Wiltshire club issues urgent appeal for more volunteers to support disabled children and young people
A popular club for disabled children and young people has issued an urgent appeal for more volunteers to support its life-changing work. The Wiltshire Short Breaks & Positive Activities Service is managed by Barnardo’s on behalf of Wiltshire Council and aims to increase opportunities for under-18s with additional needs. Activities include swimming, shopping, cooking, sports, music and play sessions, trips to the cinema and local parks, and arts and crafts. Positive outcomes include increased confidence and improved social skills, as well as greater inclusion within the local community. In 2017/18 the team delivered more than 5,000 hours of activities for more than 80 children and young people based at clubs including Marlborough, Chippenham, Trowbridge and Bradford-on-Avon. This year the team has received interest from even more families and therefore hope to recruit extra volunteers to cope with demand.
Barnardo’s volunteer co-ordinator Penny Fisher said: “Our activities help to break down the barriers which sometimes prevent young people from enjoying the same opportunities as everyone else. Families often tell us how excited their children are to attend the clubs, and how it’s great their children are making new friends. Their social isolation is reduced, and parents can use the time to focus attention on other brothers or sisters.”
Clubs are normally held on one Saturday each month in each area, with the possibility of further activities during the week during school holidays.
Volunteers help with setting up the sessions and then clearing afterwards, and participate in groupwork or one-to-one support.
The charity provides a full induction, ongoing training and expenses. An enhanced DBS check is required.
For older people with additional needs, the charity also provides weekly youth clubs for 13 to 25-year-olds in Marlborough, Chippenham, Devizes and Trowbridge where volunteers would also be welcome.
Penny added: “Previous experience of supporting children and young people would be helpful but not essential. It’s more important that people are confident, enthusiastic and full of energy. In return we offer the chance to provide a life-changing service – and have lots of fun!”
Call Penny on 07734 300638 or email firstname.lastname@example.org