Hello, my name is Izzy and I’m a second year psychology student at the University of Manchester. Volunteering is obviously a vital experience, not only in what you can provide an organisation (be that social media skills, or analytics and organisation), but also what you can learn from the experience.
Before I started volunteering at Wraparound, I knew next to nothing about what parents of children with special needs have to go through. I was completely unaware to how complex the world of special educational health care was, especially for new parents. The whole process of attaining a EHCP appears both laborious and stress-inducing. It’s not a simple task for a parent and I can imagining how daunting the process must be.
I started volunteering at Wraparound in late October. After having spoken to Sarah, one of the Wraparound team, at the University of Manchester’s volunteer fair, I was really interested in experiencing the other side of special needs: the trials and tribulations that the parents go through, and the vital support that charities, like Wraparound, can provide. My previous experience in the area of special needs only really concerned interacting with children in play-schemes and volunteering in my school’s educational support service.
From the first time I visited Wraparound, I could tell what an amazing and invaluable service the women there provided. From hearing phone calls to parents and professionals, to shadowing meetings and attending parent information sessions, I felt really immersed in the world of EHC. It was an amazing experience as I was able to see, first-hand, how helpful and informative Wraparound’s service was for parents. They provide advice not only on educational needs of children, but their social and physical needs too.
If I had to describe Wraparound in three words, I would say professional, kind and caring. It is amazing to see how dedicated Wraparound are in helping families, truly going above and beyond; from chasing local authorities for updated EHCPs, to attending meetings with schools and health-care professionals. It was clear from the start that Wraparound care about their work, maintaining a professional but equally warm approach in a sensitive area for parents.
Working with Wraparound has been, and continues to be an invaluable experience for me. Sarah, especially, is so accommodating to my hectic university schedule, and flexible in the times I can visit the office. In late November, I was even able to attend a Maternal Mental Health Summit with Sarah and it was fantastic; without Wraparound I would never have had the opportunity (I even met Rochelle Humes, Giovanna Fletcher and Stacey Soloman!).
I feel like I have a very active role in the charity; that I am valued and appreciated, which I know can be rare for students in voluntary positions. I really cannot recommend volunteering for Wraparound enough.
Thank you Wraparound!
If you think you have skills to offer Wraparound, or are just curious about whether volunteering with us is for you please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org