Frequently Asked Questions


How much time do I need to give?
As much or as little as you like. There are volunteering opportunities from one hour a month to a few days a week.

Do I need any qualifications?
No. There are many opportunities that don’t require qualifications. Some skilled posts will require relevant qualifications, but your local volunteer centre will help you find something that suits you.

Why get involved?
People volunteer for many different reasons. Making a difference to the lives of others is immensely rewarding, but the benefits don’t stop there. Volunteering can give you the skills and confidence you need to get back into work, climb the career ladder or even just expand your circle of friends.
Can I claim benefits whilst volunteering? 
Yes. You can volunteer whilst claiming benefits, but you still have to be actively seeking work and you must inform Jobcentre Plus that you are doing so.
Will I require training? Most organisations provide training relevant to the opportunity role. However the training can take the form of basic on the job instructions up to a 12 week course depending on the opportunity. Full information will be provided by the organisation.
Can I volunteer with family and friends? 
Yes. Some opportunities are designed for teams of volunteers, whilst others are looking for individual volunteers.
Can I be paid to cover my expenses? 
Many volunteer organisations will refund expenses, such as travel or meal costs, but you should check with them before you start volunteering.
Can I volunteer from home? 
Yes. An increasing number of people are getting involved from home. For example, you could be a telephone or e-mail befriender, lobby decision makers on behalf of a charity you believe in, research information to support work, or even foster a pet.