community.
  • Committed to providing support in a way that offers choice, independence and dignity.
  • Reliable and punctual

Training/Support Given

All volunteers receive training covering safeguarding, personal care, an introduction to autism and how to volunteer effectively as a buddy. We also offer additional optional training, such as introduction to signing.

Benefits of Volunteering to Individual

  • The chance to meet new people, try new activities in your local community and get a different perspective on activities you already enjoy.
  • The opportunity to learn new skills and gain experience of working with people with disabilities.
  • Knowing you’re making a difference to how children and young people with disabilities are able to get the most out of their leisure time and increasing the benefits they gain from meeting new people and taking part in activities they enjoy.

Next Steps

Apply to become a volunteer buddy now…

Telephone: 0207 014 9303

Email: buddying@Sense.org.uk

Website: https://www.sense.org.uk/support-us/volunteer/volunteer-as-a-sense-buddy/

Application Form:

To register your interest, please complete the Volunteer Registration Form . If you have any questions call Aparna on 07378342131