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What happens at the drop-in

We’re really pleased you’re thinking of visiting our drop-in. Here you can find out what you can expect from your visit and what the next steps will be.

Drop-in opening hours are 10am – 4pm, Mondays – Wednesdays
except bank holidays & during holiday seasons such as Christmas (see our website for more info).
No appointment is needed – just drop in.

What will happen when you come to the VC drop-in
You’ll meet an advisor (a volunteer) who will ask you key questions: what kinds of role are you interested in? What would you like to give or gain by volunteering? When are you available? Your answers will help the advisor find roles that are hopefully to your liking – so, please think about your answers before you see the advisor.

We will also ask for details such as age range and ethnicity to help us be sure that we are welcoming everyone.

We won’t suggest a volunteering role to you – only you can tell us what kind of activities you might enjoy. Once you’ve identified a role that you like the sound of, we can call the organisation on your behalf – or, if you prefer, you can call the organisation in your own time.

What kinds of roles are available?

  • Hundreds of roles: befriending & buddying, administration, marketing & media, fundraising, public speaking, sports coaching, gardening and environment, and more
  • Mostly involve 3 – 6 hours a week
  • Occasionally a role might involve two or more days a week

How often do the roles change?
Roles are being filled all the time and new ones being registered, so there is some variation in the range of roles available. So if you don’t happen to find a role today it’s really worth keeping an eye out, as new roles are constantly being registered with us. You might like to register to receive the Bulletin by e-mail each month

How long you'll have to wait to be seen by an Advisor
There isn’t usually a queue at the drop-in. Occasionally you might find one or two people before you. We’re sorry if this happens to you, but we try to have two Advisors so you shouldn’t have to wait too long before you’re seen.

What next once I’ve identified a volunteer role that I like?
The Advisor will print out up to three opportunities
He / she will offer to call the organisation or you can call the organisation/s yourself
You will receive more info about the role and details of the application process from the organisation.

How soon will I be able to start volunteering?
This depends on the recruitment process (see next bullet). However, you can sometimes dip into one-off fundraising days & events, gardening days and some environmental roles.

How do I start volunteering?
The recruitment process depends on the role and the tasks it involves:
The organisation will ask you to attend an informal chat or an interview
They'll send you a pack including an application form (usually a simple form)
You will usually have to provide two referees
If you’ll be working with young people or vulnerable adults - you’ll need to have a DBS check (formerly CRB). This can take about four weeks

What will happen when I start volunteering?
You will be welcomed by the organisations and will go through induction (learning all about the organisation, its people and day to day activities). You will be trained – this is one of the great benefits of volunteering.

Who does the Volunteer Centre work with?
People looking for volunteer roles
Organisations that are looking to recruit volunteers - we only work with organisations that don’t purely operate for profit and whose work benefits the community. Such as community groups, charities, statutory bodies and social enterprises. We don’t work with commercial businesses.

Is there anything else important that I should know?
Most organisations are very good at letting us know when a role has been filled. There are occasions when they don’t - if this happens to you please come back and see us.
Sometimes organisations can be slow to respond to your inquiry or application. In our experience this usually results from having few staff (or none) and a shortage of time and resources. If this happens to you, we suggest give them a week and contact them again. You can always come back and see us again too.

What are my rights as a volunteer?

  • Travel expenses
  • Induction and relevant training
  • Support and supervision
  • Safe working conditions
  • Insurance cover
  • Being treated in accordance with an organisation’s equal opportunities policy
  • Access to a complaints procedure

What are my responsibilities as a volunteer?
Work within the organisation’s policies & procedures (these will be explained to you)
Work within the boundaries of the volunteering task profile
Maintain confidentiality as needed
Inform the Volunteer Manager of any problems

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