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Becoming a Special Needs Volunteer

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 10 Dec 2018 | comments*Discuss
Special Needs Special Needs Assistance

Across the United Kingdom there are thousands of children and adults alike who are in need of assistance because of medical, emotional, or learning difficulties. Many of these difficulties are categorised under the umbrella of Special Needs.

What are Special Needs?

Special Needs are conditions or debilitating illnesses that require round the clock care and attention or at least a degree of assistance from another individual or group.

Here are some of the most common:

  • Physical Disabilities
  • Children in need of medical care
  • Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Physical Disabilities may include any conditions that make it difficult for an individual to move or walk; this can also include sensory impairments. These disabilities often require that the individual has someone with them to help with motion, lifting and handling, personal hygiene and other day to day tasks that they simply cannot perform on their own.

Children in need of medical care often need someone to look after the administering of medication, changing of bandages and dressings, and again perhaps assistance with day to day tasks that their medical condition prevents them from carrying out. It is important to note that there are differences between an individual being physically disabled and being in need of medical care. Whilst a person may be in need of medical care they may have motor function and can perform rudimentary tasks for themselves.

Special Educational Needs often refers to those individuals who – for one reason or another – are not performing to expectation within the school environment. Many of these conditions related to emotional or behavioural difficulties and while these individuals are able to function normally with speech and movement they may find it difficult to interact with those around them or maintain a level of concentration necessary to learn.

Who Qualifies for Special Needs Assistance?

Any of the aforementioned groups – or individuals falling into those groups – qualifies for Special Needs assistance. In the case of children your Local Education Authority in conjunction with Social Services will normally carry out home assessments in order to make the relevant assistance available.

For adults Social Services and other welfare and medical groups may be called upon to give assessments and make suggestions as to what care – and what level of care – is needed.

Special Needs Volunteers

Special Needs volunteers are people who have often themselves been predisposed to family members or close friends who have suffered from a disability or medical condition. Of course this is not always the case but it is likely that if you are a Special Needs volunteer you will have already come into contact with individuals in need of Special Needs assistance or will have had some prior training.

Special Needs volunteers are required to give assistance to those needing it either at home, in a school environment or in an environment where supervision is needed such as day centres, physiotherapy sessions etc.

Can I Become a Special Needs Volunteer?

Anyone can become a Special Needs volunteer but it should be noted that being such a volunteer requires a lot of determination and the ability to remain composed at all times.

You do not need to have any formal training as you will be given the relevant training before you are assigned to provide assistance but as always when it comes to dealing with children, the elderly or others categorised as vulnerable you will need to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

If you are interested in becoming a Special Needs Volunteer you can contact your local Social Services department or Local Education Authority (LEA) who will have lists of organisations and centres where Special Needs are catered for.

You will be expected to complete a set number of hours training before you are allowed to tend to an individual’s needs alone but you will have at all times a supervisory figure to call upon should you need help or support.

