Volunteering opportunities

Volunteering opportunities

  • As a small organisation with limited resources, we depend on the help of volunteers. Whether you are a parent of a disabled child or young person, a professional looking to contribute your skills, or a student wishing to gain work experience – we’d love to hear from you!

    We will train and support you, and reimburse any expenses you incur – such as travel expenses, or data for your phone. Download an information sheet for potential volunteers

    We are currently looking for volunteers for the roles listed below. Please contact us if you’d like more information about any of these!


    Parent carer representative

    Description

    The role of the parent rep is to represent a wide range of views of parent carers from across Sheffield at meetings with the local authority and health services. Parent reps attend groups on transition, education, neurodisability, autism, EHC plans, Sheffield’s inclusion strategy, and many more.

    Time commitment

    Meetings usually take place during school hours, and reps normally attend one or two meetings per month. Induction required (approx. 3 hours).

    Requirements

    • Experience of being a parent or carer of a child or young person with a special educational need or disability (SEND)
    • Experience of accessing relevant services for children with SEND in Sheffield
    • An ability to maintain confidentiality
    • Time to attend meetings, including meetings of relevant SPCF subgroups
    • An ability to represent a wide range of parents’ views and not just their personal experience
    • An ability to listen to others and express views in a constructive and polite manner
    • A basic understanding of the issues to be discussed by the group
    • Access to a separate room and a PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet to take part in virtual meetings during the pandemic. If you don’t have access to any of those, we may be able to help, so please don’t let that put you off applying!

    Training and mentoring (including shadowing of experienced representatives) will be provided – we promise we won’t throw you in at the deep end!


    Trustee

    Description

    Our trustees are responsible for the governance and management of our organisation. They contribute by attending and taking an active part in our monthly Management Committee meetings, and as active members of sub-groups (currently Staffing Governance and Finance, and Fundraising) or working groups. Along with others, trustees represent our organisation in Sheffield and more widely.

    Time commitment

    There is an expectation that trustees will attend ten Management Committee meetings and one AGM per year. Meetings normally last two hours and are held on Friday mornings during term time. Approximately one to two hours of preparation time is required for each meeting. Induction required (approx. 3 hours).

    Requirements

    • Commitment to the principles of the organisation
    • Excellent knowledge of local services for children and young people with SEND
    • Ability to devote the necessary time and effort
    • Ability to work as part of a team
    • Willingness to speak your mind
    • Abiding by Nolan’s seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership

    To help us be as representative as possible, we are particularly looking for parents from a BAME background, parents of young children (0-5 years) with additional needs, and parents of children with phyhsical disabilities. We are also looking for someone with HR expertise.


    PR volunteer

    Description

    We are looking for a media-savy volunteer to help us raise the profile of our organisation. Tasks include writing and distributing press releases, building relationships with local media outlets, and contributing to our social media accounts.

    Time commitment

    Approximately 2 hours per week. You can work from home or from our office at St Mary’s. Induction required (approx. 3 hours).

    Requirements

    You will need excellent copywriting skills, an outgoing personality, and lots of persistence.


    Outreach volunteer

    Description

    Attend coffee mornings at schools and nurseries and run stalls at events all over Sheffield to promote the Forum, gather parents’ views, and provide peer support and signposting.

    Time commitment

    Attend a 2-hour outreach session every 1-2 months, during school hours, with at least one other parent volunteer. May involve picking up materials from the office and/or dropping them off again. Take brief notes of issues raised by parents and feed back to Forum staff. Induction required (approx. 3 hours).

    Requirements

    An outgoing personality, sensitivity and discretion. A good knowledge of local services for children and young people with SEND. Own transport useful but not essential. Will reimburse bus and taxi fares.


    Newsletter contributor

    Description

    Contribute articles to Forum newsletter (two issues per year).

    Time commitment

    Articles of approx. 400 or 800 words in length, about areas of interest to parent carers.

    Requirements

    Ability to write clear, accessible copy. Excellent research skills.


    Fundraising volunteer

    Description

    Fundraising volunteers help to raise funds for SPCF projects and events. No cold-calling involved!

    Time commitment

    Approximately 3 hours per week. Hours are flexible.

    Requirements

    • Self motivated and enthusiastic
    • Ability to work alone and as part of a team
    • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
    • Good IT skills, including internet research
    • Good local knowledge (companies, organisations, events)