Volunteer FAQs

Volunteer FAQs

Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to volunteering in general as well as specific questions related to Team Kinetic.

If your question does not appear here then please feel free to get in touch with us via the Contact Us page.

If you are looking to volunteer in Barnet and support your community, please register on our Volunteering Barnet website here. We have a wide range of volunteering opportunities available, to suit all different kinds of needs, interests and lifestyles. Once registered, you will be able to search all of our volunteer opportunities and apply to any that interest you.

Please get in touch if you would like help, advice or support with applying for volunteering roles.

Click the ‘Search’ page on your volunteer dashboard to find the latest volunteering opportunities available. You can search by category, location, age restrictions, or activity tags on the page. All volunteering opportunities will be advertised on our website.

Look out for our volunteer newsletters, which contain Star Opportunities and advice on how you can get the most out of volunteering. Click here to sign up to the newsletter. We also showcase roles on our social media (Facebook and Twitter).

After finding an opportunity you are interested in, click ‘Join’ at the bottom of the opportunity page. The dates the opportunity is available will also be found here.

For flexible opportunities, there will be one ‘Join’ button. For session-based opportunities, the join button will be found next to specific dates. Click ‘Join’ on the session date that best suits you. You can join more than one session.

Some opportunities require specific skills or experience and have an application process, these roles will require you to click ‘Apply’ at the top of the opportunity page.

There may be times when certain opportunities are oversubscribed, you will receive an email letting you know if you have been approved or declined for an opportunity.

Booking your volunteer shift is easy. Just follow these simple steps:

1. Volunteering opportunities on offer
Click ‘Search’ in the top right of you volunteer dashboard to view available volunteering opportunities.
New opportunities will be added, so keep an eye on the website to find the latest roles.

2. To sign up
When you find a role you are interested in you can find out more about the role by first clicking on the ‘More Details’ button.

The opportunity will detail the tasks, activities and shifts available. To sign up for the role click ‘Join’ on the opportunity. Some opportunities require specific skills or experience and have an application process, these roles will require you to click ‘Apply’.

3. Session confirmation
You will receive a confirmation email for all volunteering opportunities you have been accepted onto. Your volunteer dashboard will list your upcoming confirmed opportunities.

Once you have joined or applied to a role you will receive an email to let you know this has been processed. For roles which have an application process, you will also receive a separate email letting you know if you have been approved.

The Volunteer Coordinator for your role will get in touch to arrange an informal chat and to agree a start date with you. Where an opportunity has pre-arranged shifts, the Volunteer Coordinator will confirm that you are happy to start on the date and time of the shift you requested.

Your volunteer dashboard will list all your upcoming confirmed opportunities.

Yes. You should be able to claim Job Seekers Allowance as long as you remain available for and are actively seeking work. Income Support, Incapacity Benefit and Disability Living Allowance should all remain unaffected.

For more information about volunteering whilst claiming benefits, please visit the gov.uk website.

Most organisations pay reasonable ‘out of pocket’ expenses, these cover travelling costs and possibly lunch if you volunteer for a full day. Not all organisations are in a position to pay expenses so it is important to confirm this with the organisation before you commence your volunteer placement.

For more information about expenses, please visit the gov.uk website.

It depends on the kind of volunteering role you are doing. You can volunteer without having a DBS check, however, there may be some roles you are prohibited from doing until you have completed a DBS check. This depends on whether the activity is regulated or unregulated.

If your volunteering brings you into close contact with young people under 18 or vulnerable adults (older people or people with physical or mental disabilities) then you will require a DBS check. It is the responsibility of the organisation you are volunteering with to apply for a DBS check for you and they will let you know if it is required or not.

It is against the law for an organisation to recruit a barred volunteer into a regulated role. If you know you are barred from certain activities (you will have been informed by DBS if you are), it is an offence to volunteer in regulated activities.

If you do have a criminal record, there are still roles you can carry out. These are called unregulated activities and are often basic support tasks such as going shopping for a neighbour or dog walking, so therefore, would not require a DBS.

Organisations should risk assess volunteer roles to determine whether the role is eligible for a DBS check. You can use the DBS eligibility calculator to find out if the volunteer role you want to undertake requires a DBS check.

DBS checks are used in the voluntary sector to make safer recruitment decisions by identifying candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work that involves children or vulnerable adults.

No. Your existing CRB is still valid. If you ever go onto volunteer at a new organisation in a role that requires a DBS certificate, you will acquire a DBS certificate that will then be portable.

For full information about DBS checks please visit the gov.uk website.

After you complete your volunteer shift, you can leave feedback and log your hours. Visit your volunteer dashboard, click on ‘Opportunities’ along the left-hand side, select the volunteer opportunity you would like to review, click ‘Log’ to input your hours volunteered and to provide feedback on your volunteering experience.

Feedback will be shown anonymously on the volunteering opportunity page once approved by the Volunteer Barnet team. The Volunteer Coordinator for your opportunity will also be able to see any feedback you give- this will not be anonymous.

Volunteer Coordinators are able to leave feedback on volunteers. You can access any feedback you have been given through your volunteer dashboard.

There may be times when certain opportunities are oversubscribed and you are unable to proceed with the opportunity you applied to. Some opportunities also require specific skills or experience, if you do not meet these requirements the Volunteer Coordinator may decline your application. You will always receive an email letting you know if you have been declined for an
opportunity. If you have not been selected this time, please do sign up for future roles.

Our website features a range of roles- internal roles managed by Volunteering Barnet, as well as external roles provided by a variety of local organisations and charities. As such, response timeframes from Volunteer Coordinators can vary. Please note external roles will usually have a longer processing time and there may be a small delay with receiving communications from their Volunteer Coordinators.

If it’s been a few weeks and you have not heard from your role’s Volunteer Coordinator, please get in touch with us and we can follow this up for you.

Where possible, please arrive on time, taking into consideration potential delays to your journey. If you think you’ll be late, call your Volunteer Coordinator as soon as possible.

Volunteering should always be a choice and you can choose to stop at any time. If your availability changes speak to your Volunteer Coordinator who may be able to offer flexibility around timing. If you would like to stop altogether then please make sure you let the organisation know and if possible, provide them with any feedback you have about the role or your reasons for leaving. This could help them improve the volunteering experience for future volunteers.

If you cannot attend a volunteer shift, please let the Volunteer Coordinator know as soon as possible so they can find a replacement.

If your volunteer role has bookable shifts on our website, please also visit your volunteer dashboard and click ‘Manage’ against the shift you cannot attend. Under ‘Sessions’ click ‘Leave’ next to the relevant session. This will allow us to offer this shift to another volunteer.

Please make sure you are physically well and healthy enough to carry out your volunteer tasks, this is to minimise the risk to yourself and the risk of spreading any infection to others. If you are unwell or start feeling unwell whilst volunteering, please inform your Volunteer Coordinator at the earliest opportunity and do not attend/leave your volunteering session.

Please keep up to date with NHS advice on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus. We advise that you do not attend any volunteering if you have Covid-19 symptoms or have tested positive.

If you have access to the email address you used to register, you can request a password reset on the login page. If you no longer have access to the email address used to register, please contact us.

We support volunteers from the point of initial interest, and help you find the right volunteer opportunity and placement, ensuring your experience is a positive one. We are an inclusive service and encourage people with all types of abilities to register.

Our team offers over 20 years experience in working in the voluntary sector and with volunteers in communities in London. We offer specialist skills enabling us to support volunteers, organisations, businesses and the public sector.

We are a member of NCVO and the Greater London Volunteering Network so align our practices with the industry standard and are up-to-date with new policy and legislation.