Whilst you’ll want to make a real difference to the lives of others when you volunteer, it’s not just about what you can do for them. Volunteers can also get a lot out of the experience too.
We at Agape Wellbeing value the involvement of volunteers in our work because they help us to reflect the interests, needs and resources of the community we aim to serve and bring a unique perspective on all our work.
We recognise our volunteers as a core part of our team and believe that volunteering is good for everybody concerned.
Below are some of the other reasons people choose to volunteer:
As well as employability, a recent Citizens Advice Bureau report¹ showed that volunteering boosts your self-esteem and mental health, whilst the NHS’s 5 steps to good mental health² include ‘giving to others’ and ‘connecting with others’ as two main ways to boost your mental wellbeing. As well as the emotional health benefits and the reward of feeling you are giving something back to others and the organisation, volunteering can also help you feel valued and part of a team and allow quality time away from work or a busy life.
Help Get Back into Work
Gaining new skills, knowledge and experience can really help you if you’re looking for a job or want to try out a change of direction. It can also help you to develop existing skills and knowledge and enhance your CV.
Volunteering is also a great way to get a reference and fill gaps in your work experience.
If you have existing skills and knowledge, then why not use them to benefit others.
Volunteering with people who are as passionate about a cause as you are, is a great way to meet like-minded people and make new friends. It also provides an opportunity to socialise and get to know the local community.
How do I apply for a volunteer role?
How do I work out what role is right for me?
If you’re not sure what type of role you’re looking for have a look at the role descriptions that are available on the website for an idea of what we can offer you. If your still not sure and want to discuss your requirements please phone the Agape Wellbeing team on 0751 8797 484.
How much time would I have to give?
This depends on you and what you’d like to do for us. Some roles are flexible and whatever time you are able give us will be much appreciated. Other roles require a more specific time commitment and this will be discussed with you.
Do I need to supply references?
The Agape Wellbeing is committed to using fair, relevant and consistent processes to assess suitability and safety of potential volunteers and staff. References help us to confirm the identity of our volunteers and to build up a better understanding of them. We take up references for all of our roles and ask you to supply this information on your application form.
Can I claim expenses?
Volunteers should not be out of pocket as a result of volunteering for us. We reimburse reasonable travel costs to and from the organisation, and other expenses by arrangement.
Will you interview me?
For all our roles we’ll invite you to meet us for a chat. It’s a chance for you to find out more about the role and the organisation and we can get to know you better and find out how to best match your skills and interest to our current need.
What if I have a criminal record?
Having a criminal record does not automatically mean that you cannot volunteer with us. We recognise that potential volunteers with criminal records may fear they will not be treated fairly because of them. Where a criminal record is disclosed, we will always discuss this with you and make a decision based on the type of offence committed, how recently it occurred, your explanation of the circumstances of the offence and how relevant it is to the volunteer role you have applied for.
If you have any unspent convictions or any criminal charges which have yet to go to court you should disclose this to us on your application form.
Eligible roles (mostly those which work directly with children or vulnerable adults) require a full police background check. Your volunteer supervisor will discuss this with you where a check is required.
What skills and experience do I need?
Many roles just require your time, energy and enthusiasm! Volunteer role descriptions will list any additional skills or experience you may need.
What support and training will I be given?
Volunteers receive an induction and will be given all the training and support necessary to feel confident in the role. Staff members are on hand to provide ongoing help and support.
Can I try a role before I commit to it?
We will always do our best to discuss any volunteering role fully with our potential volunteers and match them to a suitable role however we understand that on occasions the volunteering experience does not always meet expectations. To help overcome this, we have included a 6 week trial period for all our volunteers. At the end of the 6 weeks there will be an opportunity for the volunteer and their mentor to chat together about their experience and whether they feel they are suited to the type of volunteering role they have been allocated.
None of the volunteer roles suit me, can I still help?
If you’re interested in sharing your professional skills and there are no opportunities that match this, please contact the Agape Wellbeing team on 0751 8797 484.