Volunteer Success

Volunteer with SEND and You

Amran-Arab-CircleAmran joined SEND and You Volunteers in October 2020, mid pandemic when everyone faced many new challenges in addition to the norm.  Since joining, Amran has been an exceptional advocate for the service, especially reaching out to the Somali community and helping translate resources to improve access for Somali language speakers.  Amran recently completed her degree course and we take this opportunity to commend her resilience, congratulate her on her achievements and say Thank You Amran for all your support!

How did you hear about SEND and You? 

I heard about SEND and You through my daughter’s school who shared leaflets advertising the service and explaining the type of support available, including help with EHCP process etc.  At the time I was going through the EHCP process for my daughter and a Family Support Worker invited SEND and You to attend a meeting at Barton Hill Settlement.  I went along and liked how they were reaching out to communities, the whole approach, especially helping those with language barriers by making information easy to understand and accessible, it was all set up to help.

What made you chose to volunteer?

I have experience that I wanted to share; through caring for my daughter I have met many families with language barriers and I wanted to help them.  As a Somali speaker I knew I could help and I could gain valuable experience at the same time.  I wasn’t yet doing my university course but was exploring my options and became drawn to studying Education in Professional Practice and volunteering with SEND and You offered many opportunities for me.

What have you enjoyed most about your volunteering role to date? 

I am so happy to meet others who are there to support the community.  I have been able to translate a power point presentation into Somali to reach more people with language barriers; this was a challenge to keep in mind the different dialects but I really enjoyed this.

What has been your biggest achievement since you started volunteering?Photo of Amran Arab

Translating the leaflet into Somali, whilst balancing responsibilities of my family and studies, it was a challenge but I am pleased how much this work helps.  My daughter requires more attention, time and understanding and I value the opportunity to participate in different training through SEND and You.

You met the board of trustees; how was that experience?

It was good to see face to face, amazing people willing and able to help, especially families like mine.  Meeting the challenges of caring for a child with SEND needs is challenging even for native language speakers, so it was a relief to see there are people willing to help.

Would you recommend people to try volunteering? If so, why?

Absolutely, I am encouraging a retired family support worker to join too, she used to work for the council, as an Advisor supporting children aged between 0-5 years, and I will allow her some time off but encourage her to volunteer!  People should join to give back and be there for others when they need you the most; even though I don’t have a lot of professional experience I can support through my own experience, I find this is helpful and makes me stand out by reassuring parents that they can come out the other side.  My daughter is in a specialist school now and has her EHCP which has been a massive support for my family.

I would like to thank Supportive Parents for the opportunity to become a volunteer, I feel welcomed, valued and supported through the opportunity and experience.

For further information on volunteering email jane.franklin@sendandyou.org.uk

More Volunteer Success

Introducing SamSam started volunteering in Sept 2019 after attending a Supportive Parents event to celebrate 30 years of service.

Hearing a volunteer speak at the event encouraged Sam to apply and offer her support. Sam’s application was successful and she was soon working alongside Local Area Co-ordinator for North Somerset, Sarah Bishop, advocating for our service at coffee mornings, Transition and information events etc.

As a mum with a child who has autism Sam found Supportive Parents service so helpful that she was eager to give back and found that volunteering gave her the opportunity to get involved and support parents access the advice and guidance they need.

Regularly checking our website, Sam found a permanent position advertised and applied with success to take on the role of Local Area Information, Advice and Support Practitioner for North Somerset which she started during lock down in March 2020.

Sam brings her positive ‘can do’ attitude, lived experience and compassion to the role and has diligently studied to complete IPSEA training. She continues to support colleagues, parents and North Somerset networks.

We send her BIGGEST THANKS and much appreciation for her hard work!

For further information on volunteering email jane.franklin@sendandyou.org.uk