The skill, time and energy of our volunteers make a real difference to what we do, enhancing the quality and support we offer older people. It is the invaluable help of our dedicated volunteers that makes it possible for us to provide and maintain the variety and quality of our services. Volunteering is also great way to meet new people, learn new skills, and support the work we do in the community.
Who can volunteer?
Providing you are able and willing to follow Age UK Barnet's procedures and policies, we can find you a task that matches your interests and abilities and we have the means to support you in that role, you can be a volunteer. If you are under 18 you will need the permission and support of your parent/guardian. The minimum age for becoming a befriender is 16. If you are under 16, there may be roles you can help with in school holidays such as an activity centre volunteer.
How do I become a volunteer?
If you are interested in volunteering please email Lisa Robbins Volunteer Manager or call 020 8432 1422 (Monday – Wednesdays). Please do this before submitting an application form.
You can then download, complete and return the relevant sections of the volunteer application form. Do ensure that you give us the details of two referees who are not family members and one should be a person of professional standing. If your circumstances mean that you are unable to provide current references ring us to discuss this. If you are unable to download the form please email to request a form. If you let us know your specific areas of interest we can also email other relevant information.
Once the form is returned to us and your references successfully obtained, you will be contacted to arrange a face to face interview with our Volunteer Manager and the Service Manager where relevant. At this interview we will complete the application form and go through the volunteer induction procedures, handbook, relevant policies and task descriptions. You will then sign the application form. Your training needs will be agreed and a place offered on a training module if one is available. At this point, you may also be introduced to those who you will be working with. If there is insufficient time a second interview can be arranged. Once your general induction has been completed you will need to sign a Volunteer Agreement.
Those volunteers who will be working on a one to one basis with vulnerable adults such as Befrienders, Home from Hospital and Later Life Planners will need to see the fact sheet on that service. At the time of the interview they will also need to bring along a list of documents mentioned on this sheet so we can complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check application form.
Will I need to take time off work to attend an interview, training or supervision session?
Most interviews, training and supervision sessions take place at the Ann Owens Centre, East Finchley. Supervision sessions can also happen over the phone. We should be able to work around your availability.
How long will it take between interview and my starting to volunteer?
This will depend on the individual role(s) you take up. Most roles have their own job descriptions and training package. Some will involve on-the-job training, allowing you to start immediately. Other positions will require more training or there may be a waiting period before placement. While you are waiting you may wish to try your hand at something else.
What happens if my circumstances change or I don't enjoy the work I do?
There is a month's trial period for all volunteers. Your supervisor is there to discuss any problems and issues with you. If the problems cannot be resolved you may wish to try another role and you are free to finish volunteering at any point, but please keep us informed at all points.
Will it cost me anything to volunteer?
Age UK Barnet will pay the cost of your Discloure and Barring Service check and training. We will also reimburse you for any agreed out of pocket expenses, such as travel costs.
What happens if I cannot fulfill one of my duties on any given occasion?
You will need to let your supervisor and colleagues know as soon as possible. In some cases we have volunteers who will cover for others.