Time commitment: Ongoing
Skills required: Good communication, good organisation, commitment
Benefits of volunteering: Be a part of the wish journey and help us to grant life-changing wishes to children with critical illnesses
Why we need you
We need you to be the face of Make-A-Wish for the family and begin the exciting journey that realises a child’s one true wish. Our Wish Visitors play an essential role in exploring the imaginations of children and providing these valuable insights to our Wishgranting team.
We aim to grant over 1,000 wishes each year. It’s a team effort - and we simply can’t do it without you. We’d be asking you to commit to at least 3 visits a year, whilst ensuring that you kept yourself up to date with all relevant updates and training.
Make-A-Wish UK grants life-changing wishes to children with critical illnesses. A wish gives a desperately ill child and their family time away from the daily struggles of living with a serious condition. Since 1986, Make-A-Wish has turned the wishes of more than 12,000 seriously ill children into realities – creating memories to treasure forever, whatever the future may hold.
We are looking for friendly and reliable volunteers who have great listening skills and experience of working with families and children. You’ll be visiting children who have been referred to us, at a time that suits them - and helping them to unlock their wildest imagination to discover their one true wish.
What will I be doing?
- You’ll be calling the family to arrange your visit, and then liaising with another Wish Visitor volunteer to set a date
- You’ll prepare for the visit and do everything you can to ensure that it’s the best possible experience for the child
- During the visit you’ll use a variety of tools and techniques, which will inspire the imagination of the child and help you discover their one true wish
- After the visit you’ll write a summary report of the child’s wish and any other relevant details
- From time to time, you may be encouraged to support the granting of a wish in your area. This may include providing your local knowledge for venues, services etc. It may be helping coordinate activities or you may actually get a chance to be there on the wish day itself!
- You will be expected to complete relevant training and ensure that you keep up to date with Make-A–Wish updates and any changes within our Wishgranting process
- You’ll keep your Volunteer Manager up to date with any significant issues, changes or successes, and will be encourage to keep in contact with your fellow Wish Visitors in your area also
What skills and attributes do I need?
- Ability and confidence in talking to children
- Committed and a desire to put the needs of the family first
- Intuitive ability to react to a family’s situation
- Empathetic, tactful and respectful
- Excellent listening and communication skills
- Written communications skills with the ability to accurately reflect the words and wishes of children
- Recognise the importance of confidentiality
- Be able to maintain professional boundaries
- Be reliable with a degree of flexibility
- Being abreast of popular trends with children and young people
- Have access to a car or local good transport links and be willing to attend wish visits within a 30 mile radius of your home address.
- Access to the Internet and confidence in using it, as well as being a proficient user of Word
How much time do I need to commit?
As a Wish Visitor you’ll carry out at least 3 wish visits a year - you may have the opportunity, and choose to do considerably more! Wish visits can last anything between 30 minutes and two hours! Outside of the visit itself, you’ll also need to make time to contact the family to arrange the visit, and to write the report afterwards. You will also need to factor in travel time.
You’ll need to be flexible as visits are arranged at times convenient to the family – this could be a weekday, evening or weekend - so the more flexible around timings you are, the better!
What support will I be given?
- Online Volunteer Welcome Induction about Make-A-Wish
- Training specific to your role will be provided (you’ll also be required to do some modular training on-line)
- Ongoing support will be provided by your designated Volunteer Manager
- Support and advice from other Wish Visitors and the opportunity to shadow an experienced Wish visitor for the first few visits
- Access to our online Volunteer Community – WishNet - where you’ll be kept up to date with latest Make-A-Wish news and information
- Reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses
What will I get from volunteering?
- Meet new people and make new friends in your community
- The ability to manage the time you give around your current commitments
- First-hand experience and satisfaction in knowing you’re making a real difference to the lives of seriously ill children and young people
- Unique and invaluable experience of working with children and families
Where will I be based?
You’ll be home based but visiting children, young people and their families within a 30 miles radius of where you live.
Please note that we are currently only accepting applications for the role of Wishgranter in the following areas:
- Manchester (particularly Bury/Rochdale/Oldham)
- Birmingham / Coventry
- Stoke-on-Trent / Stafford
- Humber area (Grimsby / Scunthorpe)
- Throughout Norfolk and Suffolk
- East London and Romford/Ilford area
- North London
- Maidstone / Canterbury area
- Luton / St Albans / Milton Keynes area
- Dumfries & Galloway
The organisation is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. An enhanced DBS disclosure will be requested where required
Make-A-Wish is committed to attracting and recruiting diverse candidates as it’s important that our trustees, employees, ambassadors and volunteers reflect the communities we serve at every level within the organisation.
All volunteer roles are subject to an informal interview and two satisfactory references.