Frequently asked questions
No, it won’t. We believe that volunteers should never be out of pocket for volunteering. Volunteers can claim back reasonable travel and subsistence expenses, as agreed with their volunteer line manager.
No, not usually. We provide comprehensive training, which is often certificated and externally approved by relevant bodies, for the majority of our roles. We occasionally look for volunteers with particular skills or experience, but this will be clearly stated in the role advert.
Yes, you can. Volunteering is recognised by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as a great way to gain experience for work, and studies have shown that it can be good for your health too! We always recommend that you inform your contact at the DWP of your intention to volunteer before starting.
For most of our roles, yes. Don’t worry though! This won’t cost you anything and we will guide you through the process once you have applied. A number of our roles are with children or vulnerable adults, so volunteers are required to become members of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme. For the majority of other roles we will require you to complete a Basic Disclosure.
This varies depending on the role. For most of our roles working with children or families we ask for a weekly commitment of 3-4 hours. We also ask that volunteers in these roles are able to volunteer for at least a year after completing training. For fundraising roles, your time commitment can vary and often depends on how much time you have to offer! We are obviously flexible about this and recognise that you will want to take time off for various reasons.
The benefits of volunteering are endless! A document published by the Scottish Volunteering Forum in 2015 reported that volunteering decreases loneliness and isolation, makes you more employable and improves health and wellbeing.
As a volunteer with Children 1st you could benefit from training recognised by COSCA or credit rated by Edinburgh Napier University, as well as meeting new people and gaining fantastic experience. We give lots of support to volunteers, and will provide an employment reference for you if you have volunteered with us for over 6 months or 50 hours.
Most of the time, yes. We recognise the value of having volunteers who have first hand experience of some of the difficulties faced by our service users, and we know that it often adds to your enthusiasm and commitment when volunteering.
In some instances we may ask you to take a break before starting your volunteering just to ensure that you are emotionally ready to support other children or families, but we will support you to find other volunteering opportunities if this is the case.