Can you help to ‘lend a hand’?

Corin (age 5) has autism and benefits from the Lend A Hand short break care initiative
Corin (age 5) has autism and benefits from the Lend A Hand short break care initiative

Volunteers are being sought by a Dysart-based organisation that offers short break care for children with learning disabilities and their families.

Lend A Hand is urging Fifers to consider whether they could offer a few hours or more to be a friend to a child and their family.

The service provides the chance for young people with a learning disability to visit another family or individual on a regular and planned basis.

People can help by welcoming a child into their own home for short visits, which can vary in length from a few hours to a full weekend depending on the volunteer’s commitments and the needs of the child and family.

They can also help by taking a child out for a few hours or a day.

Trish McGlynn, project co-ordinator, said: “Short breaks give children and young people the chance to make new friends and to undertake various activities.

“They also provide parents the opportunity to spend time with other children they might have as well as having a much needed break.

“Short Break Carers enjoy the fun they have when with the child/young person they support as well as the positive relationships they build with their families and the wider community.”

A robust induction course is undertaken by all volunteers.

One youngster who benefits from the service - as do his family - is five year old Corin, who has autism.

His mum explained: “There are so many of us in the family that we were struggling to spend time with the other kids because with Corin, you have to have eyes in the back of your head!

‘‘Trying to look after him, as well as the others was becoming a bit much.”

Corin’s parents sought additional support and through the initiative, managed by Enable Scotland, Corin now enjoys spending two nights a month with volunteers.

Corin’s mum added: “The impact on Corin has been great and we’re able to spend more time with the other children without watching Corin all the time.

‘‘For his dad and I it’s a chance to have a break but at the same time we don’t have to feel bad because we know he is happy and having fun.”

To find out more call (01592) 659295 or please email