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“I joined Dyscover as a volunteer over three years ago helping with the group based in Kingston. I had no experience of Aphasia but the training and support has enabled me to learn and grow over this time. It has been a pleasure getting to know the members and when they arrive each week and greet me as a friend, I feel privileged to be part of such a caring organisation.” Roberta – Group Volunteer

Why 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

Volunteering at Dyscover has given me a fantastic theoretical and practical understanding of Aphasia and the people it affects prior to applying to train as a Speech and Language Therapist. James – Group volunteer

Volunteer stories

quotes marksVolunteering at such a passionate and vibrant charity is inspirational. The difference made to local people’s lives is evident in every way that the charity operates. Volunteers make such a difference at a local community charity such as Dyscover, and the training and support are exceptional. Jan – Volunteer

 

ChristineMeet Christine…

Christine first became a volunteer with Dyscover in January 2015.   She had years of previous experience in other voluntary roles including the ‘Samaritans’ and ‘Family Line’.

In addition Christine had set up and run her own business for 8 years and been employed in a variety of administrative posts.

Christine has a great combination of skills and experience that encompasses a very caring and compassionate nature along with being confident, organised and thorough with administrative tasks.

“I started volunteering with Dyscover in January 2015 and help with the Wednesday morning group. The fun, comradery and support the members give each other is fantastic and I find it very inspirational and rewarding” .

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

barryMeet Barry…

Barry progressed from getting help for his own communication difficulties following a stroke in 2011, to being a volunteer in a Dyscover group since Sept 2014. His enthusiasm, motivation and encouragement to help other members is infectious, particularly when they realise that Barry has faced all the same issues and difficulties himself.
Barry is an Ambassador for Dyscover in so many ways – he gives presentations to community groups about aphasia, thereby increasing awareness of the condition and services offered. He also sources community fundraising opportunities for Dyscover and will actively be involved in hosting such events.

“I can’t put into words how much Dyscover has changed my life since and I have relished the opportunity in being able to volunteer and help others who have experienced life changing effects associated with a stroke. I feel that I am able to empathise with new members and share my experiences as to how to get the most out of life despite a disability.” Barry

Volunteering opportunities

“As a recently recruited volunteer, I am thoroughly enjoying learning new skills which will enable me to support people who have aphasia. I find it very rewarding when I assist Dyscover members in making conversation and themselves understood. In addition, I am pleased to be able to offer practical help to the Dyscover team in raising funds for such a worthwhile cause.” Helen – Group and Fundraising 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.

How to become a volunteer

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

Pound sign 

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

Contact us Arrow link