Volunteering is incredibly rewarding. Volunteering with BAS allows you to use your experience of looking after your own autistic child to help others. It’s a wonderful way to make new friends. You will learn new skills as well as learn about services and support you didn’t know about. Our volunteers enjoy perks such as free entry into some of our events and activities. We are happy to provide references for our volunteers as well.
Volunteering can be a great way to ease back into work after a break, or add new skills to your CV. You could even gain a free* NVQ in Understanding Autism, Counselling or Information, Advice or Guidance through volunteering with BAS.
Our 2020 Plans
We are looking for parents/carers of autistic children with more than three years of autism experience (have a good understanding of autism, DLA and other benefits, the EHCP process, etc.) and autistic adults looking for volunteer opportunities to help us support parents/carers new to autism. Ideally, you’ll be friendly and welcoming and comfortable working with a wide variety of people, or willing to work on getting to this point. You are not expected to know everything about autism – this is a general support service.
Our 2020 plans involve enhanced support options for parents and carers new to autism. We are looking for dedicated volunteers for the following roles:
When & where: From January 2020, we will run a weekly drop-in at the Quaker Meeting House in Bedminster every Wednesday in term time from 10am – 12pm. We are also grateful for autistic adults who can come along and give their perspective to parents.
What’s involved: greeting and chatting with new parents/carers who come to these sessions, offering advice and support based on your own experiences
How often? As often as you like. There is no requirement to come to every session. We will need to ensure we have a small group of volunteers each week so you will need to commit to some set dates but it is very flexible. We fully understand how unpredictable life with an autistic child is, so please don’t feel you will let us down if ever you can’t make it.
Learning that your child is or may be autistic is an incredibly emotional experience. We want to create a pool of volunteers who can be ‘buddies’ to parents and carers who are new to autism (awaiting assessment or who have received a diagnosis for their child in the past 12 months). A buddy would be assigned to a parent/carer new to autism for a period of six weeks. During this time, you would provide email and phone support (you would have a BAS email address and phone, so you would not be using your own personal phone or email address) and meet with your parent/carer in public places (such as a café) as and when. All expenses would be covered.
What’s involved: committing to a six-week period of support for another parent, supporting them by phone, email and in-person support. You would have full support of BAS at all times.
How often? Term time only. You can do as many six-week stints as you like. You would only be assigned to one parent/carer at a time. You would be expected to commit to that parent/carer for the designated six week period.
There are many, many disability support providers and organisations that run play and sport activities for disabled children. We need volunteers who can represent BAS, connect with organisations, share with them what BAS is doing and share with BAS what they are doing, so that they can appropriately refer parents/carers to us and we may promote their activities to the parents and carers we support.
What’s involved: developing a relationship with one or more organisations (for example, Bristol Parent Carers, WECIL, Mencap, KIDS SW, etc.), keeping in touch with them to learn of what activities they are offering and sharing this information with BAS admin staff and other volunteers. You will also share with them what BAS is doing and ensure they have leaflets if needed. Any expenses (for example mileage to and from any meetings you have) will be covered.
How often? Contact with the organisation on a monthly(ish) basis.
Requirements: volunteers must be friendly, professional and comfortable talking with a wide variety of people.
Drop-in helpers and Buddies: We are running a volunteer training day for drop-in volunteers and BAS Buddies on 22nd November. Please click here to book onto the training.
AmBASadors: please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest and learn more.
* You may qualify for full funding for these courses