HOPE’s range of services could not be delivered without the continued dedication and support of its many volunteers. Our volunteers contribute to every aspect of our service: from our various groups and activity sessions to the administration work that helps facilitate our services.
People have come to volunteer at HOPE from all walks of life: from students looking for experience to those just looking to give back, everyone has something to offer and something to gain from giving up their time to help us support our service users.
Derek, 29: ‘Helping families who live with the challenges of Autism has given me insight into the value of volunteering. Moreover, working at HOPE continues to be a learning experience. Having the opportunity to make a positive contribution to this community is something that I take seriously and never for granted.’
Gordon, 18: ‘It allows me to give something back and the children are great to work with!’
Suzy, 24: ‘It gives me a sense of achievement and fills me with happiness; I always look forward to my nights in HOPE.’
Claire, 21: ‘Volunteering makes me feel like I am doing something worthwhile with my free time. These children teach me so much!’
Tracy, 42: ‘I enjoy working with both the staff and the young people. It is the highlight of my week!’
Making a difference to the lives of others can be immensely rewarding, but the benefits don’t stop there. Volunteers at HOPE have also reported seeing a difference in their skills and personal development, such as:
- improved communication and inter-personal skills
- building confidence and self-esteem
- experience working as part of a professional team of staff
- improved mental well-being
- access to useful training opportunities
- a fantastic opportunity to work with children and young people in a practical and active environment
- unique insight into autism spectrum disorder
HOPE also accepts work experience placements from students and others looking to develop their skills in a professional environment. Ranging from practical support to organisational and administrative experience, we offer various placements tailored towards the needs of the volunteer and where they best fit within our service. Such partnerships have proven greatly successful in the past and we strive to continue developing these reciprocal relationships.
HOPE is always open to receiving applications for prospective volunteers. We strive to place volunteers according to their skill set and interests and the needs of our service.
All volunteers must complete the following application process:
- Complete a HOPE Volunteer Application Form and provide two character references
- Successfully complete a Protection of Vulnerable Groups check (PVG)
- Attend our Volunteer Induction programme
Application forms can be downloaded and returned to the HOPE Centre by post or by email to our Volunteer Development Officer at Callum.Creaney@hopeforautism.org.uk. Upon successful completion of a Volunteer Application Form, prospective volunteers will be provided with a Session Staff Job Description, or other relevant information on their respective role, detailing the nature of this role at HOPE.
All volunteers are required to complete a membership form for the PVG Scheme to ensure the suitability of those regularly working with children and vulnerable adults, and therefore protect our service users. Applications to join the scheme or membership update forms are available upon request from HOPE’s office. The PVG Scheme is managed by Disclosure Scotland – for more information click here.
All applications must also attend a Volunteer Induction Session, at which they will be provided with training on understanding Autism and working with our service users, operations at HOPE, relevant policies and procedures, such as child protection, positive behavior support, and other information relevant to their role at our organisation.
HOPE strives to accommodate any conflicts of interest for our volunteers; for example, volunteers will not be placed to work with a service user who is a family member. Wherever volunteers are unable to be placed in a specific role at HOPE, their details will be kept on file and they will be contacted if/when a position becomes available (if permission is given).
For more information on the volunteer application process, please contact our Volunteer Development Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the HOPE office at 01236 779 191
We could not deliver our services and support to our members without help from the volunteers who give up their time and dedicate themselves to our organisation. We are hugely grateful to each and every one of them for giving up their time, and hope their words can convince others to do the same!
“Being on the spectrum myself and being part of HOPE’s groups previously, I wanted to give back to everyone and help others on the spectrum. It has definitely matched up with my expectations. HOPE is a wonderful charity with fantastic staff and I hope they continue to expand and gain the resources needed to support people with autism in the years to come” – Scott, aged 21, volunteering since March 2018
“In general, my expectations of being able to engage in challenging and rewarding voluntary work have matched the reality, but I had no idea just how broad the scope was at HOPE. The formal training has been excellent and I have also learned a lot by observing some of the more experienced staff members during the group. I’ve most enjoyed engaging with the young people and getting to know them – seeing the positive impact HOPE has had on them.” – Scott, aged 33, volunteering since March 2017
“I have two grandchildren with autism; while there, I was impressed by the staff; they were cheerful and appeared to enjoy working with the kids. Being at a relatively loose end, I applied for a position as a volunteer with HOPE thinking that if I could help out it would give something back to them for my grandchildren who always had smiles on their faces when attending the centre. I did not think I would be successful due to my age at the time of applying (68), but I now help at two groups on a Friday night ranging from teenagers to young adults and I am enjoying every minute of it. It’s been really enjoyable even though some of my groups seem to think that I’m 100 years old! I do enjoy what I’m doing and the younger members of staff ensure that I don’t get exhausted.” – Jim, aged 69, volunteering since May 2017