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Interested in volunteering but not sure what to do?
- Think about why you want to volunteer- are you wanting to gain specific skills; use your own skills; help a particular group in the community; meet new people and make new friends; enhance your physical and mental well-being or just to gain confidence. Keeping this in mind will help your search.
- Think about what you enjoy doing- Volunteering should be enjoyable, you are giving up your free time after all! Why not turn a hobby or interest into volunteering, such as sport, reading, photography, theatre and the arts.
- Think about the amount of time you can offer and where you would like to volunteer. Our portal can help you find opportunities near where you live, so you know you will be making a difference in your local community.
What to expect:
The application process
All volunteer roles are different and each organisation has a different recruitment process, but you should expect to be given a clear role description and support in your role.
Most organisations will want you to complete an application form and will ask you to attend an informal interview. You will likely be asked for two references and some roles will need you to complete a DBS check (there should be no charge to you for this).
There is no set time limit to the recruitment process. This can a take anywhere between days, weeks or months, depending on; the role, the organisations’ resources, when the induction training is booked for and the time it takes to receive references and DBS checks etc. Some roles such as ‘one-off’ volunteering can be quicker and may not ask for the same forms and checks to be completed.
As a volunteer, you will not be paid for your time, but you should not be ‘out of pocket’ for any volunteering you undertake. Travel expenses are usually reimbursed and in some cases, lunch and other out of pocket expenses are covered. If this is an area of concern, it’s always best to check with your chosen role that they cover any expenses.
Leaving your role
If at any point you are no longer enjoying your volunteer role, or your circumstances change, you are able to freely leave that role. It should be made clear in your induction, how you would go about this process.
Some questions you might have about volunteering:
If you are still unsure if volunteering is right for you, are unsure what to expect from the process or have any further questions, please get in touch with us.
We can also support people who are currently unemployed, through our Volunteering for Skills project.
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