Who can volunteer?

Age This should not be a barrier to volunteering, however for insurance purposes, some organisations only accept volunteers over 16 years of age. Don’t let this put your off. If you are younger than 16, we still might be able to help.  As an organisation, we are actively encouraging development into youth volunteering. Time You can give as little or as much time as you want, volunteering is not restricted to Mondays to Fridays 9 to 5, there are many opportunities available at evenings and weekends. Your commitment could be a regular commitment or a one off; we have seen an increase in full time workers who are using volunteering in their spare time to enhance their career prospects. We match the time you have available to the voluntary opportunities.

Waingroves Community Woodland Trust

Disability Before we agree to support an organisation, we ask for evidence of their equal opportunities practice. In the past some disabilities have had very negative stereotypes, for example, mental health or long term illness. Due to this, some people may be concerned that they will be judged or excluded from volunteering. Every volunteer should be judged by their merits not on their personal circumstances. We confidentially discuss with you as an individual your particular support needs and work with you to find a volunteering opportunity that is a fulfilling experience. We strive to campaign against the common perception that involving volunteers with disabilities may create a greater outlay for less return. We support and advise organisations that have concerns about this issue.

Money Volunteering should not leave you out of pocket. We work with organisations to encourage them to develop a volunteer expenses policy. Reimbursements of expenses such as travel and meals vary depending on the individual organisation, there is no set standard. We can provide you with details of the individual policies before you decide where to volunteer so that you can make an informed decision.

You can volunteer as much or as little time as you can and the following benefits won’t be affected: Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Carers Allowance Disability Living Allowance/ Attendance Allowance

There are a few rules to follow: – You still need to be looking for paid work and you must be able to attend job interviews and start work within a week, if you get the job. – You must not be paid money for volunteering – It’s OK to get paid expenses for volunteering, but keep your receipts! You must tell the Job Centre that you are volunteering

Skills, experience and training You can use many skills and experiences to assist you in volunteering. Organisations encompass volunteering through a wide range of skill levels. Could you use your existing skills to help others? You do not necessarily need existing skills to become a volunteer, volunteering could help you develop skills through training and on the job experience, which you may wish to use to enhance your employability and to grow in confidence through learning something new. We offer advice and training courses to volunteers and volunteer involving organisations in the Amber Valley area. We frequently update you with information on training courses many of which are free to volunteers.