City : Volunteering Mall : What Does Volunteering Involve?
What is Volunteering?
Volunteering covers any activity that involves spending time doing unpaid work with the aim of benefiting people, a community, or the environment.
There are so many varied opportunities and projects available, and this building will take you through the many different ways that you can get volunteering!
Why Should I Volunteer?
There are lots of reasons why you should get volunteering...
- Skills: You can develop loads of new transferrable skills (which you can pop on your CV!)
- Employability: Your experiences and skills can make you more employable.
- Giving Back: It gives you an opportunity to do something really rewarding by giving back to your community and helping other people.
- Confidence: It can increase your confidence in the working environment.
- Friends: It's a chance to meet new people and make new friends.
- Gain Recognition: vInspired offers awards for those who volunteer a certain number of hours and you can get a Volunteer Passport with involve.
- References: You will work with and for people who can act as a referee for future applications.
Can I volunteer while on Job Seekers Allowance?
As long as you are paid no more than reasonable expenses, such as travel costs, and you still fulfill the criteria for claiming benefits then you can still claim unemployment benefit while you are volunteering.
If the volunteering organisation pay you more than just expenses, or you are doing a job that someone would normally be paid for then you cannot claim benefits.
You also need to make sure that you're still meeting the rules of your benefit. You can volunteer for as many hours as you like as long as you can show that you are still actively seeking and available for work!
For more information you can check the Citizens Advice website, here.
Please be aware: You should always check with your JobCentre advisor.
What do I need to be able to volunteer?
All volunteering roles will require...
Free Time: This could be anything from one hour a week to a few months depending on the project that you want to participate in.
Enthusiasm: When getting involved you'll need plenty of enthusiasm and interest in the project!
Some volunteering roles will require...
DBS Check: Volunteering roles that involve working with children or vulnerable adults may require you to carry out a DBS check (a criminal record check). Having a criminal record does not mean that you can’t volunteer, it just means it will be taken into consideration when you are applying. (If you'd like some advice about this you can send an email to involve Bracknell at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Training: Depending on the project you may need some specific training which should be provided by the organisation running the volunteer project.
Can I set up my own project?
There are loads of opportunities to organise your own project with a variety of charities...
You can organise your own event - for example, a bake sale or a challenge, - and donate the money to a charity of your choice. This shows you have the skills to organise your own project even if it is a one off event.
You can also set up your own event to fundraise directly with lots of national charities including Macmillan, Cancer Research UK, Oxfam, The British Heart Foundation, and MIND (as well as volunteering in many of their charity shops!)