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:
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.
Am doing level 2 for Teacher Assistente a will be happy to start volunteer for any child with disabilities i live in St. John’s Wood. If anything is close to this area let me know. Thank you
No - 4-Jul-21 @ 9:34 PM
Hi my names nina in from highamspark in east london .im 36 year old looking for some voluntry work .I have a 12 year old son with adhd and autism.I also have a autistic brother .I would like to make a diffence and help kids with special needs. Please get in contact nina
Neen - 22-Jun-21 @ 11:47 PM
I am looking to becomea volunteerfor specials need children in Glasgow, I currentlywork in a schoolbut as a dinner ladies and would love an opportunity to help out.
Jasmin - 9-Jun-21 @ 9:25 AM
Hi my names jenny and I have an 8 year old with asd adhd sensory processing disorder, I myself have a diploma in mental health diploma in education. Psychology and have many certificates in Understanding Student Development and Diversity, Working with Students with Special Educational Needs childcare and EYFS and quiet a few more and I'm looking for a volunteer position as have grades but need the practice
Jenlloyd75 - 21-May-21 @ 11:27 AM
Hello Iam a Ugandan female and would love to volunteer with kids with special needs iam committed and ready for all to see a child or children smiling kindly help me to find a host family / group or camp. I will be so grateful to hear your positive response.
Vio - 28-Feb-21 @ 5:45 AM
Hi my name is Rachael and im a mum to 4 children of which two have disabilities one more than the other. My son has autism, severe developement delay, pica and many other difficulties. I would like to volunteer with kids with sen as i feel i understand exactly how the families feel and from my own experiences can offer maybe some advice or just be there to listen in difficult times. Any help how to do this would be fab. Thanks in advance
Rach - 1-Feb-21 @ 11:01 PM
Hiya I'm a 17 yo female who suffers from tourettes and I would love to help other children with learning disabilities because I know how hard it can be sometimes, I've managed to get through it all, and I love working with children, I live in Milton Keynes, if there is anything available in this area please contact me I'm currently in college doing a level 2 Engineering course and I think it would be amazing to have this sort of experience, I want to help others fell better about themselves and think "I am me I don't need to change for anyone".
Lily - 23-Nov-20 @ 1:13 PM
Hi, I did my master degree in special education 14 years back. Now want to persue my career in this field after a long time. I would like to work with children with disabilities and make a difference in someone's life. I'm from Warrington.
Samina - 3-Nov-20 @ 4:14 PM
hi. i am looking to volunteer with children with special needs in and around the Dartford area. i have always enjoyed working with Kids and would love to make a difference in someone else's life.
vini - 20-Oct-20 @ 1:42 PM
I am looking for a volunteer who will accompany me and my son on days out. He has ADHD and I find it increasingly difficult to cope myself in public. We are in Enfield. A male hand is what we need. He misses out on trips due to his erratic behaviour. Please advise!
Gladis - 10-Oct-20 @ 9:54 PM
Hello.. am interested in doing a voluntary work with kids with SEN. Kindly assist on how to go about this. Thanks
Addy - 21-Sep-20 @ 3:32 PM
i would love to volunteer, i have experience with special need children and want to make a difference.
Razzapants - 25-Aug-20 @ 4:50 PM
I would love to volunteer with children with all kinds of disabilities. I am currently 17 years old, turning 18 later this year, and looking forward to study medicine. I am a very patient individual, who’s content with helping others. This opportunity would be ideal for me to gain work experience and support my community. My younger brother, suffered from Down syndrome. Unfortunately, he passed. I would love to make a difference to someone else’s life, in a way of such support.
kornelia - 13-Feb-20 @ 3:06 PM
Hello, I am would like to volunteer working with children with special needs. I have no previous experience as I have just left school and am 19. Currently looking for work in Redbridge.
Shan - 2-Feb-20 @ 10:17 AM
Am step mother of autism child
We live in irbid Jordan
Her no support for these child's apical needs no support from governments
His father couldn't work because he take care of him
My husband and his child ate Greek citizens and I Jordanian
The problem is they can live in UK but I can't because I don't have Greek citizens
So how I become volunteer in special needs in UK
They can live there but in same time my husband can't left her alone
My request is how I can volunteer I we want to live in UK because they know mean what's apical needs is andhow to comnicat whit them her in Jordan they don't know and the supports so poor
So plz help us
Sara - 6-Sep-19 @ 5:28 PM
I am currently studying an undergraduate degree and am thinking of studying social work for my postgraduate degree. However I have some experience of working with children with an SEN but would like to further my knowledge and experience. Have you got any volunteering vacancies within the South Wales region I am currently biased in aberdare.
Gemma - 12-Aug-19 @ 2:29 PM
I am 24 years old and would love to work with SEN children. My brother has down syndrome and I would love to hear from someone about how I volunteer
Brogan - 18-Jul-19 @ 9:58 AM
Hi I currently work with autistic adults and physical disabilities and learning disabilities.
So I would like the experience of working with children who are autistic andhave physical and learning disabilities
Has - 27-Jun-19 @ 5:08 PM
HiI would like to work with autistic children in schools. I currently work with Adults with learning disabilities.
So would like experience of working with children in special needs schools so eventually in the future may be look for full-time work. Thanks Harry
Harry - 27-Jun-19 @ 5:03 PM
Hi I am looking to become a volunteer for special needs children in March. Please advice me how and who to contact . thank you
Derya - 18-May-19 @ 11:46 PM
I writing regarding interests in volunteering work with Children or Adults with special needs. I'm hearing impaired with the help of an hearing aid and would love to do some work experience in a special needs school and am hoping someone guide me to the right direction of how to apply for this position.
Would be grateful for your co-orespondence.
Thank you in advanced
Kimmie - 10-Mar-19 @ 5:05 PM
Hi there, I'm currently seeking work experience volunteering with children with special needs. I am in my final year of university at the moment and hoping to become a special needs ta upon graduating so would appreciate any experience you have available.
Lauren - 8-Mar-19 @ 11:03 AM
I would like to be a volunteer for special needs children or adults iv got 3 grandchildren with special needs so I think iv got an understanding of what special needs can be
Shell - 14-Feb-19 @ 12:24 PM
Hi, I am looking to volunteer to work with special needs children in school from September in Berkshire or Buckinghamshire. I amPolish and a highly-qualified EFL teacher, but I have been working in my field, but mostly part-time from home/online for the last ten years. Currently, I am looking after my two-year old twin girls and a ten-year-old SEN boy. I am passionate about teaching, and supporting children with learning difficulties, speech and language and on the spectrum. I would love to gain more experience in this field, but I am not sure where to start without much classroom experience.
Iza - 29-Jan-19 @ 3:38 PM
Hi I’m Beant and I’m 40 already have 2 kids but also have deaf siblings I have always wanted to work with special needs children for years as I want to really give back to the community so it’s personal to me. I’m currently joined with an agency where you are sent to schools to give support but I would love to interact more and to be able to support more
Beant - 4-Jan-19 @ 2:44 AM
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.