main content

Volunteer FAQs

Valerie Johnson and Margaret Barnes - tea

Volunteer FAQs

Q. What are the age limits to becoming a volunteer?

A. All our volunteer roles require the person to be of the minimum age of 18 in order to apply.

Q. Do I have to commit to a minimum number of hours each month to be a volunteer visitor?

A. Depending on the needs of the older person, Volunteer Visitors commit to visit their service user on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.  Your Area Manager will try and pair you with an older person whose needs match the amount of time you can realistically give.

Q. Do I have to sign up for a minimum period of time?

A. We encourage volunteers to stay for a minimum period of 1 year, to make full use of the training and support offered and if visiting, to give you time to build a relationship with the older person.  We may have other volunteering roles where this time commitment isn’t required, please see the current roles available or speak with your Area Manager.

Q. Will I get training and support to be a volunteer?

A. Yes, you will receive core training before you begin your volunteering activities which will enable you to fulfil your role and we also provide ongoing training. If you volunteer visitor with us you'll also get the full support of your Area Manager and a Head Office-based specialist team of expert advisers to advise and support you.

Q. Can I claim back the cost of my travel whilst volunteering?

A. Yes, we will reimburse you for all reasonable mileage/transport costs plus receipted ‘out of pocket’ expenses, in accordance with the Independent Age Volunteer Expenses policy.

Q. Will I need to have a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS)/Scottish Vetting and Barring check?

A. That depends which role you go for. All of our volunteer visitors must undergo a DBS check to ensure we protect the older people we help. However, you will not need a DBS check to help at an event, assist at a social activity or hold a Big Tea event. There is no cost to you if we apply for a DBS check on your behalf and usually these do not take longer than eight weeks to process. Whilst we’re waiting for your clearance we can start your training and induction – so you can stay involved during this time.

Q. I only want to volunteer as a one-off - can I do this?

A. Yes! If you only want to do one thing per year for us then that's fine. We want the older people we support to forge genuine friendships - so volunteer visiting would not be an option but there’s lots of other ways to help. You could hold a Big Tea fundraising event to raise valuable funds or help at a local social activity event in your area. Just tell us when you would like to help and we can go through the options with you.

Q. Can I do more than one role?

A. Yes of course - and many of our current volunteers do. This way you can get a flavour of everything we do and get involved in all aspects of the charity. You might visit an older person then volunteer to be a Talk Time facilitator along with holding an annual Big Tea event.

Q. What if I don't seem to be getting on with the older person I am allocated?

A. As we know, sometimes people just don't 'click'. (Luckily this doesn't happen often!) Although every effort is made to pair volunteers with suitable service users, the matching process isn’t an exact science.  If you don’t feel that your relationship is going in the way that you’d hoped, don't worry. Speak to your Organising Volunteer or Area Manager in the first instance; they will also contact the older person to try and get a clear idea of the situation from both perspectives. If the relationship isn’t working for you both we will try and allocate you to someone you feel more comfortable with and we can reallocate the person you visited to someone else too.