Volunteering with Spectrum:
Each child is linked with two volunteers. Contact with the child takes place through visits and outings, arranged through prior contact with the child’s parents/carers.
As a minimum, it is expected that volunteers visit their linked child once every two weeks. Understandably, at times when students are particularly busy (i.e. around exams), this may be difficult. In this case it is paramount that the parents are made aware when the next visit may be possible. Please ensure that over these periods regular contact continues – don’t leave your child and their family in the dark!
We stress that it is very important for you to always go in pairs to visit your link for your child’s safety and your own protection.
We also expect you to fill out a logbook documenting all visits/outings with your child.
For greater information on what being a volunteer with Spectrum entails, read the Spectrum handbook here.
How to apply to be a volunteer:
Interested in joining us?
We recruit new volunteers at the start of each academic year. To volunteer you’ll need to attend the two training sessions and then fill in the application form we will provide to you. If you keep a look out on our social media pages you’ll be able to stay up-to-date on when exactly they are, as they will be the first place we update.
A few important pointers for volunteers:
Keeping Children Safe:
If on any outing, you are 100% RESPONSIBLE for a child’s welfare. Many of the children are hugely vulnerable and may lack a sense of danger, therefore it is important to:
- Never leave a child unattended or out of sight
- Be vigilant when in dangerous situations i.e crowded areas, crossing roads
- Inform yourself thoroughly of any specific needs the child may have i.e. medications, allergies, nappy changing. This is especially important if supervising another link’s child if on an outing.
- Alert the necessary people immediately if a child is missing. These may include security staff or senior Spectrum members (if on a group outing).
- Always speak clearly, at eye-level and allow plenty of time for the child to respond.
- Use ‘commentary’ to start interactions: talk about what you are doing together.
- Utilise any other communication aides the child may use i.e. Makaton, picture book.
- Model good behaviour: set a good example and praise good behaviour.
- Offer choices on what to do next, let the child feel in control of activities.
- Manage behaviour positively, do not threaten, shout or belittle.
- Remember that Spectrum will reimburse any expenses incurred on outings with your link (within reason!) Keep all your receipts, complete the following Expenses Form and return the completed form to the Spectrum office, VSU, Lewis building.
If you are concerned about your child’s welfare please contact a committee member. Here are the details of our designated child protection officer, if you would like to contact them directly:
Deborah Hodes, Named and designated Doctor, Camden PCT, Tel: 020 7530 4826/2387/2389