Who can volunteer?

We provide expenses and all the reasonable support we can to allow the widest possible range of people to volunteer with us. If you are enthusiastic and want to help disabled people in your community, we would like to hear from you. For a small number of roles we may require specific skills, but we try to list these in our adverts.

What benefits are there to volunteering with you?

You will be part of a passionate and supportive team, helping to make a real difference to the lives of disabled and disadvantaged people. You will receive relevant training, opportunities to gain new experiences and develop new skills and confidence. You will also have the opportunity to meet new people and spend your time doing something that is worthwhile and rewarding. Our volunteers who are looking for work have a good record of finding employment, and we will try to support this where possible.

What time commitment are you looking for from volunteers?

This varies from role to role, and details can be found in our adverts and volunteer role descriptions. Some roles require an ongoing, regular commitment whilst others are much more flexible. If you have any questions before applying, please email us at volunteering@papworthtrust.org.uk.

Can I volunteer to more than one service or project?

Yes, although the best way is to apply for the role that interests you most in the first instance. Once you are an active volunteer with us, you will find it much easier to take advantage of opportunities in other areas.

How can I apply?

Ideally, we need you to fill in an application form which should be attached to our volunteer vacancy adverts. You can see our current volunteer vacancies here. If you have any trouble with the form, please email us at volunteering@papworthtrust.org.uk.

To apply to be a volunteer, download a Volunteer Application form (doc, 445 KB) and Diversity and Equality form (doc, 107 KB) and return to us using the details on the forms.

How does the recruitment process work – will I have to attend an interview?

Once we receive your application form, we will contact you to discuss your application. After this you will usually have an introduction meeting located according to the role you have applied for. This meeting should be relatively informal, though we may need to ask some questions to make sure you will be suited to the role. Before you can start volunteering we will need to contact your referees, make sure we have provided you with any essential training, and undertaken an online Disclosure and Barring (DBS) check, if needed.

What support will I receive?

As a volunteer you will have a designated volunteer manager who will support you, and you may become part of an existing team. Your manager will help with your expenses and any other problems you have, including any adaptations we need to make. You will also have a central Volunteer Coordinator to contact in case you need to speak to someone else, usually the person who helped with your application process.

Will my benefits be affected?

Your benefits will not normally be affected if you begin volunteering. However, you must continue to meet any other conditions required for your benefits whilst volunteering. The Department for Work and Pensions recommends that you tell your local benefits office about your volunteering role.

Am I insured to volunteer with you?

Yes. All our volunteering activities are covered by our insurance policies. Aside from this, we will take every reasonable precaution to ensure your safety whilst volunteering with us.

If you are driving a vehicle to the site you are volunteering at or driving between sites please check with your insurance company that you are insured.

How old do I have to be to volunteer?

In general we prefer volunteers to be over 16 years of age, however, in certain roles or circumstances (e.g. school groups) we may allow younger people to volunteer where we are sure that all necessary support is in place. If you are under 16 but would like to volunteer, please email us at volunteering@papworthtrust.org.uk..

I am not from the UK, can I still volunteer?

You can volunteer if you already have the right to work in the UK. This includes if you are an EU or EEA citizen*. Alternatively, if you hold a student visa, you can volunteer up to 20 hours a week during term time and full-time during holidays. Non-EU nationals generally need a work permit in order to volunteer and it is your responsibility to check the terms of your visa or entry clearance conditions before you apply to volunteer. You may need to do this with the UK Border Agency. If you have more questions, please email us at volunteering@papworthtrust.org.uk.

*excluding citizens of Romania or Bulgaria who require an accession worker card.

I have a criminal record, can I still volunteer?

Yes, provided that your offence does not involve the kinds of people we support. However, we will ask you to disclose any previous convictions as part of the application process and may require you to undertake a DBS check before you commence volunteering.

If your question is not answered here, please email us at volunteering@papworthtrust.org.uk.