Volunteering FAQ

How do I become a volunteer?
First of all, contact us, stating the volunteering roles in which you are interested, if you know. Our Volunteer Officer will contact you to arrange an informal meeting, and she will also send you a registration form to complete. If you need help to complete the form, this will be provided.

When you meet up, we’ll have a chat about the volunteering role/s in which you are interested, and what you want to get out of your experience with Action 21. You’ll see the Re-Useful Centre and any other relevant places to give you a clearer idea of Action 21’s volunteering opportunities and environment.

How much time do I need to give?
The norm is to complete a minimum of one shift a week (3-3.5 hours), although we can be flexible about this if necessary. There are a few roles that require only ad-hoc assistance, and bike mechanics usually volunteer one full day. Please check individual volunteering role descriptions as they detail how much time is required.

Are there certain skills I need to be a volunteer?
Many of our volunteering roles require nothing more than enthusiasm and reliability.  Some of our roles require specific skills or experience, and these will be stated within the volunteering role descriptions.

Do you provide training?
You’ll receive ‘on the job’ mentoring and support from other volunteers and your supervisors. If your volunteering involves handling heavy items, you’ll watch our manual handling training DVD.  Our Portable Appliance Testing role requires the most training, plus the opportunity to acquire formal certification.

I work 9-5 weekdays. Is there anything I can do?
Yes, there is! Weekend roles include:

  • Helping out at the Re-Useful Centre shop
  • Photography
  • Running weekend Skill Share workshops

Some roles can be done from home at any time, such as writing articles and social media activities.

Will I get my expenses paid for?
We believe volunteers should not be made out of pocket by helping us out so we will contribute to your travel expenses if you use public transport to get to us. If you volunteer for a full day, you may be eligible for a free lunch.

Are child care costs covered?
Unfortunately we don’t have a big enough budget to cover volunteers’ child care costs.

Can I volunteer if I receive state benefits?
You can volunteer as many hours as you want whilst in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance as long as you’re actively seeking work and are available for interviews (we’ll always be flexible to accommodate this). You must inform your local Job Centre when you start volunteering as you will need to complete a form. We can also help you by providing a standard letter explaining:

  • what volunteering you’re doing
  • that you don’t get paid and are only reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses and,
  • that we will reorganise your volunteering shifts so that you can always attend interviews or take up paid work within 48 hours notice.

If you receive Incapacity Benefit or Employment & Support Allowance then you should contact your local Benefit Delivery Centre to ensure that the nature of your volunteering role won’t affect your benefits.  For most people in the Leamington and Warwick area, you will need to call Walsall Benefit Delivery office on 0845 608 8676.