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I’ve enquired about volunteering - what happens next?

We will provide you with contact details and information about the projects you are interested in. You should now get in touch with them - possibly more than one, as some of them may not be recruiting at the moment.

Please be polite and clear in all correspondence with our partners, as how you approach them may well play a part in your success at securing a role.

Once you’ve made contact, the organisation will invite you to an information meeting, or ask you to fill out an application form or send a CV and covering letter, or invite you in for a chat. The University of London’s Careers Group have some excellent guidance on their Careers Tagged website to help you with your application.

Different projects have different ways of recruiting volunteers. Depending on the type of volunteering you’re doing, you may also be asked to provide references and / or complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) form.

Many of the organisations and projects we work with are quite small, and may not get back to you immediately. Nonetheless, if you’ve not had a response within a week, follow up with an email or a phone call, or get in touch with Oliver Peachey at the Volunteering Service.

Starting volunteering

When you start volunteering, you should receive an explanation about what you’re doing. This is called an induction. The induction should cover things like:

  • An opportunity to discuss your role – what you’ll be doing, what you might achieve.
  • Information about any training that is being offered.
  • Details about who will be your supervisor and what form this supervision will take.
  • Any important dates you should know about – volunteer meetings, forthcoming events, etc.
  • Introduction to staff, volunteers and other people.
  • A tour of the building you’re volunteering in.
  • Explanation of what to do if you’ve any questions.
  • Background information about the organisation.
  • Explanation of how to claim expenses.
  • Important health & safety information (for example, where the fire escape is).

It is important that you look through the above checklist when you start volunteering. If there’s anything you don’t think you’ve been told, ask your supervisor, or if you are unsure, come and talk to us at the Volunteering Service.

Ongoing support

There should be at least one named person on your project you can go to for support - for example, a supervisor, manager, project leader etc. If you do not know who this person is, find out as soon as possible! Find out more about what to do now that you’re volunteering!