Important information about becoming a volunteer

child and adultsWhen becoming a volunteer, there are several things to keep in mind, ranging from how to begin to how expenses are covered.

Find information about:

If you have a question about volunteering that is not address on this page, please reach our volunteering team by telephone, 0207 841 4602.

Getting involved

All our current volunteering opportunities can be viewed by visiting our volunteering pages, where you can also apply online.

If you have any issues or queries, please contact our volunteering team by telephone, 0207 841 4602.

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Why you might want to volunteer

There are several reasons to give your time to support our work:

  • Utilise your passion and skills to develop the work that we do
  • Commit to improve the lives of young people
  • Give something back to your community
  • Meet new people and discover new opportunities
  • Improve your skills when undertaking a variety of tasks
  • Open up your world and do something different

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How much time is required

The amount of time you give is usually flexible and can be agreed with your volunteering line manager.

However, we may not always be able to support your request.  All we ask is that volunteers are reliable and that they contact their manager with plenty of notice if they are unable to make the agreed time.

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Expenses

As a volunteer, you should not be out of pocket. We therefore will reimburse all reasonable out of pocket expenses you incur while volunteering.

Your volunteering line manager will explain the full process to you.

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Volunteering in your local area

We have services, shops and fundraising initiatives in hundreds of locations across the country, so we may well work in your area.

We are not always seeking volunteers in all locations but current opportunities can be seen by visiting our volunteering pages.

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Training provided

We will provide you with a full induction and any other training relevant to your role.

Due to the nature of our work with children, young people and families we do ask most of our volunteers to attend a safeguarding course.  

Volunteers also have access to online training courses via our online learning zone. 

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A DBS or police check

All volunteers who work directly with children and young people will be required to have a police check in the form of a disclosure and barring service (DBS) check (previously CRB check).

If we do require a police check for the role you are interested in, we will state this on the role description and the team will support you to get this done.

We cannot accept a DBS check from another organisation and will be required to complete our own. A previous conviction will not necessarily prohibit someone from volunteering with us. We will consider the nature and time of the offence and make a decision about the individual's suitability for the role. 

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Volunteering while claiming benefits

You can volunteer if you are claiming benefits, but should inform your jobcentre of any volunteering you are doing.

There should not be any restrictions on the amount and type of volunteering, as long as you continue to meet the conditions of receiving the benefit.

More information can be found on the Volunteering website.

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Non-UK citizens volunteering

All EU citizens can come freely to the UK to volunteer. People from outside the EU who have a work or study visa may volunteer as long as the activity is the same as that detailed on their visa, but those with a visitor visa are prohibited from volunteering.

It is possible to get a visa specifically to permit volunteering in the UK however restrictions apply. For more information visit the Home Office website.

People who have refugee status or who have exceptional leave to remain, and their family members, are allowed to do any type of work including volunteering in the UK.

Asylum seekers are permitted to volunteer for charities and voluntary organisations, including while an appeal against asylum refusal is being considered. They will generally receive a document stating that they cannot take up employment but this does not relate to volunteering.

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Ending your role as a volunteer

We understand that your circumstances may change and you may no longer be able to volunteer. 

All we ask is that you make your volunteering line manager aware. Together, you and your manager may be able to find you an alternative arrangement to suit you, or they can ensure that our systems are updated to show that you are no longer volunteering. 

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