FAQs about Volunteering
How do I apply?
1.Make an initial enquiry – Whether you found us online, at an event, through one of our displays or through a friend, either way, we are glad you did!
If you haven’t contacted us yet please get in touch with our Volunteer Coordinator, Cat Mackenzie, either by email email@example.com or by phone on 01905 723245.
2. We will send you an Application pack, containing a welcome letter, information about the charity, an overview of volunteer roles and an application form.
3. This will be followed by an Informal interview – our Volunteer Coordinator arranges an informal chat with every volunteer applicant before booking them onto training. This is to give you an opportunity to find out more about us and for us to talk through your motivation for volunteering, so we can work out what kind of role would suit you and what is available in your area.4.
4. It is standard practice that we take up two references for all of our volunteers. These will need to be from two people who have known you known for at least two years and are aged 18 or over who can provide character references. They must not be a family member/partner/boyfriend/girlfriend nor live in the same household as you. We also have to carry out Criminal Records checks known as Disclosure and Barring or DBS checks for certain volunteering roles.
What support and training will I get?
All new volunteers complete an Induction and Sight Loss Awareness training. In some cases, you may receive some additional role specific training. We want to ensure you are prepared for your role and know who to come to if you need support.
Volunteers will be offered ongoing support and supervision as appropriate and this will be discussed during the induction process. Arrangements vary according to the volunteer and the role undertaken and may include telephone support, group meetings or one-to-one reviews.
We will designate an appropriate member of staff as the ‘main staff contact’ to support each role as required. Volunteers will be introduced to this staff member as part of the induction process.
How much time would I have to give?
You only volunteer as much time as you feel that you can spare. We have a range of different opportunities that suit different people’s time commitments. Some people do something every day, others for just a few hours per week and some volunteer for one-off events and activities. We are very grateful to each and every person who gives any of their time.
I am visually impaired, can I volunteer?
Yes, a significant number of our volunteers have sight loss, we also have several volunteers with different disabilities. We work hard to make sure that disability is not a barrier to volunteering. We will work with you to understand any adaptations we may need to put in place to support you in your role.
Will I be paid expenses?
You will be entitled to reimbursement of all reasonable expenses so that you are not left out of pocket. We will ask you to produce receipts and to complete a simple expense claim form. You’ll find this on in the footer, at the bottom of every page on this website.
Can I volunteer while claiming benefits?
Yes, volunteering does not affect your benefits and there are no limits to the amount of time you can volunteer if you continue to meet the conditions of the benefit you receive. You can read more information about volunteering and benefits on the government website www.gov.uk/volunteering or contact us here.