How do I become a volunteer?
If you are interested in volunteering with us please get in touch by completing an enquiry form available here. We will then be in touch to learn more about your interest, skills, experience and motivations as well as tell you more about the roles we are recruiting for. Depending on the role, and on a case by case basis, there may be further discussion with you as well as completion of registration details.
When should I apply to become a volunteer?
We accept volunteer enquiries at any time, for most roles there is no deadline for applications. Where there is a deadline this is shown on the role outline. If you do make an enquiry we will be in touch within three working days.
What type of volunteering is involved?
We have volunteers supporting us with a variety of activities. Most of our volunteers are ambassadors and you can find out more about this, and some of our other roles, here. Other opportunities can include being a community supporter, assisting with ad hoc data entry or translations. If you are interested in volunteering with us but do not feel any of these roles are what you’re looking for please get in touch.
Please note we are currently unable to support volunteering requests outside the UK.
How many hours will I be asked to do?
The number of hours you choose to volunteer is up to you. We do ask that you are available to attend a half-day induction training session but volunteering roles are all flexible to suit your own capacity.
How long do I have to commit for?
You can start and end your volunteering at any time and we are flexible to allow breaks in volunteering activity if required. There may be occasions where a certain voluntary task has a time frame, for example data entry, but this would always be discussed with you prior to your starting in the role.
When can I start?
If you become a volunteer with us, and depending on the role, we can be flexible on start dates and this often depends on your own motivations. Most of our ambassadors and community supporters begin some sort of activity within a month of receiving training.
Will training be provided?
We provide induction training to all our new volunteers as required. This is arranged on a case by case basis and is in a location mutually convenient to the volunteer(s) and staff involved.
Who do I report to?
The majority of our volunteers report to our Volunteer Engagement Manager who oversees our volunteer network. In some cases you may also be allocated a staff contact but this will be confirmed during the course of your induction.
What support will I have?
You will be supported throughout your volunteering by dedicated staff. You will be given a staff contact when you begin volunteering with Shared Interest. You will also receive ongoing support through communications and activities from our Volunteer Engagement Manager and our Membership and Engagement Administrator. Our network of volunteers is also very supportive of each other and you will have opportunities to communicate with other volunteers.
Will I need a CRB check?
CRB checks are not required for the volunteer roles we offer.
Will I be paid expenses?
Out of pocket expenses for travel and refreshments whilst volunteering for Shared Interest will be reimbursed in line with our Volunteering Policy and will be outlined during induction training.
Will volunteering affect my benefits?
If you have any questions about this please check with your benefits adviser.
Will I be working with other volunteers?
Our ambassador and community supporter roles are for those wishing to volunteer in their local community. We do have some regions where we have a small number of other volunteers you may be able to partner with. However, we also have some parts of the country with no other volunteers where opportunities for working together may be limited.
As part of the induction process we endeavour to support new volunteers with shadowing opportunities for their first few times of volunteering. This may be with another volunteer or staff member depending on availability. We also enable ambassadors to communicate with each other through our Skype Forum and occasionally hold events inviting volunteers to meet each other.
We do have a small number of volunteers who support us in our main office in Newcastle and, if undertaking such volunteering, there may be occasions where you would meet and work with other volunteers.
I am a full time employee / student, can I still volunteer?
Most of our volunteer roles are flexible so you can choose the times that suit you when carrying out your volunteering
Do I need to have previous volunteering experience to apply?
No, but we may ask about your previous volunteering experience and what interested you most about any past voluntary activity. Our volunteers all demonstrate a commitment to Shared Interest’s mission.
What personal information is held about me and why is it needed?
We collect, store and use the following personal data about our volunteers:
- Personal contact details such as name, title, addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, social media accounts and Skype ID
- Date of Birth, if you provide this, so we can send you a birthday card
- Emergency contact information
- Start date
- Recruitment information – including copies of any forms or supporting information collected during the recruitment process
- Volunteering records – including volunteering hours, training records, information about volunteering activities carried out and correspondence gathered during your time as a volunteer with us
- Expenses claims, including your bank details, if you provided these
- Photographs, your consent will be sought before we use these on our website or other publications
- Information about any medical or health conditions which you choose to share with us
We will use the personal data we hold about you in the following circumstances:
- To engage and support you in your role as a volunteer with Shared Interest, including during periods of inactivity and for a period of 12 months after you stop volunteering with us
- Where we need to comply with a legal obligation
- Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests
- Where it is needed in the public interest or for official purposes.