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Volunteering

How does volunteering benefit others?

Volunteering for a local organisation has a very real and valuable positive affect on people, communities and society in general.

How does volunteering benefit me?

Volunteering can help you gain confidence and experience and learn new skills by giving you the chance to try something new and build a real sense of achievement. You can also meet different kinds of people, make new friends, feel part of a community and have fun!

How much time will I need?

It’s really up to you to decide how much time you’d like to offer. Some organisations ask for a particular commitment from their volunteers especially if the role involves building up trust with someone. Others take a more flexible approach. You can commit to as much or as little as you like from an hour a month to several hours a week.

What if something goes wrong?

A great deal of time and care will be taken to ensure that the voluntary role you are offered is right for you. In the unlikely event that something goes wrong or you find you are not happy with your role, you should contact the organisation’s volunteer coordinator who will be able to offer advice and support.

Can I leave an organisation if I don’t like it?

Yes, of course. You’re under no obligation to keep volunteering for an organisation if you don’t like it. However, it’s always worth talking to somebody about it first. This might be the volunteer coordinator or whoever is responsible for you. You can discuss with them why you feel unhappy and what might improve it.

Can I claim benefits whilst volunteering?

Yes, you can volunteer without losing any benefit as long as you continue to meet the conditions of the benefits you are receiving. Please tell your volunteer coordinator that you are claiming benefits, especially if you are seeking paid work and might only be able to volunteer for a short time.

Will I get training?

This varies a lot depending on which organisation you are volunteering for and the type of role you have chosen. Some of this information will be available on the organisation’s website but you can ask for more information during your interview.

How old do I need to be?

You will need to be 18 for most of the roles on the Ami website. This is due to the type of role or because the organisation’s insurance only covers people aged 18 or over.