Why do people volunteer?
There are many reasons why people choose to get involved. Here are just a few:
- to make a real difference
- to do something inspiring
- to learn skills and improve their CVs
- to gain valuable experience
- to gain an insight into the work of the organisation
- to gain an insight into the field of work that the organisation is involved in
- to meet new people
- to make a contribution
- for purely philanthropical reasons of contributing something of value
Who can volunteer?
Anybody is welcome to volunteer for Islamic Help - we are committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for everyone who volunteers with us. We have volunteers who are students, retired, unemployed, employed, elderly and young and our volunteers are drawn from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds.
Any volunteers that want to work with children may be subject to CRB checks.
Do you offer training to volunteers?
We hold Volunteer Development Seminars and also provide induction training to ensure that volunteers are able to carry out their tasks in as safe a way as possible. We also train our volunteers so that they are familiar with the organisation and its work. In addition we provide training and materials so that volunteers have the requisite knowledge and skills to carrying out any given task.
The Volunteer Development Manager or another member of staff supervises the work of volunteers and will be on hand to answer questions and queries. Volunteers that undertake fundraising are supported in their role by the Fundraising Team and one always able to address questions and queries to the team.
What will I get out of volunteering?
You can get whatever it is that you want to get from the experience but you can expect to acquire skills, experience, confidence, new friends and contacts and the satisfaction of knowing that you have made a difference to the lives of countless people around the world!! Oh… and you will definitely get hours of fun and laughter along the way!
How much time do I have to give?
As much or as little time as you have to spare! Simply tell us how much time you can give and when you can give it and we will find a volunteering role to accommodate you! Remember your contribution is valued by us no matter how big or small!
Our volunteers give their time according to their circumstances – some volunteer on a regular basis for a few hours a week, others volunteer at one-off events, still others join our database and are happy to step in we need extra volunteer support.
What skills do I need to volunteer?
This will depend on what you choose to do – we do have many highly skilled volunteers that contribute to our work. However, many roles do not require a specific skill set. We will work with you to identify volunteering roles and if you do not have the necessary skills for a particular role it may be that we can support you in developing them.
Will volunteering affect my benefits?
No. Volunteering should not affect the benefit payments you receive. Volunteers are not paid for their time. People claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA) can volunteer as long as they remain available for work and are actively seeking paid employment.
People claiming Income Support and/or Disability Living Allowance can volunteer.
People claiming Incapacity Benefit can volunteer for as long as they want. The rule that people receiving Incapacity Benefit could only volunteer for 16 hours a week no longer exists. Volunteering does not affect your "permitted work".
However, just to be absolutely sure we recommend that you contact the Benefits Agency and take their advice on any implications volunteering ma have on your benefits.
I’m an asylum seeker/refugee, can I volunteer?
People who have refugee status or have exceptional leave to remain are allowed to do any type of work, including voluntary work. You may have a letter saying that you must not engage in paid work - but this does not apply to roles that are voluntary and you are entitled to receive out-of-pocket expenses.
Again we recommend that you take independent advice if you have any concerns about volunteering.
Please note too that any volunteering involving work with children may mean that we have to carry out Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks - if you are a recent arrival this can take some time.
Will it cost me anything to volunteer?
No, volunteering for Islamic Help should not leave you out of pocket – in fact, we will try to reimburse legitimate expenses.