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Volunteering FAQ

Return to the main Swale Borough Council website - Volunteering page.

Frequently Asked Questions about volunteering

Can I still claim benefits while volunteering?

Volunteering should not affect your right to benefits as long as any money you get is to cover your expenses only and you stick to the conditions of the benefit you receive.

You can volunteer for as many hours as you like but if you claim Jobseeker's Allowance you must still be actively seeking employment, be able to attend a job interview at 48 hours notice and be able to take paid work at one week's notice.

Before you start any volunteering placement you should speak to your benefits advisor and inform the organisation you're working for that you claim benefits.

What is the minimum age for volunteers?

Volunteering is open to people of all ages so children can volunteer on suitable projects. However, roles are limited for those under 16 years old.

Is there an age limit for volunteers?

Anybody can volunteer, regardless of age, as long as they are suitable for the role. The skills and experience of older people is always appreciated.

What are my rights as a volunteer?

Just because you aren't a paid employee, it doesn't mean you don't have some rights.

If you are volunteering for an employer (somebody who has at least one paid member of staff) then they must assess risks to your health and safety and take steps to reduce them.

You have the same rights as a paid employee under the Data Protection Act which means that the organisation you're volunteering for can't process any of your personal information without your permission.

Do I need a CRB check?

Many opportunities require you to get a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check before you start volunteering. More information on CRB checks can be found on GOV.UK.

I'm not from the UK - can I still volunteer?

If you are from a country of the European Union or Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway, you are free to volunteer in the UK if you hold a valid work permit.

If not, please check the regulations for the visa you hold - you may need sponsorship from a charity to be able to volunteer.

Return to the main Swale borough Council website - Volunteering page.