Volunteer

Fire service work scheme changing lives of autistic volunteers

A fire service volunteer has gained vital life and social skills thanks to a scheme which helps people with autism.

The Autism Centre for Supported Employment, is a small charity which supports adults with autism, aspersers and learning disabilities into paid employment and work experience placements.

James Guy, from Sheffield, has been volunteering at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, through the scheme, since November 2016, working in the Prevention and Protection department at headquarters in Sheffield, one day a week.

His role involves scanning fire safety plans and data inputting.  James learnt the process very quickly and has scanned nearly 1,000 plans over the last six months.

James, who has autism, says he loves his work at the fire service, citing feelings of value, respect and teamwork for improving his wellbeing.

James, 34, is learning and gaining new skills in a safe environment with staff that he trusts and who have the skills and training to understand and support his needs.

James Guy said; “I like to meet everybody at work and they are very friendly with me, I enjoy the scanning and feel proud that I am working for South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue.”

Sue Butler, Volunteering Co-ordinator at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue said: “James has continued to show excellent commitment to his volunteering role and has learned a lot of new skills since starting work with us which will set him up with important employment skills which he will be able to transfer to future jobs.  The team he works in are really supportive of him, and James seems to love working with them.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue have seven autistic adults volunteering in many different roles throughout the service including scanning, data inputting, filing, assisting the caretaker, working the canteen and much more.

If you are interested in volunteering for South Yorkshire & Fire & Rescue call 0114 253 2413.

This content was last updated on June 09th, 2017