Become a Volunteer Mentor with Leeds Autism AIM

About us:

Leeds Autism AIM is part of The Advonet Group. AIM is a free advocacy, information and mentoring service run for and co-led by autistic adults, providing low-level support to autistic adults in Leeds that have little or no funded support in place. We aim to help autistic adults build their potential by improving access to information and services through:

Mentoring

  • Time-limited, structured support to identify
  • Develop a clear plan to overcome any barriers
  • Help people achieve their life choices

Advocacy

  • Advocacy around benefits
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Mentoring

Information, Access, Signposting and the Hub

  • Help to Access Services
  • Self-Advocacy Resources
  • Information, Hub appointments, groups, workshops and drop in service
  • Online information through our website, discord group, email or phone

Peer support

  • One-to-One Peer Support
  • Post-Diagnostic Support
  • Peer Support Groups

Health Access

  • GP Health Access Project
  • Yorkshire Autism AIM Mental Health Equity Project
  • Partnerships with the NHS, Third Sector and other Health and Social Care services

Mentor Role description:

We are looking for volunteers to join Leeds Autism AIM’s mentoring programme. The Autism Mentor volunteers are an integral part of our innovative service. We want to enable people with relevant skills and experience to use them for the benefit of those who need them.

The time, expertise, knowledge, and skills that you give, will help to make it easier for people to change Leeds for the better. We also know that it will help you to gain experience, learn new skills, meet new friends, or develop new interests.

We require reliable people who have a patient and empowering approach. We welcome applications from people with experience of autism either personally or professionally. However, we also welcome applications from people with a specific interest in autism and willingness to learn from training and from the people they support.

You need to have the ability to accept people as they are but also be able to motivate, think creatively and show persistence in helping people address barriers to living the life they choose. You will also need to have the ability to help plan clearly and to work on your own initiative in the community.

Role duties:

  • You will be matched to a person with autism who is wanting Mentor support.
  • To meet an autistic adult regularly for 6-18 months either at the Lovell Park Autism Hub, The Advonet Office, in the client’s home or remotely via Microsoft Teams.
  • Commit to meet mentee for 2 hours a week, fortnight or month during weekdays 9am–7pm.
  • Able to be flexible when working with a mentee.
  • Get to know your mentee and help identify goals.
  • Develop a structured plan to achieve identified goals and help to overcome any barriers to achieving these goals with the client.
  • Provide information to help the client make choices and help to build confidence.
  • Provide support to develop strategies to manage independently day to day
  • Help the client to access necessary services and ultimately empower them to reach their goals.
  • To advocate, to protect their rights and support mentee to speak up for themselves.

Volunteering with AIM

As part of mentoring, you will receive an initial induction as well as two days training in autism awareness and mentoring.

We highly value our volunteers and will enable you to build and use your individual skills. After full training and induction, we will support you in initial introductions with the person and in developing a structured plan. We will provide ongoing support as you need it and regular supervision support from an hour every two month. As well as access to additional training, all expenses are covered by the organisation.

We have an inclusive volunteering policy and particularly welcome applications from autistic adults. We have successfully worked alongside autistic volunteers across all aspects of the AIM service who have co-led on many aspects and this has greatly enhanced our service.

We aim to build on this in future and have autistic adults leading our training delivery.  We also welcome applications all adults of any age group or from people with lived experience of physical disability, mental illness, being LGBTQ+ and/or being POC/BAME.

Interested people are invited to contact us for more information. You will then be invited to a Volunteer Information Event or an informal meeting where you will be issued with an application pack.

Once we receive your application form, we apply for references and a DBS check. A DBS check is required for anyone volunteering, or paid, to work with vulnerable people. We ask that you are open and honest with us from the very beginning and talk to us about any concerns you might have, we make no blanket rules about whether you can undertake a role if you have any information on your DBS.

Each case is taken on an individual basis and we are committed to making sure volunteering is accessible. Once this is completed, your induction can begin.

If you have a skill that you would like to offer us and that you think would benefit our organisation, even though it may not match any of the roles outlined below, then we are always happy to talk to you about it. There are also opportunities to be involved in other areas of this project and access to wider opportunities within The Advonet Group.

Our next training sessions:

  • Working With Autistic Adults Training – Saturday 16th July 2022 10:30am – 3:30pm
  • Mentoring Training – Saturday 30th July 2022 11:30am – 3:30pm
  • Induction – Wednesday 3rd August 5pm – 8pm

Contact Information:

Beth MacDonald

Autism Volunteer Co-ordinator

Tel: 0113 244 0606 / 0113 205 6532

Email: beth.macdonald@advonet.org.uk