Role description for holiday volunteer

Do read the introduction to becoming a holiday volunteer, if you haven't already.

Created January 2021
Role Location: Nationwide
Time Commitment: Approximately 1 day training, 1 week residential holiday
Responsible To: Holiday Leader(s), Holidays and Short Breaks Coordinator


The Volunteering Opportunity

How you can make a difference

Sense Holidays give deafblind or multi-sensory impaired children, young people and adults the opportunity to have fun, meet new people and try new activities. Sense Holidays take place across the UK at a range of venues and are each a week long.

We recognise that our volunteers have a wealth of specialist skills and experience in working alongside the people we support. We prioritise volunteer applications from those who have considerable experience supporting people with complex needs and those who can communicate using British Sign Language.

Volunteering as part of this programme will give you the opportunity to use your incredible skills to make a real difference to supporting children, young people and adults with complex needs to enjoy a holiday tailored to their needs and interests, full of fun and new activities!

Your role will involve:

Each Sense Holiday is supported by a number of volunteers and every holidaymaker will receive at least 1:1 support. Many of our volunteers are linked up with individual holidaymakers, who you will support throughout the week. Other volunteers may work across the group as a whole. The Holidays Team will place you on a holiday best suited to your skill-set, availability and preferences, and your Holiday Leader will share with you your specific role within the holiday group.

Your role will involve:

  • Staying in touch with Sense and your Holiday Leader before and after the Sense Holiday, raising any issues or concerns that may need addressing by the wider team.
  • Attending the equivalent of one full day mandatory training which will be delivered virtually. You may also be asked to complete online e-Learning and if appropriate necessary holiday specific training.
  • You will provide hands on support for the people on the holiday to meet their everyday needs. That may be, but not limited to; supporting them to participate in group activities, making activities accessible to their particular needs, supporting the building of friendships and social communication. You may also be required to support holidaymakers with personal care including, support with eating and drinking, washing, bathing and toileting.
  • Carrying out tasks of daily living, such as cleaning the venue and cooking to maintain a clean and safe living environment.
  • If you have the appropriate training you may be asked to take on additional roles such as driving the minibus or being the groups designated first aider.
  • An Enhanced Disclosure & Barring check will be required for this volunteer role.


Skills & Qualities

Will the role suit me? Yes, if you are:

  • Passionate about Sense and our belief in supporting people with complex disabilities to communicate and experience the world
  • Aged 18 or over. Please note, we can offer a small number of places to those aged 17 who have considerable experience in supporting those with complex needs
  • Experienced supporting those with complex needs. Please note, we can offer a small number of places to those who are less experienced.
  • A skilled communicator who is able to adopt different communication methods to enable communication with people who have multi-sensory impairments
  • Open to new adventures and learning new skills
  • Enthusiastic, cheerful, with a positive attitude and ready to have fun!
  • Patient, warm and friendly
  • Reliable, trustworthy and committed to providing support to those who need it at this time
  • Resilient – there will be times where you are tired or pushed outside of your comfort zone.
  • Respectful of others and their experiences and background; creating an inclusive and welcoming environment.


What can Sense offer me as a volunteer?

  • Full support from our team, including induction and training for this role, and regular on-going support
  • Reimbursement of out of pocket expenses (agreed in advance)
  • Accommodation, food and drink and activities on the Sense Holiday are paid for
  • The chance to practice and use your existing skills to communicate with others
  • The opportunity to develop new skills and knowledge about communicating and working with people with complex communication needs and multi-sensory impairments
  • The chance to get to know new people and make a real difference to the people we support at Sense.

About Sense

For everyone living with complex disabilities. For everyone who is deafblind. Sense is here to offer personalised support to help people communicate and experience the world.

We believe that no one, no matter how complex their disabilities, should be isolated, left out, or unable to fulfil their potential. Our experts offer support that’s tailored to the individual needs of each person, whether that’s at our centres, through our holidays and short breaks, or in people’s own homes.

In addition to practical support, we also provide information to families, and campaign for the rights of people with complex disabilities to take part in life.

Volunteers add real value to Sense, bringing their passion, enthusiasm and fresh perspectives to the work that we do. We believe that volunteers enable us to bring people together, and provide opportunities for people with complex disabilities to communicate and experience the world.

Sense values

We include. We collaborate. We find a way. We challenge. We celebrate.

Apply now to volunteer with Sense Holidays

You can read about the full list of holidays in the 2021 brochure.