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Who can volunteer?

We welcome volunteers aged 14 and above who have relevant skills and experience and a willingness to learn.

How much time do I need to commit?

Most of our volunteer roles require a regular commitment of 2 hours or more per week. Please see each individual role description for details of how much time we need from you.

What can I expect from volunteering at Age UK Exeter?

Volunteering is a great way to use your existing talents to help others and contribute to your local community. It can be beneficial in developing work based skills if you are studying or job seeking and is particularly beneficial for those looking to go into care work, older people’s care or the charity sector.

As a volunteer, you will:

  • make a meaningful difference to older people in Exeter
  • gain new skills and experiences
  • Meet new people
  • have a named supervisor who will support you throughout your volunteering journey
  • receive any necessary training and support for your role
  • receive our newsletter for volunteers
  • be invited to our annual celebration of volunteers
  • be part of the fabulous team of volunteers and staff at Age UK Exeter

What do volunteers do?

Volunteers are involved in all aspects of our charity from being a trustee to admin and assisting in our daycentres. Our roles change depending on need. Details of current roles can be viewed on our website.

Will I have to pay my own bus fare or petrol costs?

No, all reasonable travel expenses that arise from volunteering are reimbursed. This includes public transport within the city and petrol costs if you use your car in your volunteer role.

I'm working full-time, can I still volunteer?

Yes. Though most of our activities are during the week some activities are available outside of normal working hours such as Voluntary Visiting or becoming a trustee. We also have a Taskforce of volunteers who help out at one off events and fundraising activities when they can.

Click here to find out more about being a Taskforce Volunteer.

Can I claim benefits while volunteering?

Yes, volunteering does not affect your benefits as you will not be receiving payment other than travel expenses if appropriate. You will need to let the Job Centre know that you are volunteering and must abide by the conditions set out by them.

Do I need any skills or qualifications?

Most volunteer roles don't require qualifications but we do need people that have suitable skills to enhance and support the work we do with older people. All volunteers receive a thorough induction and support to undertake their role. Training is also available where appropriate.

Will I have to complete an application form or have an interview?

Yes, we ask all people who are interested in volunteering with us to attend an informal interview. This is a two way process that enables us to find out more about you and see if you are suitable for the role and also allows you meet us and see if our volunteer roles meet your needs and interests.

You will be given an application to take with you at the end of this interview so that you have a chance to decide if you would like to apply for the role.

What training and support will I get?

All volunteers receive a thorough induction to their role with their role supervisor prior to or on their first day of volunteering.

Volunteers are also asked to attend an Introduction to Age UK Exeter session when they first start. This is an introductory session which helps volunteers understand more about the charity and what it offers to local older people as well as giving volunteers the chance to meet others within the organisation.

We also offer training on Manual Handling, Dementia Awareness and Safeguarding.

Are childcare costs covered?

No. Unfortunately, we don’t currently have the resources to cover childcare costs.

What volunteering opportunities are there for students?

Most of our volunteer roles are suitable for students as long as you have availability in your timetable during the week. Some roles are only suitable for those aged 18+ (see role descriptions for details).

We also take students for work experience and work placements if they show a passion for working with older people, adult social care or the charitable sector.

If you would like to undertake work experience with us please email our Volunteer Co-ordinator at j.corkhill@ageukexeter.org.uk ensuring you include the following information:

  1. Why you would like to gain work experience at Age UK Exeter
  2. Any experience you have of helping older people
  3. The dates you would like to attend for your work experience.

Can I leave if I don't like it?

Yes - of course you can. However, we would ask that you speak to the Volunteer Co-ordinator first to see if anything can be done to improve your experience, such as changing your role to something you find more enjoyable.

How do I apply?

  • Look through our Current Volunteer Roles
  • Complete the online enquiry form
  • The Volunteer Co-ordinator will contact you for an informal chat
  • You will be invited to an informal no commitment interview with the Volunteer Co-ordinator

At the Interview you will:

  • find out more about our charity and the types of volunteer roles available
  • discuss your relevant skills, experience and what you hope to gain from volunteering
  • have the application process explained to you in more detail
  • be given the application pack to take away so you can decide if you would like to proceed with an application
  • Complete a Volunteer Application form. PLEASE NOTE: because of the sensitive nature of the work we do, we will ask you for two references. Some roles also require a DBS background check. Click here for info on DBS checks
  • If your application is successful we will contact you to make arrangements for start dates etc.
  • You will be asked to attend an Introduction to Age UK Exeter session and other relevant training within the first 3 months of your time volunteering with us. Training sessions are interactive and aim to give you information and tools to help you in your volunteer role.

Links

DBS https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service/about