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Frequently asked questions

Q -Will my benefits be affected if I volunteer?

A – In most cases your benefits shouldn’t be affected. However, please read Volunteering - while getting benefits from Job Centre Plus (part of the Department for work and pensions) for more information and guidance.

Q – Will I be out of pocket if I volunteer?

A - No, we will reimburse agreed out of pocket expenses such as travel expenses to and from your volunteer placement.

Q - Are there any age restrictions for becoming a volunteer?

A – Yes, you must be at least 18 years old to volunteer with C&I. If you are under 18 years of age you can check out other volunteer opportunities at: www.do-it.org.uk.

Q – How much time can I give?

A – As much time as you can spare, but a couple of hours per week is usually a good starting point.

Q – How long can I volunteer for?

A - We would like you to volunteer with us for as long as you can, but a minimum three months is desirable.

Q – How soon could I start?

A – We will aim to interview you as soon as possible once we receive you application but this may take a few weeks depending on demand. The vetting procedure can take several weeks to complete following your interview and includes a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, health check and appropriate references.

Q – Can C&I provide a reference for me if I volunteer?

A – Yes you can use us for a reference after you have completed at least three months volunteering with us.

Q – What is the process involved for getting started as a volunteer for C&I?

A - There are a number of steps involved in getting you started as a volunteer for C&I. The first of which is the completion of our application form. Once we receive this we’ll arrange an interview and then the relevant checks including: Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) checks, Occupational Health clearance and two satisfactory references. We will normally arrange a visit to the services of the roles you are interested in so that we can ensure a role would be right for you and for the service. You will also be provided with our mandatory health and safety training.

Q – I am a C&I service user who is interested in volunteering but I would like support with the process, where can I get help with this?

A – The voluntary services manager is always happy to support people through the process of getting started as a volunteer with C&I. She can help with the completion of paperwork etc and discuss role opportunities with potential volunteers to see what might be a best fit for them.

Alternatively, if you are a mental health service user Remploy, one of the UK's leading providers of employment services to people experiencing complex barriers to work, offer help and support to people with mental health difficulties looking at getting into employment or volunteering. You can find further details at: www.remploy.co.uk.

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