Volunteering with Amma Birth Companions is an incredible way to support women and birthing people who would otherwise give birth alone. We provide care, information, and advocacy to ensure parents experiencing multiple disadvantages can give birth and parent safely and with dignity. 

Amma offers a completely unique doula training. In addition to learning about birth and the postpartum period, our volunteers are taught how to provide culturally safe, trauma informed care and advocacy.  

We greatly value the contributions of our volunteers, who make our work possible. This is why we invest an enormous amount of time and effort into each volunteer. We aim to promote and nurture volunteer wellbeing through the support of a dedicated volunteer manager and regular peer support meetings facilitated by a mental health professional. 

Volunteering Opportunities

We offer several volunteer roles designed to suit a range of availabilities and interests.

Companion Roles

Companion volunteers generally work as part of a small team which may include birth and/or pregnancy companions. Each case is overseen and coordinated by a Perinatal Team Leader, who will ensure that safe, appropriate and trauma informed support is always provided. All volunteers are managed by our Volunteer Manager. Across the organisation, we have several experienced doulas, midwives and infant feeding experts who can assist as necessary.

Birth Companion

The role of the volunteer Birth Companion (BC) is integral to Amma’s work. Birth companions offer emotional and practical support during labour and birth to clients who might otherwise give birth alone.

BCs support clients primarily during labour and birth but will ideally meet the client at least once before giving birth. BCs are expected to be on-call from the 37th week of their client’s pregnancy until birth.

Click here for more full information on the role and required skills and experience

Pregnancy and Birth Companion

The role of the volunteer Pregnancy & Birth Companion (PBC) is integral to Amma’s work. PBCs offer voluntary emotional and practical support during pregnancy and birth, and for a short period following birth. Please note: This is a time-intensive role with unpredictable hours.

PBC’s support clients in their homes, at hospital appointments, and during birth. PBC’s are typically expected to be part of an on-call roster from the 37th week of pregnancy until birth.

Click here for more full information on the role and required skills and experience

Postnatal Companion

Postnatal companions (PCs) work voluntarily to provide practical and emotional support to parents during the postnatal period.

PCs provide postnatal support from one to eight weeks following birth, depending on the complexity of the clients’ needs. The level of support PCs provide is gradually reduced over this timeframe until parents are ready to confidently exit our 1:1 service and/or transition to peer support. We aim to let PCs know in advance of taking on a new client how long the support is anticipated to last and assign volunteers according to availability.

Click here for more full information on the role and required skills and experience

Parent Supporter

Volunteer Parent Supporters offer emotional and practical support to our clients during late pregnancy and the early postpartum period. This is an ad hoc role designed for volunteers with limited availability or inflexible schedules.

Parent Supporters are typically not assigned to one specific client. Instead, tasks are assigned to Parent Supporters according to their specified availability. Parent Supports assist clients in their homes, at hospital appointments, and occasionally at Amma’s office.

Click here for more full information on the role and required skills and experience

Other Volunteer Roles

Delivery Driver

The volunteer delivery person will support the organisation by helping us to reduce the costs of cab fare and provide a safe and trustworthy support for clients receiving items into their home.

Ways that a volunteer delivery person may support us include:
     • Picking up and dropping off baby items (e.g., pram, baby furniture, supplies)
     • Carrying items into clients’ home, potentially helping to set up item (e.g., cot)
     • Supporting Amma to deliver gifts to clients during holiday period

Click here for more full information on the role and required skills and experience

Language Supporter

Language Supporter volunteers will accompany staff members, companion volunteers, and other specialist perinatal supporters on home visits and in-office appointments to interpret for clients during their pre-and postnatal periods.

Currently our most required languages are Arabic, Kurdish Sorani, Vietnamese, Mandarin and Albanian, but we would be happy to receive applications for any language.

Interpreting support is tailored to each Language Supporter’s skill level, as well as the client’s needs, but may include:
       • Interpreting information about rights, processes, and choices in relation to birth and pregnancy
       • Interpreting conversations about sensitive topics, such as experiences of trauma
       • Interpreting discussions about clients’ wider support needs to enable our Perinatal Team Leaders to signpost/make onward referrals

Click here for more full information on the role and required skills and experience

Event Supporter

Event Support Volunteer

The event support role is a dynamic and fun volunteering opportunity. We're looking for flexible and friendly volunteers to welcome participants and their babies to our vibrant and busy regular group events, and provide practical support before, during and after.

Ways that an event supporter may help out include:
     • Practical support to create a safe and welcoming environment for participants
     • Engaging with a diverse group of participants to help them feel welcome and support a positive group dynamic
     • Support with children in the group, which may include holding babies or entertaining children so their parents can engage in groupo activities. (Parents and Amma staff will always be present)

Click here for more full information on the role and required skills and experience

Frequently Asked Questions

Our clients include refugees, people seeking asylum, survivors of human trafficking, and other birthing people experiencing multiple disadvantages. 

