People volunteer with Ups and Downs Southwest for many different reasons. Volunteers tell us they joined to make new friends or gain skills and experience. Many of our volunteers have a personal connection with Down Syndrome and have received our support and advice and wish to give something back. Whatever your motivation we would love to hear from you.


How can I help?

Become a Befriender

You will provide emotional support to parents who have a child or young person with Down Syndrome.

The major tasks and responsibilities of volunteer befrienders are:

  • To understand the aims and objectives of the service
  • To undertake the foundation training course
  • To offer empathy, presence (physically and emotionally) and a ‘’listening ear’’ to new parents by meeting either in the new parents home, at a neutral base or through email or telephone communication
  • To agree to regular support meetings with other befrienders, Team Leader and trainer for mutual support and to ensure appropriate skill development and befriending is meeting required standards
  • To accept the codes of practice to which the scheme adheres including, but not limited to, confidentiality, child protection, and equal opportunities; copies of these will be received during training or on appointment
  • To adopt the agreed referral procedure, which will be outlined in writing
  • To be aware of the boundaries of the role sets
  • To be aware of their position as a trusted individual not to unduly influence a new parent by giving direct advice or exerting control over an action to be taken by the new parent

Important Note

Befrienders will receive an official letter of acceptance as a befriender, which will detail the Volunteer Arrangement. Please note that appointment as befriender is subject to completion of the foundation training course, readiness for befriending, satisfactory references and enhanced criminal records check (Disclosure)

If this is of interest to you please contact us.

Become a Volunteer Helper

You could help with our events, organise your own events or help us in the office whatever time and energy you can give us we do appreciate it, and it really does help.

Family Events

We hold 3 Family Events a year, typically Easter, Summer and Christmas, on the weekend. To help with the running of these events we require people to help on our refreshments stand, sign families in, organise the raffle and help to set up and pack away. The maximum help we would ask for each event is 4 hours of your time.  Can you spare 4 hours? Contact us.

Fundraising Events

There are many fundraising events during the year some organised by us others by individuals desperate to help us

Training Courses

We run training courses throughout the year. Can you spare the time to set up and help us with refreshments and food? Contact Us


Could you spare a couple of hours to come and work in our office (tea & coffee provided!) Our newsletter goes out to over 250 people, we need somebody to help with the administration. Could this be you?