We are looking for volunteer “family pals” for our ‘Family Leadership Adventure Break on the 5th to 7th April 2013 in the Cavan Centre, Ballyjamesduff..  Your role would be to support the families involved in the weekend, to join in and have as much fun as possible and to learn a little about family leadership at the same time. 

What experience do I need to have?

We are looking for people who have an interest in supporting people with disabilities and their families to have a good time together. You do not have to have prior experience of working with people with disabilities as we will provide you with support and supervision for the weekend. Most importantly we believe that families are experts in their own experience and will guide you in the way they require support.

Previous “Family Pals” have been tradesmen, students, teachers, business owners, people who are job seeking and trying new things, youth workers, administrators

 All volunteers must be open to a Garda Clearance check and provide two referees

Volunteers must be 18 or over

What Do I Have to Do?

Volunteers are matched with a family based on hobbies, interests, gender and location. You will receive some information about the family you are working with prior to the weekend and you will get to know them over the course of the weekend. On Friday evening we spend time getting to know each other before starting into a busy weekend of activities. Activities are both outdoor and indoor. Please see www.cavancentre.ie for more details.

What training will I receive?

Each individual is different and so we spend time asking families about the specific support their family will need over the weekend. You will have been matched to your family before you arrive and have spoken to the volunteer coordinator and possibly the family about their expectations in advance of coming to the Cavan Centre. Volunteer Induction take place at 4.30pm on the Friday. Evening round ups take place each evening to check in with all volunteers, see how their day went and get ready for the day ahead and on Sunday to give volunteers a chance to wind down before going home. Project leaders and Cavan Centre staff are available at all times.


  • Be open to a contact from a participating family prior to the weekend
  • Be available at the Cavan Centre for the full weekend (Fri 16:30 – Sun 16:30)
  • Have an interest in health, fitness and adventure activities
  • Be on time in providing support for the participating families
  • Supervise the safety of the family member you are working with for the Saturday afternoon and Sunday mornings when parents are not available
  • Support the family member you are working with so that they can safely be included in the appropriate adventure challenges on site
  • Work with the Cavan Centre activity leaders to provide simple, clear instructions and demonstrations around the use of the different adventure challenges
  • Take the lead from the family on any special support / care needs that a person may require
  • Get involved themselves in the Cavan Centre activities


  • Be responsible for babysitting / sole care of a person in isolation from anybody else
  • Provide any special care / support needs that they have not be trained for or are not fully supported in providing
If you are interested in hearing more about our volunteering opportunities please contact Claire on 086 1931227 or leapireland@gmail.com