What is the service?  

This service is a free service delivered by trained volunteers who can provide peer support to other parent/carers caring for a child or young person with MCAS or suspected MCAS. This service has been created to provide support to the most vulnerable members of the MCAS community.  

All of our parent and carer support volunteers have personal experience of parenting or caring for a child with MCAS or suspected MCAS. Volunteers are trained in Safeguarding, Active Listening and Suicide Prevention as well as providing DBS checks for security purposes.

Our volunteers can provide around eight sessions of support via your preferred communication method whether that is via phone calls, text messages, WhatsApp messages, emails or postal letters.  

How do I access the service?  

This service is for adults, so you will need to be aged over 18 and have a child with MCAS or suspected MCAS in order to make use of the service.   Please complete our online referral form. You can access the referral form through our website.  

We aim to get in touch with you within 7-10 days of you submitting our online form. We will then try to match you with a suitable volunteer. We match service users and volunteers by availability, skills, experience and compatibility. We will contact you to let you know if we have been able to successfully match you with a parent/carer supporter and introduce you to your supporter.  

If we are unable to find a suitable match, we will contact you to discuss other support which may be available and can add you to our waiting list so that you can be matched with a supporter when a suitable volunteer becomes available.  

How can the volunteers help?  

Volunteers can support you by:  

  • Sharing personal experiences  
  • Offering emotional support  
  • Signposting information and resources  
  • Support with advocacy and Empowerment  

Volunteers do not write reports on your conversations. All conversations between you and your volunteer will be treated as confidential unless your supporter has a Safeguarding concern, if this happens, your supporter will follow our safeguarding procedure.  Please email enquiries to info@mastcellaction.org.

Receiving Support  

Once you have been matched with a volunteer parent/carer supporter, you will be introduced to them using a suitable format – for example by email or you may be given a contact number.   

Receiving feedback is really important for us and helps us show funders the difference we are making as well as helping us make our services better, so please complete our feedback form about the service after you have had your last support session.   

This service is about empowerment, reassurance and validation. Hopefully, after you have received your eight sessions of support you feel empowered to move on to other forms of support such as joining our online events, and our Facebook and WhatsApp groups.  

In need of help?  

We know that living with MCAS can be tough. We are here to help, but sadly we can't be available 24/7.  

If you are having a difficult time and need to speak to someone, you can call Samaritans on 116 123.   

If you prefer to text, Shout are here for you on 85258. Shout is a free, confidential, anonymous text support service. You can text from wherever you are in the UK.  

If you are a young person or are concerned about a young person, contact Papyrus on 08000 68 4141.  

If your life is at imminent risk, please call 999 for immediate help.  

Interested in Volunteering? 

Your community needs you.

We are looking for UK-based volunteers to provide one-to-one support to parents/carers of people with MCAS for our exciting new peer support services.

Volunteers offer emotional support to those accessing the service, sharing knowledge and experiences. These will be dedicated support services for the most vulnerable members of our community. This is an exciting opportunity for those who wish to support others to ‘give back’ and feel valued in being able to make a difference in their communities. 

Volunteers will need to be patient, empathetic, compassionate, have good communication and listening skills and have lived-experience of caring for a child with MCAS or suspected MCAS. If you can spare around one hour a week and would like to apply, fill out this form here

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