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Volunteering in South Tyneside

Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Who can volunteer
  3. Volunteering opportunities
  4. Our commitment to you
  5. What we expect from you

Overview

Volunteering is about doing something to benefits others, not for financial gain.

Different types of volunteering include:

  • helping with activities in children centres
  • helping train people to use computers
  • supporting youth clubs
  • helping to run events
  • befriending others

Volunteering has many benefits, such as:

  • gaining new experience
  • enhancing your skills
  • adding something new to your CV
  • building confidence
  • making new friends
  • feeling good about helping others

Who can volunteer?

Anyone who has spare time can volunteer.

We already have volunteers of many different backgrounds, abilities and ages.

There is no upper age barrier, but volunteers must be over 14 years-old.

For some roles you will need to be over 18 years-old.

You can volunteer for as much or as little time as suits you.

Sometimes it depends on the role you are doing, but mostly it depends on how much time you can give.

It can be days, evenings, weekends or a mixture.

Qualifications and training

Most volunteer roles don't require qualifications but some may need certain skills - details will be included in the role description.

Training will be provided, if needed.

If you claim benefits

You can volunteer whether you are working or claiming benefits.

If you are claiming benefits you must tell your benefits adviser.

If you are claiming Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA) you must still actively seek work and be available to start any opportunity.

Volunteering shouldn't affect your benefits as long as the only money you receive is reimbursement of expenses.

Security checks

Criminal convictions must be declared in your application form.

You will need to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check if your volunteer role involves access to young people or vulnerable adults - this will tell us if you have a criminal record.

Having a record should not stop you from volunteering but it may limit what you can do.

Volunteer opportunities

Volunteer opportunities are available at Inspire South Tyneside.

The volunteer manager for your role will then contact you to arrange an informal chat, either in person or by phone.

We do not seek to replace paid staff with volunteers.

Our commitment to you

When you volunteer with us we make a commitment to you, and expect a commitment in return.

Our commitment to volunteers is to:

  • make sure that volunteering is rewarding for all involved
  • recognise the importance of high standards and effective management of volunteers
  • agree the role description with the volunteer
  • be flexible in relation to personal circumstances
  • support volunteers if they wish to say 'no' to additional tasks or responsibilities, or if they wish to leave
  • offer volunteers opportunities for personal development within the volunteer role or to assist in exploring new opportunities
  • provide volunteers with support and guidance through a volunteer manager
  • provide volunteers with an open, accessible and fair process for raising any concerns and issues
  • pay out of pocket approved expenses in relation to the volunteer role, as agreed by your volunteer manager
  • provide public liability insurance
  • inform volunteers about health and safety matters and make efforts to ensure that they have a safe volunteering environment
  • implement our equal opportunities policy, which provides the basis by which we develop best practices for the benefit of current and future staff as required by law

What we expect from you

We expect our volunteers to:

  • perform the volunteering role to the best of their ability
  • attend relevant workshops and support sessions that are relevant to the volunteering role
  • volunteer within the Council's priorities, aims and objectives, and follow our standards for equal opportunities, health and safety, data protection, confidentiality, and any others applicable to the role
  • assist other volunteers and staff as part of a team
  • let the volunteer manager know as early as possible if they are unable to carry out their volunteering duties
  • refer concerns or issues to the volunteer manager or other Council staff, as appropriate
  • seek guidance if they feel that there may be a conflict of interest between their volunteering role and other commitments
  • not bring the Council's name into disrepute and follow the volunteers agreement
  • treat information about service users, staff or other volunteers in a confidential way
  • act at all times in the best interests of the Council
  • promote diversity and respect for the diverse community we serve
  • make sure equality is at the heart of any volunteer activity conducted on behalf of the Council

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