Provide support, companionship and regular interaction with you and your dog for one of our service users in the Barnet area.

Role:                            PBS (Positive Behaviour Support) Dog Volunteer

Supported by:         Housing Project Manager/ Key Worker & Volunteer Coordinator

Location:                   EN4 Barnet area

Length of commitment: 6 months minimum
Frequency: Usually once a week
Estimated total hours: Once per week for 1 to 2 hours (any day of the week), between 12.00 and 20.00.


Purpose of this role:

We are recruiting a volunteer with a dog to attend a supported living home with a complex service user with autism and mental health issues. The service user loves animals and especially dogs. His long-term goal is to get his own dog one day so he needs some practice in looking after a dog. The volunteer and their dog can help the service user prepare to be a good dog owner by going for walks, petting and playing together, learning how dogs interact with other dogs and how to keep dogs happy and healthy.

Key Tasks/Activities:

  • Providing companionship and regular interaction with you and your dog for the service user.
  • Going for walks in the local community/parks.
  • Playing and petting the dog – the service user loves to cuddle and stroke animals (sensory gratification).
  • Helping to teach the service user how to keep dogs happy and healthy and recognise that a dog is a big responsibility.

Personal Attributes:

  • Preferably have experience, professional or personal, with adults with autism and mental health issues.
  • Smiley, kind and soft spoken – the service user responds well to people who are very smiley and kind.
  • Being able to keep professional boundaries and stick to guidelines and risk assessments.
  • Discretion and ability to keep information confidential.
  • Ability to adhere to Centre 404’s mission statement and values, and use a person centred based approach when working with others.
  • Smaller dogs preferable.

Required Training (Provided by Centre 404):

  • Adult Safeguard Training
  • Induction to Centre 404 and Housing Induction
  • First Aid Training + PBS (Positive Behaviour Support) *subject to availability*
  • Service User Specific Induction (provided by the project manager).

Responsibilities and Additional Notes:

The service user is supported 24 hours a day by two staff members, therefore the volunteer and their dog would never be left alone with the service user in any circumstance e.g. in the community, in the home etc. The staff will support the service user to engage appropriately and keep safe. Volunteers will have meetings with the Project Manager at least every 6-8 weeks to report how things are going for the volunteer and service user.


Role specific:

  • Good experience of working with adults with complex needs and behaviours.
  • Rewarding experience to contribute to the service user’s long-term life goal.
  • Dog will get lots of love and attention!


  • An induction to the role and a Volunteer Handbook full of useful information.
  • Reimbursement of out of pocket travel expenses relating to your volunteer placement (up to £5 per session).
  • Ongoing support and supervision with the Volunteer Coordinator.
  • Any identified training required to enable you to perform the volunteer role to the best of your ability, which will be arranged by and paid for by Centre 404.
  • After 3 months as a Centre 404 volunteer, we will provide a reference if required for paid work or for other purposes.
  • Protection through Centre 404’s employee liability insurance policy whilst on the premises or engaged in any work on behalf of Centre 404.
  • Opportunities to meet other Centre 404 volunteers to share experiences.
  • Invitation to Volunteer Events, Volunteer Week Celebrations and the Centre 404 Annual General Meeting Summer Garden Party.
  • Centre 404’s bi-annual newsletter.


This role requires that strict confidentiality be maintained with respect to all information obtained by volunteers in the course of their duties, as it relates to staff, volunteers, and service users.  Volunteers are to adhere to the signed ‘Confidentiality Agreement’ completed upon induction.

If confidentially is breached it will be taken seriously by Centre 404, and may result in release from voluntary service.

Other Information

The recruitment of all volunteer placements adhere to Centre 404’s equal opportunities policy. All volunteers are required to complete a DBS check as our building acts as a centre for children. All volunteer placements are also subject to references.