• Is there a minimum amount of time I must give?
  • Will I be paid?
  • What age do I have to be?
  • Will I be insured?
  • I am receiving welfare benefits - am I allowed to volunteer ?

1. Is there a minimum amount of time I must give?
There's no obligation for volunteers to attend or to give a minimum amount of time.. You decide how much time you are prepared to give.

2.Will I be paid?
Only agreed out-of-pocket expenses*, such as travel between home and worksite and set lunch reimbursement amount. There is no payment for your time, the work you achieve, or any 'payment in kind'.

3.What age do I have to be?
In general (see exceptions below) there is no minimum or maximum age as long as:

  • you are able to make a useful contribution;
  • there is no minimum age requirement for the task; and
  • the activities are suitable for your age and not detrimental to your welfare or education.

If you are under 18, your parent or guardian must give permission for you to volunteer and you must be supervised by an adult and not left alone. We cannot always provide supervision so this may restrict younger people to volunteering with their parent or guardian.
There is no upper age limit. Older volunteers are welcome to stay for as long as they can carry out their work effectively and providing they are not putting their, or others', health and safety in jeopardy.
The exceptions are:

  • Overseas volunteers must be 18 or over and have a good command of spoken English.
  • Full-time volunteers should be 18 or over, although some properties may be prepared to take 17 year olds.
  • Asylum seekers and refugees are welcome to volunteer with us.

4.Will I be insured?
WOI  has insurance cover for damage to property or personal injury.

5.I am receiving welfare benefits - am I allowed to volunteer?
Yes - but tell your Job Centre or Benefits Office before volunteering to get their confirmation.
There is no maximum limit to the number of hours that you may volunteer while claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) or Incapacity Benefit (IB). However, if claiming JSA, you must continue to search for paid work and be willing and able to attend an interview on 48 hours notice or start a paid job within one week if offered.

If in receipt of IB, you may volunteer provided that the activity does not conflict with your stated incapacity.

It is possible to volunteer under the government's New Deal scheme.

Volunteer Experiences

“ I am HIV positive and I have found that by volunteering at WOI  I am part of  a community.  I have a sense of participating in something useful and beneficial to others. My self esteem has risen and  I am much more confident than I used to  be. I have also been trained  and have more skills than I had before which means that when I’m ready I will be more employable.”

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