There is no legal age limit, although organisations involving volunteers do tend to have a minimum and maximum age limit because their insurance policy does not cover certain age groups (such as under 16s and over 80s).
Some organisations say that they cannot insure volunteers under the age of 16. Contact us to discuss the range of volunteering opportunities available in this area.
Yes, many organisations are fully equipped to deal with a variety of access and support needs.
Each organisation will have a clear policy about involving potential volunteers with a criminal record. There will be volunteering opportunities where you cannot volunteer if you have a criminal record; however there are some where you can. Many opportunities will require you to have a Disclosure and Barring Service Check (formally Criminal Records Check or CRB).
People who have refugee status or have exceptional leave to remain are allowed to do any type of work, including voluntary work. You may have a letter saying that you must not engage in paid work - but this does not apply to roles that are voluntary and you are entitled to receive out-of-pocket expenses.
This will depend on the volunteer role that you are looking to do. If you are working with children or vulnerable adults, you can expect to be asked to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
This will involve you filling in a form giving your name, current and previous addresses and giving proof of who you are and where you live. This will be sent to the Disclosure and Barring Service who will let the organisation know whether you have any previous criminal convictions. This should not cost you anything.
The contact details of the organisation will be emailed to you within 10 working days for you to contact the organisation at a convenient time. The organisation will also receive details of your application, so may contact you directly.
Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire is part of a national network of Volunteer Centres that are recognised by the Government to provide information on volunteering opportunities and to support volunteer-involving organisations.
Located at 15 St Giles Street in Northampton, NN1 1JA, next door to the Guildhall.
You can call in any time during opening hours. You can book an appointment on Tuesdays and Thursdays and on a Wednesday there is a drop in session between 10a.m. – 2p.m. If you can’t get in to the centre, you can call on 01604 637522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a volunteer you are free to leave whenever you like. If things don’t work out or your circumstances change it’s good to talk it through with the person in charge and give them some notice if possible.
This is down to individual organisations which you would need to discuss at the time of interest. Organisations are aware if they do not pay travel expenses then some people may not be able to volunteer with them.
No, however travel expenses being paid are dependent on the organisation you are volunteering for.
This will depend on what you do. If you don't have the skills needed, where possible, we'll help you develop them. Often, enthusiasm, the ability to smile and encourage are the most important skills required.
Organisations which take volunteers should have appropriate insurance. You should be properly insured against any risks involved and should be provided with appropriate equipment/tools/materials to enable you to carry out your tasks. The organisation must make proper health and safety provision.
This is dependent on each volunteer’s circumstances and reasons for volunteering. However it could include building your self-esteem and confidence, gaining a new skill, having something to put on your CV and receive a reference, or being satisfied at giving something back.
Yes. The benefits regulations are clear that you can volunteer. You can find all the latest information about volunteering and benefits, including Jobseekers Allowance and Incapacity Benefit from Volunteering England.
If you have not heard back from the organisation within 2 weeks, please contact the Volunteer Centre who will be able to follow up for you. However, please be aware that a number of these groups are small or their Volunteer Managers/Co-ordinators only work part-time.
Try increasing the range of your search on the database (eg use a 10 mile radius instead of 5) or try an all category search to see a full list of what is available before narrowing it down. If you still have no luck, contact us to discuss further
Volunteering will not guarantee getting paid work from an organisation. It will, however, give you something to put on your CV, have someone to get a reference from, give you the opportunity to learn new skills and build confidence - which may help you with finding paid work.
Do get in touch with us and see if we can help. There are also some good answers to many common questions about volunteering and the law on the Guardian website.