Volunteering FAQs

Get answers to common questions about volunteering.

Why should I volunteer?

People volunteer with us for a wide range of reasons. As well as being a great way to support some of the UK's most vulnerable children and families, it's also an opportunity to get involved in your local community, learn new skills, improve your CV, build your confidence and meet new people. Read Meet our volunteers to see how the experiences differ.

What can I do?

Volunteering with us can be challenging but very rewarding too. You could assist at your local Action for Children playgroup, befriend a young refugee, mentor a young person who has little contact with their family, or advise young people about dealing with issues like homelessness or drug abuse. You could also perform valuable support roles, such as driving, administration or event volunteering.

Search our volunteering database to find an opportunity that's right for you.

How much time would I need to commit?

We're very flexible: it depends on the role and how much time you are able to give. Some of our volunteers might give two hours a fortnight or get involved in one-off events that last a few hours, while others might give two or three days a week. A lack of time certainly doesn't mean you can't help us.

What skills do I need?

For most of our volunteering roles you don't need to have any particular skills other than enthusiasm and a willingness to get involved. If any specific skills are needed we will outline them in the role description.

What training and support will I get?

It's very important to us that all our volunteers feel confident in their role and know exactly what they will be doing. We give all of our volunteers an introduction to our work and support from a member of staff, although the level of training you receive will depend on your role.

For example if you volunteer at one of our projects, you'll be supported by project staff and given any training you need to be able to carry out your role. You will also be given regular appraisals where you can talk about any issues you're having.

Event and fundraising volunteers will be supported either by a local community fundraiser, or by one of the event organisers.

How do I apply?

It's very easy: All you need to do is visit our volunteering hub to search and sign up for volunteering positions.

Will I need a CRB or disclosure check?

Yes, for some roles. We have a responsibility to protect the children and young people we work with, so we will carry out a CRB or disclosure check where needed. This can take some time, but is not a difficult process and you will be given help to complete the forms if necessary.

I have a criminal record. Does that mean I can't volunteer?

It really depends on what your criminal record is for. Each Action for Children project will look at volunteers individually, and make a decision based on the type of offence.

Will volunteering affect my benefits?

No. If you are claiming benefits volunteering will not affect the money you get, and you can volunteer for as many hours as you'd like. You should, however, tell your benefits advisor that you are volunteering.

I am disabled. Can I volunteer?

Yes. If you think your disability might make it difficult for you to volunteer, call us on 0300 123 2112 and have a chat with the volunteering team about your needs. We can advise on which of our projects are accessible, and make sure that the staff members at your chosen project do their best to ensure you can volunteer the way you want to.

I am an asylum seeker. Can I volunteer?

Yes. Action for Children is a charity and asylum seekers - even if they have been refused asylum and are waiting to go home - are allowed to volunteer for charities. You can also claim out-of-pocket expenses.

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Join our team.

We would love you to join our friendly team, so get involved and volunteer. Search our volunteering database to find the right opportunity for you, sign up, and we'll do the rest.

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