Questions to ask
At any one time in Scotland there are around 10,000 formal
volunteering opportunities available. These cover everything from
puppy walking to Chairman/woman of the Board. To save a lot of
time, it's worthwhile to ask a few questions before starting to
look for a suitable volunteering opportunity to help a client back
What does the client want from this volunteering
Is it to get out of the house because they are feeling
isolated /bored/lonely /frustrated?
The actual type of volunteering (what they do) is less
important in this case. The importance is to be doing 'something'
and building a work-like routine.
Is it to learn new skills?
The client has to be clear about what type of paid job they
are looking for. They should be as precise as possible about the
skills they are looking to develop to find an appropriate
Is it to update existing skills?
The client must be clear about the type of skills they have
and would like to update in order to find a relevant
How far are they willing to travel?
Not all Volunteer-Involving Organisation's (VIO) can afford
to pay travel expenses. Some volunteering opportunities may be in
locations that are difficult to get to. Some may take place at
times when there is little or no public transport.
How much time do they have to volunteer?
There are no restrictions on the number of hours that
someone can volunteer even if they are on benefits. The only
question is how much time is the client willing to volunteer? The
average volunteering experience lasts about 3 hours a week. It is
important to think about when they are free to volunteer, as
volunteering opportunities don't just happen 9am to 5pm, Monday to
Who Else Needs to Know?
Volunteering may impact on others, particularly family so it
is important that they are informed about what is going on.
However, it is not a requirement to contact DWP/Jobcentre Plus as
volunteering does not affect any benefits received however they
must remain available to sign on and attend any job