Why I volunteer | Pauline
Pauline started volunteering to support her son’s group, but has now taken on a specialist role helping to make sure young people with additional support needs can enjoy Scouts. She tells us more about what she does and why it matters.
"I help with a Scout Group for young people with additional support needs. The young people attend a specialist school and the Scout Group is attached to the school. The Scouts who attend this Group are wheelchairs users and have a range of abilities. I am part of a large group of volunteers who help provide support and assistance to the Scouts and the Leaders.
"I really enjoy working with the young people. Some of our Scouts are non-verbal so it can be a challenging environment to work in but it’s so rewarding when you start to see relationships develop.
"I think that my greatest achievement is that I have had the opportunity to encourage and support so many young people achieve their aims and grow in confidence."
"I am also a member of the Scouts Scotland’s Additional Needs Team and I offer advice and support to Leaders who have young people with Additional Support Needs in their Groups.
"Children with additional support needs have as much a right to benefit from all that Scouting can offer as everyone else. However, Groups and Leaders can sometimes lack the confidence to support them fully. My role can assist with this. All volunteers have talents that can help our young people so we need to be supportive of each other as Leaders and benefit from the expertise available.
"Outside of volunteering, I work with young children on the autistic spectrum. I work in nurseries and schools to help support children, their families and staff maintain the children’s mainstream placements. I’m also a mother of two children. My younger son has Down’s Syndrome and has bi-lateral hearing loss, meaning that he wears two hearing aids.
"Through volunteering with Scouts, I have been able to expand my knowledge of additional support needs and also work with an older age range than I do in my job.
"Before volunteering with Scouts, I had never camped before and have now accompanied my younger son to various camps, both under canvas and in lodges. I have met so many people from very diverse backgrounds and experiences who all have in common a commitment to the principles of Scouting.
"However, I think that my greatest achievement is that I have had the opportunity to encourage and support so many young people achieve their aims and grow in confidence."
Whatever your age, experience or background, there are so many ways to volunteer for Scouts. Whether you want to work with young people or support with administration, finance or communications, we’re always looking for passionate and energetic people to get involved and share their skills. Our volunteers receive plenty of support and training.
Support for inclusion
If you’re a Leader looking for support, advice or guidance about how to deliver Scouting for young people with Additional Support Needs, get in touch with the Additional Support Needs teams.