Do you have age limits to becoming a volunteer?

All our volunteer roles are open to anyone over the age of 18 and we don’t have an upper age limit.  Those under 18 can distribute leaflets raising awareness of the services we offer (you will need parental consent to do this).

What is the time commitment for a Volunteer Visitor or Telephone Volunteer?

Our opportunities are flexible and can fit in with your lifestyle.  This depends on your availability and the needs of the older person you will be supporting.   The calls and visits can be weekly or fortnightly.   Your Independent Age contact will try and pair you with an older person whose needs match the amount of time you can realistically give.   Visits are usually up to an hour and calls last about 30 minutes.

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

We encourage volunteers to stay for at least a year.  This gives you plenty of time to building up a relationship with the older person and make full use of the training and support offered. We may have other volunteering roles where this time commitment isn’t required.  Please see the current roles available or contact

Will I get training and support to be a volunteer?

Yes, you will receive information and training before you begin your volunteering activities which will enable you to fulfil your role. If you are a Volunteer (Volunteer Visitor and/or Telephone Volunteer) you will be expected to complete online adult safeguarding training and additional training specific to your role.   You will also get the full support of your Independent Age contact.  

We ask our volunteers to attend at least one volunteering event a year. These events give you the opportunity to meet other volunteers and more of the Independent Age team.

Do you pay expenses?

Yes, You should never be out of pocket when volunteering. Independent Age will reimburse you for all reasonable mileage/transport costs plus any additional receipted ‘out of pocket’ expenses, in accordance with the Independent Age Volunteer Expenses policy.

Will I need to have a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS)/Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG in Scotland) Vetting and Barring check?

That depends which role you go for. Volunteer Visitors must undergo a DBS/PVG check to ensure we protect the older people we support. However, you will not need a DBS/PVG check to be a Telephone Volunteer, or 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/PVG check on your behalf and usually these do not take longer than a couple of weeks to process.   If you are signed up to the DBS Update Service and already have an Enhanced check for the Adult Workforce, you may not need to complete another DBS application. Whilst we’re waiting for your clearance we can start your training and induction – so you can stay involved during this time.

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

Yes! If you only want to do one thing per year for us then that's fine. Becoming a Volunteer Visitor or Telephone Volunteer 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.

Can I do more than one role?

Yes of course, many of our volunteers do. This way you can get a flavour of everything we do and get involved in all aspects of the charity. You could telephone an older person, visit someone else visit and use your training skills to train other volunteers.

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

Occasionally, people just don't 'click', although luckily this doesn’t happen often.   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 Independent Age contact; 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 make sure that the older person has someone else to support them.

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