How much time do I need to volunteer?
This is really up to you. You can find volunteering opportunities that only take one hour per month, to five days a week – or more.
Some roles are for one-off events, some are short term and others might need a six month commitment.
You can volunteer at any time of the week, day or night. While much volunteering takes place in office hours, you can volunteer at evenings and weekends too, again depending on what you want to do.
Certain roles like befriending require building up trust with someone, which is why a certain amount of commitment is required. Think carefully about the amount of commitment you are able to give before choosing your role.
How old do I have to be to volunteer?
You can be any age to volunteer – but many opportunities do have age restrictions. That’s typically because of the type of opportunity, or because the organisation only has insurance in place for those aged 18 or over.
Do I need qualifications to be a volunteer?
Some volunteering opportunities require certain skills such as counselling which may require qualifications but organisations often provide training. If particular qualifications are needed in order to take up the volunteering role, the information should be available on the organisations’ website.
Often the organisation is looking for personal skills, such as being able to get on with a wide variety of people, being reliable and being enthusiastic about a particular interest or cause – rather than academic qualifications.
Can I leave if I dont like it?
Yes, of course.
You are under no obligation to keep volunteering for an organisation if you don’t like it. But it is always worth talking to somebody before stopping. That could be your volunteer co-ordinator (if there is one), supervisor or someone in the organisation who is responsible for you. You can discuss with them why you feel unhappy and what you feel would improve your time as a volunteer.