Volunteering FAQs - Ataxia UK


Volunteering FAQ's

Why volunteer for Ataxia UK?
You will be making a real difference for people affected by ataxia. There are various roles to choose from, whether that is volunteering with our Branch and Support groups or writing blog posts, all our volunteer opportunities will make an impact. Also, if you are looking to develop new skills to look for paid work, we can offer the right volunteer opportunity for you.

What skills and experience do I need?
For a lot of our volunteer roles, we simply ask people to be reliable and have a willingness to learn. Our roles do require to have a personal connection to ataxia - whether that is living with ataxia or being a relative/friend/carer. Do have a look at our role descriptions for further guidance on this.

Is there an age limit to volunteering with Ataxia UK?
No. We welcome any volunteers over the age of 16 who want to offer up their time to volunteer with us.

How much time do I need to give?
That is entirely up to you and your circumstances. Some of our volunteers volunteer once a month, some undertake volunteering several hours per week. We also have a range of one-off opportunities. Have a look at our volunteer role descriptions to find the right fit for you.

Will I need to provide references?
For our ongoing volunteer roles, we ask for at least one reference to be provided. This can be from a professional or personal connection, but we ask for no reference details from close family members. The reference provided should have known you for two years or more.

What training is provided?
All volunteers will be provided with a half day induction workshop, held at venues across England. We also ask volunteers to complete e-learning courses in Safeguarding, Health and Safety, and Equality and Diversity. This can be done from the comfort of your own home and each module takes 30 minutes.

What expenses do you provide for volunteers?
All volunteers can claim back travel expenses for travel to and from their volunteering. This includes all public transport, and 45p per mile if travelling by car. We can also reimburse for taxis as required. If you volunteer longer than four hours in one day we will also reimburse up to £5 for refreshments. Payments are done via bank transfer and paid on a monthly basis from our finance team.

Will volunteering affect my benefits?
Undertaking volunteering shouldn’t affect your benefits; if looking for employment, you simply have to show the job centre you are still actively looking for work. Do inform your job centre to inform them of your volunteering with Ataxia UK.

Can I volunteer if I am a refugee/asylum seeker?
Yes. If you are claiming refugee status we will ask to see evidence of your visa for your records.

Will I undertake a criminal records check?
This depends on whether the volunteer role has any ‘regulated activity’. We will undertake a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) Check. which will include our Mentors, Volunteer Drivers or Volunteers on the helpline.

We ask all volunteers to tell us if they do have a criminal conviction - in most cases this wouldn’t prevent you from volunteering.

Will you provide a reference?
We will provide a character reference after three months of volunteering. We can provide a reference up to two years after finishing volunteering with Ataxia UK.

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