A CHARITY is urgently appealing for more volunteers to help disabled children across Hambleton.

Thirsk Community Care runs a sitting service whereby volunteers look after disabled children to give their parents or carers a few hours’ break.

The sittings sessions can be on a weekly or even monthly basis and can take place on weekdays, weekends or evenings.

The service offers vital respite for parents and carers but the charity does not have enough volunteers to help families who would benefit from it.

There are currently children on the waiting list in the Stokesley, Northallerton and Thirsk areas and Lou Follett-Wileman, coordinator for Thirsk Community Care, is calling on residents who might be able to spare a few hours to volunteer.

Explaining why the charity is finding it particularly difficult to recruit sitters, she said: “I think perhaps people are worried about the level of care that they think they might have to give.

“But at the moment on the waiting list we have a ten-year-old boy with very, very high functioning autism who would not need any kind of medical intervention.

“He has road sense, he has danger awareness, he is just very autistic.

“His mum, who is a single mum, just wants an afternoon off.”

Ms Follett-Wileman said the charity pays for relevant DBS checks and provides comprehensive training and support to all its volunteers.

Volunteers matched with a child with specific medical care needs would be trained in administering relevant medications, supported by Thirsk Community Care.

Ms Follett-Wileman said: “We are the only charity in this are offering this sort of service for little ones and we could be helping so many more children if we had enough volunteers.”

She added that parents usually have to resort to placing their children in resource centres which can be disruptive to children with particular needs. Prospective volunteers can call 01845-523115 or lou.wileman@thirskcommunitycare.org.uk