Become a volunteer

Become a volunteer


We rely upon a wonderful team of volunteers to help us provide our services. Most volunteers help support the work of our speech and language therapists in our weekly group sessions, others help us with fundraising, PR or office duties. Most volunteers give us one or two mornings each week, others help with outings or specific group activities on an ad hoc basis. All our volunteers are fully trained and supported. Please visit these pages to find out more.

quotes marks“It is a privilege to be a volunteer at Dyscover. I have learnt so much during these past three years and made some good friends along the way. Each volunteer is recognised for the individual skills they bring and is a valued member of the team. Dyscover is friendly, organised, professional and forward-thinking. With so many activities to get involved in there is never a dull moment.” Julie, volunteer

Why volunteer?» Volunteer stories» Volunteering opportunities» How to become a volunteer»

There are many reasons why our volunteers come to Dyscover to help us deliver our services. They may wish to gain hands on experience in a new field; they may have retired and want to be part of a team within their community; they may have been touched by stroke or aphasia themselves or they may simply have a little time on their hands to give to others and want an interesting role. Whatever the reason, our volunteers are vital in helping us deliver our service to our members.

“Without our wonderful and dedicated volunteers, Dyscover could not provide the unique service that is provided to us” Mike, Dyscover member

By volunteering with us you will benefit in many ways and find it a very rewarding experience. You will:

•  Gain new skills, knowledge and experience
•  Be fully trained to help you deliver the best to our members
•  Meet new people, make new friends and work as a team
•  Get to know the local community

“The training and support I have received from Dyscover has given me the opportunity to join a group of people and help them to improve their quality of life. The experience is very rewarding and worthwhile.” Pamela, volunteer

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“Since volunteering for Dyscover I can truly say I have never volunteered for such a caring group. They not only care, so much, for members but also for us volunteers with wonderful support and very interesting ongoing training. From day one, I was welcomed with open arms and never felt that uncomfortable feeling of being ‘new’. We are appreciated beyond belief by both members and staff. My time spent with Dyscover is both rewarding and fulfilling” Anne, volunteer

MaureenMeet Maureen…

Maureen Jones became a volunteer with Dyscover in January 2014.

She and her husband Marc are kept busy running the four pub/restaurants they own, in the Surrey area.  Maureen has been involved in the pub trade for many years and previously worked as an NVQ verifier in the retail sector.

Maureen has a son and a daughter, both in their twenties and moved to Betchworth, a stone’s throw from Walton on the Hill, a year ago.

“I was keen to do some voluntary work and was very fortunate to be pointed in the direction of Dyscover.

I have found it so rewarding helping and getting to know the members.  The staff and volunteers are very friendly and supportive and I have learnt so much about Stroke and Aphasia.  The training has been really excellent.

I hope to be involved for as long as they need me.


A day in the life of a Dyscover group volunteer

• Arrive at 9.30am, for a team briefing to discuss and plan the morning ahead

• 10am, our members arrive – the speech & language therapist explains to everyone the
focus and content of the morning’s activities; news is shared and notices read out

• Volunteers then take small groups of members for conversation groups – the main aim being for all members to communicate in a relaxed and supportive environment

• At 11:15am make tea and coffee

• 11.30am – volunteers prepare the room for a whole group session such as an art activity or quiz

• 12.30pm until 1.00pm – clearing up and debrief meeting with speech & language therapist and planning for the following week

DavidMeet David…

David is a qualified solicitor who enjoyed a 30 year career, latterly as manager of Esher Citizens Advice Bureau, using his legal expertise to assist clients.
In June 2002, at the age of 55, David had a stroke whilst alone at home.  He was not found for 21 hours and was given only a 50% chance of survival.  He was hospitalised for 3 months and went on to have 5 months rehabilitation.
David was left with aphasia and paralysis of his right side.  His speech and language gradually improved and he is able to walk, , although movement in his right arm hasn’t returned.  He joined Dyscover in 2003 and over the past seven years has seen improvements both in his communication and his confidence.