Our volunteers come from all walks and stages of life and that’s what makes the team so great! We do ask that our volunteers:  

  • Can speak, read and write English to a good standard 
  • Live within (or can easily commute to) Glasgow 
  • Have the time to dedicate to both training and volunteering 
  • Can work and communicate well within a team
  • Are compassionate and non-judgmental
  • Agree to a PVG check 

We have an intensive volunteer training and shadowing programme which will teach you the rest, and ongoing staff support who are there for you at every turn.  

We are inclusive of all women (CIS and trans). We welcome non-binary, intersex and gender non-conforming people who share or have shared lived experiences of women’s issues and are comfortable in a space that centres women. 

We are so appreciative of all the time and effort that our volunteers give to the charity. We do not want our volunteers to be out of pocket for supporting clients:  

  • We cover travel expenses for training and volunteering (we simply ask that volunteers try to take the least expensive form of public transport available). 

  • For volunteers who do not have access to a computer and/or the internet, we can provide technological resources.

  • For volunteers who are in the asylum system themselves and have no access to childcare during in-person training, we have a small budget to reimburse childcare costs (please note that we are not able to cover childcare costs while supporting clients).

  • Each active volunteer is provided with an Amma phone. In addition to ensuring that you will not incur communication costs, this will also protect your privacy and boundaries when working with clients.  
  • Prior to meeting in person there is a component of self-paced online study (between 10-15 hours depending on the role you have applied for).

  • In person training is spread over two months and takes place in our Glasgow city centre office. Every session is on a different topic and is vital to the companionship role.
     
  • As soon in-person training begin, trainees are encouraged to start shadowing real cases, observing staff members as they meet with actual clients. 

  • Following completion of training and shadowing, companions are signed off and can begin signing up for their own cases. 

When you join Amma you are joining a diverse community of people who are passionate and caring. It’s a supportive place to make friends while embarking on a journey of self-exploration. The support our volunteers offer makes a tangible impact on real people experiencing hardship, and the training and staff support equips you to take that on without feeling out of your depth or burning out. Witnessing birthing people transition into parenthood and spending time with brand new babies is an incredible privilege that never gets old.  

It is difficult to witness the many systemic injustices and disparities that our clients are facing, and to sometimes feel powerless to help. This is why it’s so important that volunteers attend supervision and lean on the support of the wider team.

Here at Amma we strive to create an inclusive environment. We recognise that different people learn in different ways and at different speeds. Most of our online training contains videos instead of reading, and much of our in-person sessions are experiential and discussion based. Outside of the in-person sessions, each volunteer works at their own pace towards sign off.  

Some of the roles have physical requirements. Birth companions, in particular, perform physically demanding duties that involve standing for long periods and providing physical support to the labouring parent.

If you have a physical disability and are interested in volunteering with us, please reach out to our Volunteer Manager, Jenny Block, to discuss possibilities.  

We have composed a trauma informed doula training that includes both external and internal facilitators. Our training explores different ways of learning, promotes discussion and connection between participants, and leaves our volunteers feeling supported and excited to enter the vital field of birth work.  

Topics for the induction training include:  

  • Working through a trauma informed lens
  • Boundaries and confidentiality
  • The experiences of our client group
  • Understanding the asylum process
  • Safeguarding, allyship and privilege
  • Birth experiences and interventions
  • Supporting survivors in the birth space
  • Supporting active birth and oxytocin
  • Introduction to infant feeding
  • Supporting the postpartum parent
  • Advocacy
  • Infant first aid  
  • Food hygiene 

We also provide ongoing training opportunities to support volunteers in their roles. 

It’s important to recognise that this is expansive and amazing work but also can be challenging at times. It’s bigger than the average volunteer role. You should only apply to train and volunteer with us if you have time to dedicate and feel that you are in a steady and supported place in your personal life.  

In exchange for all that we invest in our companions, we ask our volunteers to commit to supporting at least two Amma clients over the course of a year (although many of our volunteers stay on far beyond that initial commitment). 

Please read through the role descriptions to learn more about the time commitments for each role.  

Volunteer companion applications are accepted on a rolling basis, so even if you can’t make the next round of training you are still welcome to apply.

Companion training takes place at our Glasgow city centre office twice per year (January-March, April-June). 

The next companion recruitment and training dates are:

  • Application deadline: 1st March 2024
  • Interviews (via Zoom): 28 Feb-20 March 2024
  • Self paced online training: March-April 2024
  • In-person training timeline: April-June 2024 (dates and times listed below – All in person and all mandatory)
Weekend Workshops: 

19/20 April 2024 (fri/sat all day) 

10/11 May 2024 (fri/sat all day)
* (Just Birth Companions and Birth & Pregnancy Companions)

Tuesday workshops: 
30 April (10am-2pm)
07 May (10am-2pm)
14 May (10am-2pm)
21 May (10am-2pm)
28 May (10am-2pm)
04 June (10am-2pm)
11 June (10am-2pm)
18 June (10am-2pm)

Online Supervision:
22 May (7.30pm-9.30pm) via zoom 

Please note that we only have 15 spaces for each companion training round and these do fill up quickly. If you are not successful for one round of applications, you are welcome to apply to the next. 

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