Could you be a community responder volunteer?
We need caring people to provide reassurance and low level support to an older, vulnerable person in their own home when a delay is anticipated for Primary or Secondary care support.
You can make a difference every week
Retail volunteer Brian says "We laugh, we joke, we always have fun and enjoy each other’s company. We’ve even got our own names on our cups - I feel truly part of a great team."
We need new trustees
Would you like to be more active in your community and make a positive difference in Northamptonshire? We're looking for dedicated people, of all ages, with a range of experience, to join our Board of Trustees. Our trustees are essential to our success as a charity.
We need caring, patient people to help at our day centres in Northampton and Kettering.
Can you help our HR team or Volunteer Service on a Wednesday or Thursday morning?
Could you make a regular telephone call to a local older person who feels lonely or isolated?
Come and raise vital funds. Meet new people and make a difference to your community.
Come and help older people get enjoyment from their garden again.
We need practical, hands-on people who enjoy DIY.
Can you spare four hours a day to support our day centre clients using our minibuses.
We need caring people to provide reassurance and low level support,
Thank you for your interest in volunteering for us.
- Fill in our application form and return it to the Volunteers Co-ordinator - choose the option below that is easiest for you
- All new volunteers (except in our shops) will need to have an enhanced DBS check
- You must be 18 or over
- We like to meet you in person but can arrange online interviews if you prefer
Please email Caroline Roy our Volunteers Co-ordinator with any queries
Making a huge difference every week
In June 2023 our 212 volunteers provided an average weekly grand total of 788 hours of service, working the equivalent of 21 full-time roles.
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, learn new skills, and support the work we do in the community. Being a volunteer can help you get a bit of confidence and life-experience by doing something new. And you get the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing something useful.
Volunteering can provide you with a sense of purpose, for example, if you're unexpectedly unemployed, or you've retired or have lost a loved one. Helping others can give your life new meaning and keep you mentally stimulated. As a volunteer you'll typically interact with people from diverse backgrounds, which can help you learn other perspectives. You will be meeting new people and improving your social skills such as active listening and relationship management.
Volunteering can boost your self esteem and self confidence. When you do something you feel is worthwhile and valuable to your community, it gives you a sense of achievement that can help you feel more fulfilled about your life and any future goals.
Who can volunteer?
Almost anyone can be a volunteer. We have a wide range of roles which suit different people and different skills. You will need to be 18 or over.
How much time do I need to give?
We welcome any spare time you may have! All we ask is that you are available on a regular weekly basis and are able to volunteer for a minimum of three months. Student placements are the exception to this, as these have an agreed timeframe which may be shorter (see below for details). You may like to offer an hour or two a week as a Volunteer Telephone Befriender or perhaps a morning or an afternoon working in a charity shop. One volunteer helps us by spending her time every week checking donated jigsaw puzzles. She counts all the pieces to ensure they are complete. This saves the shop manager and her assistant having to do it and helps us enormously.
We are flexible and will do our best to accommodate your availability and needs to ensure you get the most out of volunteering with us.
More reasons to volunteer
Training and hands-on experience you gain whilst volunteering can help you learn new skills, as well as build on the ones you already have. These skills can be added to your CV to show employers you have acquired new skills, can build relationships outside work, and have useful experience with transferable skills.
Volunteering also brings fun to your life. Your interests and hobbies can be useful to Age UK Northamptonshire, for example, gardening or helping at community and fundraising events. Using your creativity can provide you with a renewed sense of motivation that can carry over into your personal or professional life. It often feels good to contribute to a charity that has helped you or your family in the past.
Building connections with other volunteers and older people the charity is helping can help you feel happier. Being more phycially active or overcoming the personal challenges of leaving your comfort zone can improve your own health and wellbeing. As a volunteer you may have to use critical thinking skills that aid your own personal development.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks
When you apply for a volunteer role with Age UK Northamptonshire you will asked to register for a Disclosure and Barring Service check (formerly Criminal Records Bureau). This applies to all roles except helping in one of our shops. The Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) is free of charge and our Volunteers Co-ordinator can help if necessary.
The DBS check aims to:
- prevent unsuitable individuals from working with vulnerable groups of people (such as children and frail older people)
- check if there is a reason a potential volunteer is unsuitable for the role that they've applied for
- respond to referrals from organisations that are concerned that a candidate may not be suitable for a role due to the reasons above
A DBS check is usually requested by an organisation to help keep people safe. Most of our volunteering roles require an Enhanced DBS check but we will let you know if a Basic DBS check is required instead.
We are proud of our partnerships with schools, colleges and the University of Northampton in Northamptonshire. We can accommodate students on placements with us are studying health and social care, counselling, public health or medicine, for example. This may be a 50 hour placement or according to term timetable.
Students enjoy their time with us and often remain with us when their placement has ended, becoming a regular volunteer. They gain valuable and practical experience in a non-health care setting. There are also opportunities for students on creative or humanities courses to provide entertainment at our day centres.
Lydia from Northampton College says
"I started a placement at the day centre because I am studying Level 3 Health and Social Care. I love being part of the lives of the people who come to Foxfields. Each individual is different and I love talking to them to find out how their weekend was and what they are doing for the rest of the week. I find it very rewarding when they show appreciation or even just have a conversation. I have never volunteered within a place like this, so it was definitely new to me. I didn't know what to expect but now every Monday morning I look forward to seeing them all."
Bethany, Tresham College student says
"Since starting the my placement the staff, including other volunteers, and the clients helped me settle in, offering their support whenever it was needed. I really enjoy helping with the activities - it's lots of fun."
Olivia, Tresham College student says
"I feel like I'm getting on well and am enjoying my time here."
What our clients say about the student volunteers
Jim - "I think they are a credit to their generation. Trustworthy, good communicators and make things better for us by bringing new activities."
Pete - "The Terrible Two, that's what they put on their Christmas card to me. I do wind them up. I will miss them when they leave and cannot say enough about them. I think they are brilliant."
Helen - "They are very sweet, knind and help us a lot. They take us back and forth to the canteen and make me happy. They are good fun."
Jeanie - "I like having them join us."
Businesses volunteering as a group
We are always grateful for the support of local companies and welcome any help you can offer with fundraising events or community or festive events. Sometimes local businesses will organise a Christmas lunch or Summer Garden Party for our day centre clients, for example.
You may wish to choose us as your Charity of the Year as that can be an excellent opportunity for team building with colleagues. We regret we are not able to accommodate one-off volunteering days because we work with vulnerable adults where safeguarding policies apply. Please contact our Volunteers Co-ordinator for an informal chat if you have a particular project in mind.
Why we use Volunteero for Telephone Befriending
The Telephone Befriending Service operates through an App called Volunteero. This means our Telephone Befrienders will need to have a smart phone, laptop, PC or tablet to use the Volunteero app. The App is simple to use, enables volunteers to match themselves to clients waiting for the service and benefits both client and volunteer. It also operates a reporting system which ensures the people we support are kept safe and access the services they may require easily.
Our Volunteers Co-ordinator Caroline Roy says "We're always looking for new telephone befrienders because the service is in such high demand. I provide all the training and support you'll need and can answer any questions you may have."
Our 212 volunteers dedicate a total of 788 hours each week