Provide support, companionship and regular interaction with you and your dog for our service users.

Role:                            Dog Support Volunteer

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

Location:                   Islington

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 volunteers with a dog to provide befriending/ buddy support to our service users with a learning disability or autism within our supported living projects.

We have piloted this project already and it is going really well so we want to offer this to more of our service users.

This volunteering hugely benefits our service users through the regular social interaction with the dog as well as the volunteer, whilst also getting the positive effects of getting out and about in the community and in nature, and getting some exercise.

The volunteer and their dog can also show the service users how 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 our service users.
  • Going for walks in the local community/parks.
  • Playing and petting the dog – the service users love to cuddle and stroke animals (sensory gratification).
  • Helping to teach the service user how to keep dogs happy and healthy

Personal Attributes:

  • Volunteer must own a dog.
  • Preferably have experience, professional or personal, with adults with autism, learning disabilities or mental health issues.
  • Kind, warm, friendly and intuitive
  • Excellent communication skills and are ‘people’ persons
  • The ability to adapt to new situations and willing to try new things
  • 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.

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 staff will support service users 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 our service users well-being- helping them get out and about in the community and get some exercise.
  • 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.