Volunteering questions and answers
Find out more about how volunteering works
1. Can I volunteer if I am on benefits?
Yes. You will have to inform the Job Centre of your volunteering activities and confirm that you are still available for an interview or work, but you can still volunteer. All volunteering opportunities, skills and experience that you learn can be inserted within your CV and potentially help you to secure a paid position. If there are any expenses to be claimed however, they must be to the exact penny as stated on the receipt. If the job centre advisor is in disagreement/confused by volunteering, then they should be put in touch with the Cheshire East Volunteer Centre – 01270 211545
2. Why is a volunteer role important?
A volunteer’s role is important for you and also the organisation. You will not only gain experience, skills and utilise your own knowledge, but gain a sense of self worth, build confidence and show commitment which will assist you in securing a new job. Likewise volunteering might help individuals who have felt socially excluded to rebuild a foothold in the community they live in
3. What skills or experience will I need?
The skills and experience should be applicable to the role that is available.
4. Are volunteers covered by insurance?
Yes. The Council, its employees and volunteers are all covered by public liability insurance.
5. What will I be asked to do?
Every volunteer role will have a specific role description and we will ensure that, with the help of a supervisor and training, you will understand what is expected of you.
6. Will I receive any expenses?
Good practice suggests that a volunteer undertaking a role that lasts for upwards of four hours should receive a meal allowance and refreshments such as teas, coffees and water should be made available throughout the day.
7. What hours will I be expected to work?
A volunteer isn’t a member of staff and therefore not legally obliged to volunteer at designated times. You will agree at the outset what time you are willing to give to the Council but in order to run a project/service ideally you would be expected to attend at the agreed times for your volunteering role.
8. How do I apply to be a volunteer?
You may contact the named co-ordinators on the service pages of the volunteering site to discuss opportunities. You will then be asked to complete an application form and normally an appointment will be made for you to visit the Council to discuss the opportunities further before you make the final commitment.
9. Will I receive any training ?
In order to reduce the risks to yourself and the Council and to ensure that you gain the necessary skills to be able to carry out the role, suitable training will be organised. You will also be given clear instructions and training on safe practice when using specialised equipment.
10. Will I have to have a Criminal Records Check?
You may be required to have a CRB check if you will be volunteering in a specific place, such as a school, children’s or adult’s centre etc, and as a result of your role you will have frequent contact with children or vulnerable adults.
11. Will I be assigned to a supervisor?
Yes. Each Volunteer will need to be assigned to a supervisor who will be responsible for training, safety, welfare and support.
12. What if I have to use my own vehicle in connection with my volunteering role?
The Council does not insure privately owned vehicles- the responsibility for insurance rests solely with the owner or driver concerned.
If you are planning to use your car on the Council’s business in connection with your volunteering role, you must inform your motor insurance company and check that your policy permits business use.
13. What if I want to end the volunteering agreement?
Either you or the Council can end the agreement at any time and without any notice. However, unless there is an emergency or misconduct, the Council will aim to give you at least two weeks notice to end an agreement, in the hope that you would offer the same to us. In all cases the Council will provide you with details of the reasons why your involvement is no longer needed.