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Independent volunteer supporter - Barnardo's

Would you like to work with Barnardo's Gateshead Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) to support parents/carers of children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and the children and young people themselves.

Sample activities

Helping parents and young people understand the SEN system and what is happening with their child or themselves and assisting them to fill out views forms for Statutory Assessment for an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP).  Liaising with schools or colleges and professionals on behalf of parents, children and young people and organising and accompanying them to meetings and on visits to prospective new schools or colleges.  Listening to parents, children and young people and giving impartial advice and information about the SEN system and sign posting them to other agencies and services where necessary.    


  • Some knowledge of the Special Educational Needs system and/or a willingness to learn
  • An adequate level of literacy skills in order to be able to help with form filling and an ability to support parents and young people in meetings and help them put across their point of view
  • Patience and understanding
  • Good listening skills
  • Volunteers are required to give a commitment of at least six months
  • Commitment to attend a training programme
  • Be able to follow Barnardo's policy and procedures and work under the supervision of the SENDIASS Officer and Volunteer Coordinator
  • To attend supervision sessions on a regular basis

Estimated Hours

Flexible, although we would estimate approximately two hours per week at least.


Gateshead area.

Benefits to the Volunteer

  • Gaining experience of working with parents/carers of children with SEN
  • Gaining experience of working with children and young people with SEN
  • Working with an experienced and motivated team
  • Induction training and SEN training provided
  • Ongoing support and supervision will be provided.

For further information contact

Sara Steven- Gateshead Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice Service (SENDIAS), Barnardo's DAISS, 20 Bewick Road, Gateshead, NE8 4DP.

0191 478 4667

How to volunteer

The first step in the volunteer process is to complete the expression of interest, regardless of the type of volunteering opportunity you are interested in.

Express your interest in becoming a volunteer