The beginning of this month launched Volunteers Week running from 1st June to 7th June. I am volunteering in all sorts of ways at the moment. I am presently volunteering with the National Autistic Society within the local branch in Derby. I help run support groups, update the branch Facebook page and monitor phone calls which come into the branch.
I love to help other families and be there for any support or information they may need. I can remember way back in 2004 what it was like to be a parent with a son receiving his diagnosis and it was a scary, bewildering time. I don't feel I do an awful lot but sometimes just offering a cuppa, a biscuit, time and to listen to people, that's all that is needed. Oh and sometimes a box of tissues and a shoulder to cry on but that's ok, I can offer that if needed.
I am also a Parent Champion for the Family Information Service in Derby where we offer a wide range of information, advice and guidance on:
We, as parent Champions are all parents just like you and we understand the challenges you may face. We are around in the community, at local events and childcare sessions. I tend to combine my role within support with Autism by helping families access the SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service) in Derby.
I am also a Parent Governor at a local SEN school too so the possibilities of volunteering are endless and very rewarding. It keeps me very busy and I build so much experience in speaking to different people and having a voice within the world of Autism and disabilities in general. There is nothing quite like talking to another parent who is or has been through a similar situation to our own. That's why I think our support groups are vital to the well being of families facing a future with Autism that they are not quite sure of. I think we are able to offer reassurance and empathy and a platform to just let some stress out, to say yes it's not fair, yes sometimes I dislike Autism but eventually gaining some information that gives some relief and hope that a situation may improve or take away that tension even for a little while.
If you are interested in volunteering go to
where you will find many ways to volunteer on your local area.
If you are interested in becoming a Parent Champion in Derby get in touch with the Family Information Service on 01332640758 or email FIS@derby.gov.uk
The NAS Derby and District Branch would welcome more committee members so if you are interested please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Parent to Parent Service of the National Autistic Society is a great service which is offered for help and advice and you can find information about this at:
To all volunteers everywhere and in all services have a great week and carry on your good work into the future. there are a lot of organisations that cannot do what they do without people like you so feel proud, you are doing a good job.
Thank you for reading, I will be back for some telly talk tomorrow with Pass the Remote.
Take care for now.........
Every Saturday will be about Autism, family and life.