Volunteer with us
We welcome applications from anyone interested in volunteering with us, whatever their background. We particularly encourage applications from candidates with disabilities and Black and brown people, who are underrepresented in the field of feeding support.
You can download our volunteering leaflet, which has further details.
Why volunteer with OBS?
OBS aims to educate and empower Oxfordshire families to achieve their own feeding goals. Our facilitators are supported by a wonderful team of volunteers. We couldn't do what we do without them.
New parents need information and support from those who have breastfed. Our trained volunteers understand both the theory and the practical side of breastfeeding. They can offer information on the normal course of breastfeeding, and share ideas and tips that have worked for other families. We also welcome volunteers who can offer their administrative and creative skills to the charity.
"Volunteers are central to everything we do at OBS. Join us to make a difference at a key moment in families' lives, learn new skills and enjoy belonging to a great team."
Jayne Joyce, OBS Project Lead
What do volunteers do?
As an OBS volunteer, you can help us by:
- Supporting at in-person sessions
- Volunteering at online groups
- Responding to posts on our Facebook group
- Helping with fundraising
- Running events
- Managing breast pump loans
- Producing marketing graphics
You can choose what you'd like to do, and how much time you can give. We value all volunteer contributions, and are happy to discuss what volunteering might look like for you.
What roles does OBS offer?
Usually current or former users of OBS who have breastfed a baby for at least 6 months, and completed peer supporter training. Some exceptions may apply, if your experience is outside the normal course of breastfeeding, or you didn't use OBS services. See below for more information on how to train as a Peer Supporter.
"I became a volunteer after receiving help from OBS for my son during the first couple weeks of his life. Having the help and support was invaluable and enabled me to reach my breastfeeding goals. The experience made me feel passionate about breastfeeding support."
Chloe, OBS peer supporter
Accredited breastfeeding counsellors, relevant health professionals (e.g. midwives, health visitors, peadiatricians) and IBCLCs may volunteer with OBS without completing further training, after providing evidence of their credentials and following induction.
“I really enjoy being part of the support system that OBS offers to families wherever they are on their breastfeeding journey. I love meeting the different families and find that my experience and knowledge comes in useful at times."
Vanessa, OBS volunteer health visitor
General volunteers assist with tasks that don't involve provision of direct feeding support, such as administration, fundraising and social media.
“I really enjoy being creative and as a general volunteer I've had the opportunity to make graphics for online and in person sessions. I've loved volunteering for OBS - the team are incredibly warm and welcoming."
Madi, OBS general volunteer
How can I train as an OBS peer supporter?
To train our peer supporters, we use the Peer Supporter Course from the UK breastfeeding support charity Association of Breastfeeding Mothers (ABM). The course involves about 35 hours of online study over 12 weeks, including watching videos and completing exercises. ABM expects applicants to have breastfed for at least 6 months before applying.
If you would like to train as a peer supporter but can't do the ABM course for any reason, please let us know. We are thinking about other ways of training volunteers, so everyone can find a way that works for them.
The OBS team and volunteers
Volunteering with OBS is not only about supporting families, it is also great fun and hugely rewarding to be part of our team. Our friendly volunteer team keeps closely in touch via regular Zoom meetings and WhatsApp, as well as in-person social events. We encourage volunteers to get involved, and welcome their ideas on how to develop our service.
OBS team and volunteers picnic - July 2021
We offer group Supervision for Peer Supporters and Professional Volunteers 3 times a year and expect active volunteers to attend at least once a year. Supervision is a chance to talk about how volunteering is going for you, keep up to date and network with other volunteers.
"Not only is it great to see how families benefit from the assistance and encouragement they get from OBS, but I too benefit from being part of a friendly and kind community of volunteers and facilitators."
Vanessa, OBS volunteer
OBS festive social zoom - December 2021
What to do next
- You can download our volunteering leaflet, which has further details.
- If you would like to volunteer with OBS, please complete our online application form.
- If you would like to train as a Peer Supporter, please register for the ABM course at the same time.
Last updated March 2022