I’ve been volunteering with SNAP Cymru since 2009. I attended the SNAP Cymru Respect Disability Awareness training when I was at school, and completed my work experience in Penybryn Special School, where I began learning Makaton. I then attended the Respect Train the Trainer course with SNAP in order to cascade the training to other young people. This prompted me to start attending a basic sign language course in Llanelli.
My role in SNAP has included helping to design a leaflet on rights and entitlement for young people. I have worked in reception and admin, taken calls and referrals in the Swansea Office, and added the initial family information to the referral database.
I enjoyed designing the leaflet for young people, especially as I could portray the young person’s perspective. I attended the schools challenge week, and have helped run several stalls and activities at the Eisteddfod.
By working with SNAP Cymru, I have learned new skills, such as using drawing software, working with vulnerable people, and helping to develop professional and empathetic approaches, which have all been very beneficial whilst studying Law at university. Employers that I have worked with always appreciate those skills, too. I also gained accreditation in Disability awareness and learnt about the Equality Act. I’m really interested in becoming a Barrister, and volunteering with SNAP Cymru will certainly help when representing vulnerable witnesses. Working for SNAP has really highlighted the need for advocacy, and independent advice and representation for those who need it.
I feel as though I have been able to contribute to SNAP by giving the young person’s perspective. I’m also Welsh speaking, and that was useful when speaking to families and helping design literature.
A huge number of families contact SNAP, so being an extra person to take calls is of immense benefit, and helps offer assurance for the families who call in.
My experience with SNAP Cymru has been inclusive.