Frequently Asked Questions
Will I get my travel expenses paid?
Most organisations will reimburse travel expenses incurred while volunteering for them. Exceptions might include volunteering opportunities where you are placed within walking distance from your home.
Check with the organisation if there is a limit to the amount payable each day and what the procedure is to make a claim. In most cases this will mean completing a Volunteer Expenses form and attaching your receipts/tickets.
Will I need to undergo any checks before beginning any volunteering?
Roles involving working with children or vulnerable adults such as the elderly may require volunteers to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Where this is needed the organisation will arrange for the check.
I want to volunteer but I have a criminal record
Lots of organisations work with volunteers with criminal convictions. For some roles you may be able to share your experiences to help others. Organisations should consider whether your conviction is relevant to the volunteering role you want to do.
I do not have much time, can I still volunteer?
Yes. Time commitments vary depending on the role. Roles such as befriending where a relationship is built up will usually require a minimum of 6 month commitment but there are also many one off volunteer opportunities. Equally some volunteering may involve as little as an hour a week making a telephone call to an isolated person. We can help you find an opportunity that suits you.
I am on Job seekers/Universal Credit, can I volunteer?
There is no cap on voluntary hours, however JSA and Universal Credit are conditional and require a certain number of ‘work related activity’ hours (e.g. researching a company, volunteering, training, applying for jobs, CV writing) these activities are agreed in a meeting with the job coach and make the ‘Claimant Commitment’
Volunteering can be counted within these hours if:
The job coach agrees it is linked to gaining relevant skills/experience
It is linked to the claimants Primary Aims/Goal (this can easily be changed)
If it is not linked or agreed as part of these hours it must be in addition to these hours