All posts in “Volunteering”

A warm welcome our new NEC volunteer – Peter Hosking

Actually Peter isn’t really new, he has been involved with SNAP Cymru for almost 20 years, firstly as a parent who received advice and support to ensure his daughters special educational needs were met and then he came on board as a as a trained Independent Parent Support volunteer and was one of the first to participate in our accredited IPS training.  When a vacancy occurred we were thrilled that Peter was appointed as a Development Officer for SNAP covering a large part of Mid Wales and later became the our All Wales Training Manager.

Peter lives near Swansea and has four, now adult, children. A fifth child, Bethan, was born with a life limiting condition and has passed away. Previously he worked for many years in education, both in secondary schools and universities in Wales as well as in the Middle East.

We were delighted when Peter left SNAP in 2001 to become the first Policy Officer with the newly established Children’s Commissioner for Wales.  However, his contact with SNAP continued as the Children’s Commissioners office signposted callers to SNAP.

The reform of SEN/ALN policy is one of Peter’s major interests, particularly the introduction of the children’s right of appeal to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales.

Peter says that:

“Being a parent of a child with special educational needs can be confusing and frustrating without the proper support.  The great value of SNAP is not just that they help to arrange the support a child needs but they challenge the preconceptions of parents and encourage them to consider those who control resources as partners – rather than adversaries – in getting the right provision.  This relieves a great deal of stress for both parents and local authority staff.

The current financial situation means that resources in local authorities are at an even greater premium – a situation that is likely to worsen over the coming years.  The role of SNAP Cymru in providing mediation between parents and local authority staff is even more necessary – while becoming even more difficult.”

Peter decided to re-join SNAP Cymru as a member of our NEC following his retirement from the Commissioner’s office.

We couldn’t be more pleased to have Peter back on board!

Celebrating Volunteers Week 2014

“You make a life by what you give”

An amazing 80 SNAP Cymru volunteers received a certificate signed by the First Minister, the Rt Hon Carwyn Jones (AM), acknowledging their outstanding contribution to volunteering in Wales.

As part of Volunteers week in early June, SNAP staff gave a massive ‘thank you’ to all their volunteers who continually amaze us with their dedication, hard work and skills.

Volunteers are critical to the success of SNAP Cymru. Recent research shows that for every £1 invested in SNAP, we are able to provide approximately £20 in return on that investment – our volunteers are a huge part of that. Their skills, hard work and professionalism really inspires confidence in SNAP Cymru.

Investors in People assessors say we have;
“Exceptional engagement from a volunteer workforce who gauge what they get back from their efforts in terms of positive personal development, self-esteem, confidence and recognition, rather than in monetary terms… Such volunteers are exceptionally motivated and engaged. They are treated equally and are considered invaluable to the organisation. There is exceptional support and development offered to the volunteer workforce and there are many examples of people whose lives have been turned around through the experience of volunteering.”
Pam Tanner, IIP, 2014

Families and professionals across Wales value our volunteers and see the impact of their work;“On behalf of myself and the family, we would like to give special thanks to your volunteers who supported the family during the process. Without their help, the family would have really struggled throughout.  It was a huge learning curve for myself also, having never been involved in this process before.  It was a brilliant result for the child and I cannot thank you all enough!” 

So once again, we’d like to thank all our volunteers for:
  –  helping sort, organise and label all the donations we’ve received these past few weeks for our brand new shop venture
–  the wonderful job handling calls and supporting families across Wales
–  every time a family is helped to understand and make sense of paperwork or have the confidence to express their views
–  patient business support and detailed help with accounts and administration
–  getting out our leaflets and information for families across local communities
–  delivering training sessions with humour and expertise
–  helping steer us through with business and strategic expertise
–  supporting and caring for each other and for helping the whole team to make the best of their talents and skills
…and everything else our volunteers do for us!
Thank You
From Denise, The NEC and All the Staff

SNAP Cymru recognised with prestigious award for volunteering

Today, SNAP Cymru are celebrating being announced as recipients of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award 2012. We are the only exclusively Welsh organisation to receive the award as recognition for our unique role, on a national scale, to advance the education of people in Wales and support their inclusion. This new award embodies the triumph and elation of this Diamond Jubilee year by recognising the hard work, commitment and generosity of volunteers within national organisations to change Britain for the better.

Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, said “The list of recipients of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award for Volunteering 2012 reads like a Who’s Who of some of our most important charities and voluntary organisations. It is a testament to the enduring strength and immeasurable contribution of volunteers over the past sixty years”.

  • The sixty organisations honoured today with The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award for Volunteering 2012 have built their success on the dedication and generosity of thousands of extraordinary people, each of whom has devoted their time and energy to the simple aim of making their communities – and their country – a better place. Day-in, day out volunteers are making a contribution to every aspect of our society – working with the elderly, supporting young people and reaching out to those in need. Volunteering is as fundamental to British life as rain at Wimbledon or the local pub – and what better way to recognise it than with an Award from Her Majesty in her Diamond Jubilee year.

    Martyn Lewis CBE, Chairman, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award 2012 Committee
For SNAP Cymru, this one off, truly unique award exemplifies the hard work of our dedicated volunteers who are the backbone of the organisation and have made us a significant national charity. Chief Executive Director of SNAP Cymru Denise Inger said “ SNAP Cymru is led by volunteers who give their time, expertise and skills to promote inclusion and enhance education for children, young people and families. Each year around 200 people give their time and expertise. Volunteers are the life blood of the organisation; they make a huge contribution to our work with children, young people and families.

To receive this award, during the Queens’ 2012 Diamond Jubilee year, is even more special; SNAP Cymru staff and volunteers across Wales, will all celebrate our Queens’ recognition to their work with children and families. Volunteering is a two-way process; we value people’s time and commitment. In turn we offer opportunities to share and gain skills, knowledge and expertise through practical and work based accredited training; SNAP Cymru volunteers make an important contribution to our work in communities”.

Lindsay Brewis, avid volunteer and SNAP Cymru’s volunteer Vice Chair said “Volunteering involves both giving and getting so it is the best of both possible worlds. While I freely give my time and expertise, I get the support and warmth that working with dedicated staff and other volunteers gives, as well as training and monitoring to keep my skills up to date.”

Sean Sullivan a volunteer from the South West and Mid Wales team said “I am so proud to be part of SNAP Cymru and to be with them to receive the Queens Award for Voluntary Services during 2012, the Queens’ Diamond Jubilee year. I have gained so much from volunteering; SNAP Cymru has provided me with a completely different outlook on life. From being a recluse at home – after being my father’s carer for several years, volunteering for SNAP Cymru has got me out of the house and helped me with my socialising skills; which were at a low ebb, due to bullying at school which caused me to leave school early and even whilst I received home-tuition the bullying still continued. These experiences left me with severe anxiety and depression and a serious lack of confidence in myself. I didn’t even have the confidence to socialise with the public, my own siblings and I remained isolated at home for several years.
On arrival at SNAP Cymru, I didn’t even have the confidence to answer the phone or even join the staff on their lunch-break. I have now been volunteering as a Project Support Volunteer carrying out administration work for SNAP for around 5 years and during this time I have gradually regained confidence and my self esteem has greatly improved.
Volunteering for SNAP Cymru is one of the best decisions I have made; through volunteering I have had many training opportunities, and have gained accreditation for my learning. I better understand myself and can empathise with other people after attending courses on SEN, Respect Diversity in the workplace and Partnership with Families.
With the support of the Regional Administrator, Mrs Pat Shinner, I now have skills in Administration and Finance; volunteering has boosted my confidence and enabled me to deal with the public, to be included”.

Buckingham Palace will be holding a reception next year for recipients of this Award which SNAP Cymru will be attending to celebrate the past ten years of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Past and present volunteers as well as staff are invited to join in with our celebrations of the announcement of The Queens Diamond Jubilee Award for Volunteering by posting on our social networking sites and joining in the celebrations throughout the coming year. If you, or someone you know is interested in volunteering with us click here to find out more.