//]]> The National Autistic Society

Branch Chair Volunteer – Dartford and Gravesham Branch

Location: Dartford

Closing Date: 28 February 2022

Interview date (w/c): n/a

Salary (or hourly rate): volunteer

Contract Type: Volunteer

Hours per week: Flexible and variable approx 5 hours per week

Branch Chair Volunteer – Dartford and Gravesham Branch

Who we are:

The National Autistic Society is here to transform lives, change attitudes and create a society that works for autistic people.

We transform lives by providing support, information and practical advice for the 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK, as well as their three million family members and carers. Since 1962, autistic people have turned to us at key moments or challenging times in their lives, be it getting a diagnosis, going to school or finding work.

We change attitudes by improving public understanding of autism and the difficulties many autistic people face. We also work closely with businesses, local authorities and government to help them provide more autism-friendly spaces, deliver better services and improve laws.

Why we need you

The charity has over 100 branches and groups, all run by volunteers, who provide local support to autistic people and their families. Every branch is different and so are the activities they provide – they may run parent support groups, adult social groups, children’s activities, conferences or focus on providing information or campaigning. However, no matter how big or small, all branches are hugely valued by the people in their local area. 

The branch chair role is vital to the running of the branch as they act as a leader and a coordinator for the branch. Without these roles, we would not have as many branches as we do

What you will be doing

  • Lead (and chair) committee meetings and public meetings. This also involves setting out what needs to be discussed at meetings, ensuring that each issue is covered and that other people have a chance to speak.
  • Represent the branch at external meetings e.g. with local services for people with autism
  • Allocate tasks to other people involved in your branch
  • Raise the profile of the NAS within your branch and local community
  • Ensure your branch complies with NAS policies including risk assessment, data protection and safeguarding
  • Monitor branch income and expenditure in partnership with the treasurer
  • Countersign and authorise all cheque payments
  • Co-ordinate and promote local campaigns and bring others on board to help you
  • Support fundraising in your branch
  • Act as a key contact for the NAS, keeping the Senior Branch Engagement Officer up to date on branch activities

Skills, experience and qualities useful for the role (but not essential)

  • Confident in working with and communicating with other committee members, and individuals and organisations outside of the Branch. This communication will need to be face to face, by telephone and/or email.
  • Confident and comfortable speaking publicly
  • Able to motivate people and help people work together
  • Able to tackle difficult issues and problems and situations and involve other people where necessary
  • Supportive of the NAS
  • Ability to listen and involve others in the group and not to dominate
  • Ability to fulfil financial requirements of the role

When and where

  • Flexibility on days and the amount of time committed to the role. The majority of branch chairs give around 5 hours a week but it depends how active the branch is.
  • Home based (plus travel to branch activities)

Support

  • Designated Senior Branch Engagement Officer to answer any queries and support you with the day to day running of the branch.
  • Written guidance on a range of branch activities
  • Various training courses relevant to running a branch
  • Insurance cover for all branch activities
  • Expenses covered for attendance at any event organised by the branch support team.

What you could get out of it

  • Improve support to autistic people and their families in your local area
  • Access free training and learn new skills
  • Meet new people 

We seek applications from anyone interested in the role, but particularly welcome applications from those on the autism spectrum. 

Whilst we are able to make reasonable adjustments for volunteers you will need to be able to volunteer independently as we are not able to offer one to one support. 

You will be asked to attend some branch meetings and also have knowledge of the local area so we ask that you live locally to be able to do this role. 

We process applications as we receive them, we will close the role when we recruit a suitable volunteer, consequently the role may close before the advertised closing date.  

If you have any difficulties with the application process or questions about this role please contact volunteers@nas.org.uk

Apply now