When my son was born with a disability I had to give up my full time job which involved long hours and a daily commute into London. I loved my baby, but really missed the challenges and intellectual stimulation I had got from my job.

In 2006 I met a woman at our local support group who had just qualified as a barrister and was volunteering for IPSEA’s fledgling legal team. She was extremely passionate about the work and persuaded me to train as an advice line volunteer (there was no Tribunal helpline then).

I really enjoyed getting stuck into the training and quickly realised how rewarding the experience was going to be. My first few calls were a little daunting, but the buzz I got from knowing I’d made a difference to another parent was amazing!

In 2009 I was offered the opportunity to join IPSEA’s office team, and was able to work around my son’s schooling. I still did the advice line occasionally and got involved in mentoring new volunteers. My current role means I have daily contact with our volunteers and it is a privilege to support such committed, hardworking people.

I am so proud to be involved with IPSEA, and to have seen how far the organisation has come since those early days. Our volunteers really are the backbone of what we do and I will always be glad I took the plunge!

Bonny, Volunteer Programme Assistant

If you’re looking to give your time and want to make a real difference to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), you can find out more about our volunteering opportunities here