Volunteer frequently asked questions

1. How much time do I need to give to volunteering?

This is totally up to you. You can find volunteering opportunities that only take a few hours per month and some might take a few days per week. 

Some roles are for one-off events, some are short term and others might need a six-month commitment. 

You can volunteer at any time of the week, day or night. While much volunteering takes place in office hours, you can volunteer in the evenings and weekends too, again depending on what you want to do.

Some organisations ask for a particular commitment from their volunteers but Nantwich Buddies aim to take a more flexible approach.

Certain roles like befriending require building up trust with someone, which is why a certain amount of commitment is required. Think carefully about the amount of commitment you are able to give before choosing your role.

2. What if I can’t commit to something on a regular basis?

Don’t worry, we are very happy to take on volunteers on a flexible basis. There will also be some one-off opportunities available such as helping out at local events. 

 

3. Can I leave if I don't like it?

Yes, of course.

You are under no obligation to keep volunteering if you don’t like it. But it is always worth talking to somebody before stopping. That could be your volunteer coordinator or team leader. You can discuss with them why you feel unhappy and what you feel would improve your time as a volunteer.

It is also something you may want to talk about with other volunteers in Nantwich Buddies. You could either do that informally or in one of our monthly meetings for volunteers.

 

4. Will I get any training?

The majority of tasks covered by Nantwich Buddies do not require training. However, we regularly run online training and awareness sessions on areas such as safeguarding, dealing with loss and grief and mental health and wellbeing. Additional training opportunities are also promoted on our social media pages.

 

5. Will volunteering help me get a job?

Volunteering could help you by providing: 

  • New skills and work experiences

  • Referees for job applications

  • A chance to show prospective employers that you are willing to work

  • Access to training and qualifications (in some circumstances)

  • An opportunity to try out different types of work if you’re considering a career change.

 

6. How old do I need to be to volunteer?

You can be any age to volunteer - but some opportunities do have age restrictions. That's typically because of the type of opportunity, or because an organisation only has insurance in place for those aged 18 or over. If you are under 18, please contact Nantwich Buddies to discuss the opportunities available.

There’s no upper age limit on volunteering, but anyone over 70 will need to follow public health advice on volunteering during coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

7. Can I volunteer from home?

Yes you can, such as telephone befriending, although many of the tasks undertaken by Nantwich Buddies require some travel.

8. Do I get my expenses paid?

Nantwich Buddies does not pay expenses as a general rule. However, any drivers volunteering as part of our Volunteer Transport Service may claim for mileage.  The Volunteer Transport Service Policy holds more detail. 

9. Can I volunteer if I have a criminal record?

Yes, you can but there may be some limitations. Depending on the nature of your criminal record, you may not be able to take up some volunteering roles but a variety of others would still be open to you. It’s best to discuss this with Nantwich Buddies if you wish to volunteer.

All Nantwich Buddies have a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS check) on joining.

10. Can I volunteer if I’m claiming benefits?

You can volunteer and claim benefits if:

  • the only money you get from volunteering is to cover expenses, like travel costs

  • you continue to meet the conditions of the benefit you get

11. Do I need qualifications to volunteer?

Not usually, no. If any particular qualifications are needed in order to take up a specific role with Nantwich Buddies, it would be made clear in advance.

Personal skills are more important, such as being able to get on with a wide variety of people, being reliable and being enthusiastic about a particular interest or cause - rather than academic qualifications.

 

12.  Can I get a qualification or an award?

Nantwich Buddies does not usually offer volunteer training which results in a qualification but will publicise training by other providers which is available to volunteers and which may lead to a qualification. 

However, by volunteering you will gain valuable experience, develop your skills and be able to ask for a reference. You can ask Nantwich Buddies about qualifications and what courses might be available by other providers.