Volunteering: Respite Break Assistant

Outfit Moray runs series of week long residential programmes designed to offer respite breaks for children from vulnerable backgrounds in the Moray area.

The breaks will be based in residential settings either in the Highlands and we can take a maximum of 16 children (ideally 8 boys/8 girls). Children are referred from different professional agencies, voluntary organisations and schools across the area.

Respite Assistant

What is the background of the children?

The children come from various backgrounds. Children may be young carers, which means they have some level of caring responsibility, this could be helping to look after a sibling or perhaps having responsibilities in the home of getting siblings ready for school, preparing meals or caring for a parent. Alternatively children may come from backgrounds where they have suffered abuse or witnessed abuse within the home. Children may be bullied, may live in extreme poverty or may be in care. It is imperative that every child is supported sensitively, on a non-deficit basis and not probed about their home situation, if they wish to talk to you about home they will.

How many volunteers are on an Outfit Moray break?

We take a maximum of 8 volunteer mentors on each break (ideally 4 male & 4 female) but will welcome other volunteers to help with organisational tasks and activities. As a volunteer mentor you will work closely with and support 2 or 3 children during the week.

What skills do I need to help?

As a volunteer your main role is to be a role model and to interact as much as possible with the children, being supportive and encouraging as they challenge themselves and strive to achieve new goals. In effect the critical role of volunteers is to make a difference to the lives of those young people on each activity week.

Join in with the children’s games and during outdoor learning and adventure activities. If you have a particular activity you do not want to participate in, we understand and respect this. Share duties with other volunteers and support each other being aware of the programme and how you can assist with the range of activities.

What training and support will I get?

This role carries an additional responsibility to our usual activities and as such will come with additional training over and above our routine volunteer training programme for outdoor learning assistants. We will run a number of induction and training programmes in preparation for the actual respite weeks where you will be given additional information on what the role involves so you are able to decide if it is for you.

This role requires a particular skillset, as already mentioned, but the rewards from helping the children have already been identified by volunteers as some of the greatest you can experience.