The Difference Volunteers Make to Barnardo’s
Each day over Volunteers Week, we will be featuring a different charity or other non-profit organisation that relies on the help of volunteers. In their words, you will hear what these organistions do and the difference volunteers make to them.
Today, we hear from Barnardos. Read all about them below. If you would like to volunteer with Barnardo’s, contact Louise on 01382 640309 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tell us about your organisation/project. Who do you help and in what way?
Barnardo’s purpose is to reach out to the most disadvantaged children, young people, families and communities to help ensure that every child has the best possible start in life. We aim to make sure that every young person is able to reach their full potential, whatever their circumstances in life.
Barnardo’s Child & Family Support Service Dundee adopts a whole family approach, taking into account each individual’s vulnerabilities and strengths to enable children and young people to achieve the best outcomes. We work with children and young people from 0-18. Service users include: Children and families experiencing disabilities and complex additional support needs; children at risk of being removed from home; children experiencing adverse childhood experiences (ACE’S), including trauma bereavement and loss, neglect and abuse and domestic abuse.
The service delivery is personalised to each individual service user by pro-actively engaging with the service user, their family and others working on their behalf. The service to each child and family is provided within their own home or in the community, supporting access to local education, leisure and recreational opportunities. A key focus in all the services’ interventions is the safety, wellbeing and protection of children and young people.
What difference do volunteers make to your organisation/project?
Volunteers make a huge difference as their time that they give, regardless if its 2 hours per week, or a few days over the school holidays make a difference because they are giving time, which is hugely valuable, to help support children and young people at our service. The 2 hours a week could mean that a young person is building up confidence, experiencing a new activity and having time which is theirs with the volunteer and of course having fun as well.
Tell us more about the volunteering roles you have?
Barnardo’s are looking for volunteers to help with befriending which is 1:1 support after school, early evening or weekends for 2 hours per week or fortnightly. Support with our sitting service which is once a month for 3-4 hours in the family home alongside another volunteer. This helps support the children in the home and provides respite for the parent/carers usually on a Friday or Saturday evening. We are also looking for volunteers for our school holiday activity days which run from 9.30am-3pm over school holidays which are in a group setting alongside other staff and volunteers with up to 10 children attending each day. Through the year we have group work roles available and we also look for gardeners for our garden at the Fleuchar Street office.
In Dundee we also do partnership working with Action For Children who also look for befrienders to helps support young people in supported accommodation and help by going into their home or out and about in the local community.
Barnardo’s in Arbroath also look for volunteer befrienders to help support children and young people who have been affected by parental or family substance misuse.
We have plenty of opportunities available for volunteer to get involved in.
We really need to increase our numbers for activity days to meet the need of that part of our service as we need at least 6 volunteers per day!
Tell us why volunteering for your organisation/project would be of benefit to an individual?
Children and young people at our service are with us for many reasons and when there is an identification of a need of volunteer support it is essential because the child/young person needs that support at that time. Those 2 hours a week or 6 hours at an activity day means that a volunteer provides that time and support, along with encouragement and that is a huge benefit to the child/young person as it allows them to build up confidence, interact with their peers, have time for themselves and access new experiences within the community.
If no-one volunteered, where would you be?
When I think how many hours that volunteers give to the service it is outstanding and hearing the stories of how much volunteers enjoy what they do and how they can see the difference their time makes with the children. It would be sad if we didn’t have any volunteers as not only would children and young people miss out but I think volunteers would miss out on their experiences as well.