Aspire offers volunteer opportunities for individuals interested in contributing to the delivery of our services. We recognize that voluntary work brings benefits to volunteers themselves, to service users and to paid staff. That being said, we endeavor to involve volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds and abilities and ensure our volunteering opportunities are as accessible as possible.
Current Opportunities Include:
1. Cara Connect Friendship Programme
Aspire- The Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland has provided support and information to people with Asperger Syndrome and their families since 1995. We are currently looking for Youth Mentors to volunteer on our Cara Connect Programme. The programme links teenagers and young adults who have Asperger Syndrome with a volunteer mentor for monthly group social activities and weekly contact. This programme takes place in Dublin.
The role involves:
- being matched with a young person with Asperger Syndrome (aged between 14 and 20 years old) based on shared interests
- meeting with them once a month for an organised group social outing
- contacted them once a week by phone/email
- providing them with an opportunity to socialise in a safe, supportive space
Through this programme, volunteers will:
- reduce social isolation for a young person with Asperger Syndrome
- become a role model for the young person they are matched with
- gain valuable experience in working with vulnerable young people
- be provided with training in child protection and disability awareness, as well as ongoing support from Aspire
- make a real difference to the young person they are working with
We are looking for volunteers who:
- are enthusiastic, kind and patient
- are interested in working with young people in a supportive capacity
- would like to gain a better understanding of Asperger Syndrome and the supports that can be offered to young people with a diagnosis
- feel they can offer encouragement and support to young people who would like to increase their confidence and social abilities
The time commitment is one Saturday afternoon per month and one call/email conversation per week. Full training will be provided to the volunteers, and they will be fully supported by Aspire. A reference will be provided to volunteers upon request.
2. Family Support and Respite Programme
Aspire- The Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland, in partnership with HADD Ireland and The Dyspraxia Association, are seeking volunteers for an exciting new project that aims to support families of young people who have hidden disabilities. Volunteers will be placed with a family and will work to support them in addressing their specific needs and the needs of their child.
We feel this role would suit a person studying in or graduated from a health science discipline (Social studies, psychology, youth and community, occupational therapy, child care studies) and is looking to gain essential experience.
The Volunteer will:
- Work with the selected family in the family home or a chosen location
- Aid the family and coordinator of the programme in developing a person centered family support plan
- Facilitate the activities laid out in the plan
- Support the child one to one while allowing other family members respite from their daily care duties
- Work with the child to identify a suitable community activity they would like to take part in and facilitate integration into same
- Submit reports to the coordinator of the programme
- Be subject to Garda Vetting
The Volunteer will gain:
- Training in the areas of child protection and disability awareness and on-going support
- Valuable experience working one to one with a child with a disability and their family
- A reference upon completion of their placement
We are looking for volunteers who are kind, caring and patient, self-motivated and creative and have a genuine interest in working with vulnerable young people and their families.
If you would like to volunteer to take part in these fun and fulfilling programmes, or would like to find out more about it, please contact Aileen on [email protected]
See our Aspire Volunteer Policy for more information