If I agree to volunteer will I have a contract similar to an employment contract?
No. You should agree with the organisation what hours or length of time you can commit, and often this will be confirmed in writing as a Volunteer Agreement. Although this agreement is not legally binding, the organisation will rely on your commitment, so we advise that you consider carefully the time you can give as a volunteer.
Will volunteering affect my benefits?
No. Volunteering does not alter your benefits because volunteers do not receive payment. There is no restriction on the hours for which you can volunteer whilst on benefits. However, if you receive Jobseekers Allowance you should ensure you can commence paid work within a week of confirmation that you’ve got a job.
Some of the roles require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Do I have to pay for this?
No. Currently DBS checks for volunteers are free, and the organisation for which you agree to volunteer will submit the application. You’ll need to provide some documents for this process. If you are seeking asylum or have refugee status and you don’t have the necessary documents, we can help you to arrange a different kind of DBS check.
What happens if I don’t enjoy my role?
Firstly, do speak to your supervisor to let him or her know how you feel. Depending on the problem, you may be able to resolve it or perhaps change your role at the organisation. If that is not possible make sure that you contact the Volunteer Centre so that we can help you find something more suitable.
What happens if I need to stop volunteering?
Your services are extremely valuable to the organisation at which you volunteer, so do try to finish the project or complete the hours to which you agreed. However, if you are no longer able to continue with your placement, you should inform your supervisor as soon as possible so that alternative arrangements can be made. Please remember to let us know that you are no longer volunteering.