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Hi my name Sophie I am looking to volunteer to help in any way with people with learn disabilities. It is so close to my heart as I have a son with autism and I would like to help other people. And I dont no how I go about to do this
Sophie24 - 6-Dec-18 @ 9:22 PM
I’m lucky enough to work part time and have my own business. I have previously been support for adults with learning difficulties but would love to voluntarily support children with disabilities. It would be a dream to know how much I could give
Kirsty - 16-Nov-18 @ 9:40 PM
Am seeking part time work with early years children with Special needs in Lowestoft, but so far. to no avail. I have experience of working with deaf and partially hearing, autistic and .special needs children and speech and language
Fe - 19-Oct-18 @ 12:53 PM
I am currently studying level 2 Childcare in college and i hope after getting my diploma in July to do volunteer work in the summer, and then hopefully a job in a special needs placement in September. If they require Level 3 to be a TA in a special needs placement i am hoping to do so through an apprenticeship with the school, i live in Llantrisant Rhondda Cynon Taff area and am looking for volunteer work but not sure if there are any available, if anyone knows of any and could recommend it would be appreciated :)
Lott - 4-Oct-18 @ 7:14 PM
hello ive just started my health and social care level 2 and am wanting to work with children and young adults with learning disabilities and would love to do some work experience in a special needs school and am hoping someone could help me find that I live in louth so need a placement in Lincolnshire.
kelly - 27-Sep-18 @ 2:14 PM
I m looking for volunteers job for disable kids. I was kindergarten teacher in my country do let me know if there is any tq..
Peram - 12-Sep-18 @ 7:31 PM
Hi I would like more information about volunteering. I have experience working in school And looking to gain more experience.
Jahan - 16-May-18 @ 3:04 PM
Hi I am looking to become a volunteer for special needs children in Birmingham please advice me how and who to contact
Fabia - 4-May-18 @ 9:21 PM
Love to spend time with special kids.i have no experience but still I want to do something challenging for our kids x want to do voluntary work with you.
Nimo - 19-Apr-18 @ 12:20 AM
Hi There, My name is Eve Moulton and I am interested in volunteering in schools and play centres with children and adolescents that have special needs. I am Currently undertaking a Level 2 qualification in counselling skills and will go onto studying for a masters in Psychotherapy for Adolescents, children and families. I would love to hear from you regarding any suitable volunteering opportunities. Please advise. Many thanks, Eve
Eve - 28-Jan-18 @ 11:22 AM
Hello I'm actually in health, social care and childcare level 1courses,and looking forward to help children having difficulties,could I have more information about volunteering in Nottingham please thank you.
Angeltine - 31-Oct-17 @ 8:25 AM
Hello Im currently still in school and I’m looking for work experience with special need children or adults, as I have had experience with being a carer for my older cousin and I would love to get more experience in being a carer
L4uren - 24-Oct-17 @ 8:12 PM
HI I am looking to work with kids with SEN. I have a diploma certificate, but more importantly I have experience as my son has sen at his secondary school. I believe I have supported him well through his education. I also have experience working with (as a parent) working with Senco's and Outreach workers. I would love to have a career in this field of work.
Rich - 16-Oct-17 @ 5:09 PM
Do you have any opportunity for voluntary in special school in sheffield?
Laurie - 27-Sep-17 @ 2:09 PM
Hello I'm a mum of two children one who is autistic goes to special needs school I'm wanting to work with special needs as a career with my experience I can help children in all areas as I understand them
Anastasia Grant - 20-Sep-17 @ 1:17 PM
I am Mental Health/Stress/Anger Management Counsellor, working school Terms in aSEN school with students from 10 - 19 years. My availability for volunteer work is throughout the school holidays, particularly the Summer break. I have had experience of working in the SEN/Mental Health environment for approx. 20 years. Many ThanksBridget Keane.
Bea - 5-Jul-17 @ 11:36 AM
Do you have any opportunities forvoluntary working in special needs schools in Birmingham?
mona - 3-Jun-17 @ 12:54 AM
Love to work with special in need kids x
Sukhi - 3-Apr-17 @ 5:33 PM
How do i apply to become a special needs volunteer ?
Tanya - 31-Mar-17 @ 6:02 PM
I'm interested to work with special needs children in Slough. I'm working as a volunteer with girlguiding.
non - 21-Mar-17 @ 10:38 PM
Hi I have a degree in health and social care and looking at moving forward in my career. I am 30 years old and for the past 7 years since graduation back in 2010 I have had 3 children however they are at the age now where I am ready to do some volunterring work to gain experience before looking for a long term job once my youngest starts school. I am based in North east. So sunderland Newcastle south shields durham are all around me. could I have more information on how to get into volunterring please Thank you
Sharan - 9-Mar-17 @ 10:36 AM
Hello am augandan aged 29 years holding ababachelors degree in COMMUNITY BASED REHABILITATION I like working with special needs children but I would like to start as volunteer in UK
Eunice - 9-Mar-17 @ 9:39 AM
Hello am augandan aged 29 years hold adegree in COMMUNITY BASED REHABILITATION from recognised university here in Uganda, I would like to start as volunteer by working with children with special need but currently am in Uganda but most of my family members stays in different parts of uk....thanks I will be very greatful if considered yours faithfuly sarah
Eunice - 9-Mar-17 @ 9:35 AM
I'm a mum to 2 special needs children whom are now in full time education..I am reluctant to help children with special needs..I'm calm confident and extremely patient...I left school with no qualifications and I have no career experience due to devoting my time to my children.
Steph - 8-Mar-17 @ 8:07 AM
My name is aysha I'm 48 very interested in voluntary work with special needs for a couple of hours in the morning near Stratford London or nearby thanks
none - 17-Dec-16 @ 4:26 PM
My name is aysha I am 48 I am very interested in voluntary work with special needs around Stratford area London or nearby for a couple of hours in the morning thanks
none - 17-Dec-16 @ 4:21 PM
None - Your Question:
I am an occupational therapist. wish to volunteer for children with special needs

Our Response:
You can find possible opportunities via the Do-It site here. I hope this helps.
WorkingWithKids - 28-Nov-16 @ 11:31 AM
I am an occupational therapist.. wish to volunteer for children with special needs
None - 27-Nov-16 @ 10:54 AM
I am 13 I have experience with special needs children would I be able to volenteer
Hayley - 14-Nov-16 @ 4:43 PM
@TM - I think it is GREAT what you have accomplished - what a great role model you could be for younger people. You could do voluntary talks in schools about the amazing things you have achieved! Well done :)
EmmaY90 - 28-Oct-16 @ 1:03 PM
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