Thinking of volunteering? Become a parent champion volunteer
Here in Slough, we are very lucky to have a Parent Champion Volunteer scheme, a volunteering opportunity for any parent or grandparent who lives in Slough, and can spare up to five hours per week promoting various services to other families within their local area.
Services are using somewhere such as the library, attending a children’s centre or joining in with activities such as those provided by Active Slough either by yourself or with your child/grandchild. How about a DUPLO® LEGO® session or storytime?
Possibly your child has needed to use the Speech and Language Service, or you have needed support with your child who has an additional need. This is the sort of information you can share with others if you become a Parent Champion Volunteer!
To be a Parent Champion you don’t have to know everything. All your experiences, no matter how small they may seem to you, are worthwhile and can be of great benefit to a family in Slough. Parent’s often find it easier to ask other parents for information as they understand situations having also experienced them. They trust them and know they will get an honest opinion or recommendation.
If you want more information about this rewarding and exciting opportunity contact the Family Information Service on 01753 476 589 and ask for Sandra Watkins or Sharon Hodge or email: FIS@slough.gov.uk you can also find out more by looking www.slough.gov.uk/jobs/volunteering-opportunities.aspx
Two of our Parent Champion Volunteers tell us what a difference it has made to them.
I became a Parent Champion last Summer. I utterly love my role as a volunteer where I give a few hours a week talking to other parents about the local services available to them, especially childcare and early year’s services.
I was inspired by this role for quite some time, as they supported me when I needed it most. I am the mother of an additional needs child, she is 6 years old. When she was born and the news was broken about her disability, it shattered me completely. I was devastated and didn’t accept the news for quite some time.
We have ten children’s centres in Slough, who have been my back bone since the birth of my daughter. They directed me to family services, and worked really hard to help my daughter. They even persuaded me to bring her to the mother and toddler groups, stay and play sessions, when I didn’t have the courage to face the world with my child.
Whoever meets my daughter Khadeejah sees she’s a bright little girl, full of confidence, and ready to shine. It’s my time to give back to my community, and other parents, who have a language barrier, or are shy, or want to talk to someone who’s not official.
Becoming a Parent Champion has boosted my confidence, I have managed to get a part-time job with children, and alongside work I am studying.
I moved to England from Pakistan in 2008 but I recently moved to Slough with my two kids - who are 8 and 4. I had become a single parent and it was quite hard to move with two children to another town. When I came here my younger son was two years old, I didn’t know he was eligible for two years funding but my support worker told me. I was so happy, then I started English class to improve my English which is still continuing, and have joined a math class as well.
It was hugely beneficial for me and my son too! He started to learn to play with other kids and share with them. I wanted to apply for volunteer work and chose to be a Parent Champion in Slough. I’m so glad I chose the right work for me; I enjoy my job and helping people in the community.
As a Parent Champion I found sometimes parents feel more comfortable to talk with other parents as they prefer it rather than talk to a professional person. My children attend a local school, so being a Parent Champion I have become a familiar face at school. I have received lots of training like attending safeguarding training, inset day, and focus groups which were really helpful not only for me but also beneficial for the parents too. Being a Parent Champion makes me feel proud, and in the future I want to continue working with parents and giving them information about Slough services. I was extremely proud to win an award for my work in 2019.