“My time as a member of Dyscover has allowed me to come to terms with my life.  I drive a car again and in 2010 I became a volunteer, helping regularly with one of Dyscover’s weekly conversation groups.  I am also a member of the Community Aphasia Awareness Group, a Dyscover initiative which is lead by people with aphasia like myself and aims to raise awareness of Aphasia through telling our own individual stories of having aphasia.
I feel I am using my knowledge and experiences to help other people adjust to living with aphasia”

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“Becoming a volunteer at Dyscover has enabled me not only to give something back but to also be in the enviable position of engaging with the community. At Dyscover there is great team spirit where members, professionals and volunteers support each other to ensure positive outcomes” Gillian, volunteer

We have a range of opportunities for volunteers to become involved in our work:

Group volunteers: The majority of our volunteers support our conversation groups and the work of our speech and language therapists. This is usually for one regular morning or afternoon a week (4 or 5 hours) – during term time (40 weeks a year) although many help us out at our events too. We have a termly programme of events including small group discussions, talks, games, outings, social events, relatives’ support group.

All our group volunteers receive initial and ongoing training, and are supported by their team leader and volunteer co-ordinator.

Office volunteers: we also have volunteers who help us out with IT and software issues, write our newsletters, support our Aphasia Ambassadors, raising awareness of aphasia in our local community.  We also recruit volunteers to help us out on an ad hoc basis with mailings and other office duties.

Profile raising volunteers: we are intent upon raising the profile of aphasia – we know that 9 out of 10 people have not heard of the condition. Although based in Surrey, we would like to contribute to the national awareness of this disability and therefore are always looking for people to help us do this. But we also need to make local people and communities aware of aphasia and of Dyscover. We welcome members from anywhere in Surrey or beyond providing they can reach us. Please contact us if you are interested in PR or marketing volunteering roles at Dyscover to help us spread the word.

Fundraising volunteers: we are involved in many activities throughout the year to raise much needed funds to help us provide our services for our members. From local village fairs to large fun runs, we depend upon the help and skills of volunteers to help us make these a success. From organising whole events to being there on the day, we are always in need of enthusiastic people to make all the difference.

“The training I received was excellent” Tom, volunteer

If you would like to find out more about the current volunteering opportunities please contact us.

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Please do contact us if you are interested in volunteering with us.

Information: we will provide you with information over the phone about Dyscover, our volunteering opportunities.

Apply: If you then feel volunteering for Dyscover is for you, we invite you for an interview which is a meeting which enables you to tell us more about yourself and what kind of volunteering role you are looking for, and it enables us to decide what kind of role we can offer you at Dyscover.   You will be asked to complete an application form telling us a bit about yourself and your interests and we will require the names of two people who will be willing to provide a reference for you.   They can be people you have worked with either in the paid or voluntary sector or can be others who have known you over many years.

We will then let you know whether we will be able to offer you a volunteering role.   We take up your references and seek your approval to carry out a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), Criminal Records Bureau previously known as ‘CRB’ check. This is a necessary procedure for anyone who is working with “Vulnerable Adults” and our members fall within this category.

What we are looking for: We think it is beneficial for our members and volunteers to really get to know each other so that both can feel confident in sharing their skills and interests. For this reason we tend to recruit group volunteers who are looking for a role that they can commit to over time. If you only have limited time to offer, then we can discuss short term opportunities with you – such as fundraising or helping in the office.

Our group volunteers are
●  good listeners
●  happy sharing their skills and interests
●  of a sensitive and understanding nature
●  available one regular morning/afternoon a week for approximately 40 weeks a year (in 3 terms)
●  helping people to regain skills and confidence

If you volunteer for us, you will
●  be a member of a positive, friendly and happy group
●  see people benefit from your help
●  receive initial and ongoing training
●  gain new skills

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Would you or someone you know like to become a volunteer of Dyscover?

Contact us Arrow link

Lottery funded

During 2009, Dyscover was awarded a substantial grant from the Big Lottery Fund for our 3 year Specialist Support & Volunteer Development Project. This has allowed us to increase the number of volunteers (in order to develop the number of services we offer), to develop our training and have an improved level of support for volunteers. We now have dedicated volunteers who help us raise awareness of aphasia to local support groups and have successfully established more volunteer-led activities for our members.
Lottery funded