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.
What we need
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.) 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.
We are recruiting dedicated volunteers for the following roles:
Learning that your child is or may be autistic is an incredibly emotional experience. We need volunteers who can support parents and carers who are new to autism (awaiting assessment or who have received a diagnosis for their child in the past 12 months) or who could do with some extra support. A volunteer befriender is assigned to a parent/carer new to autism for a period of six weeks. During this time, the befriender would provide email, text, phone and/or Zoom support (we supply a BAS email address and phone, so volunteers do not have to use their own personal phone or email address). Post-pandemic, the befriender and parent/carer could meet in person and all expenses would be covered.
What’s involved: committing to a six-week period of support for another parent for up to one hour per week. 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.
Phone support volunteers
We provide 20-minute support calls for our members. We need volunteers who can make these calls and follow up by email afterwards if needed (we supply a BAS email address and phone, so volunteers do not have to use their own personal phone or email address). Volunteers do not need to know everything about autism, just have experience of supporting their own autistic child and the ability to do a bit of research if needed.
What’s involved: our Volunteer Manager allocates calls on an as-needed basis and volunteers can pick and choose if and when they can make calls; it’s very flexible. You would have full support of BAS at all times.
How often? Term time only on an as-needed basis.
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, Action for Children, 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.
Please email email@example.com to register your interest and learn more.
* You may qualify for full funding for these courses