You are likely to have lots of questions about volunteering with Nelson’s Journey. Please read through the following before submitting an application form, and if you’d like to discuss anything else, please do give us a call on 01603 431788.
How old do I need to be to volunteer?
Due to the nature of some of our volunteer roles, we can only accept applications from those aged 18 or over. We do, however, offer an award winning Young Volunteer scheme for those aged 11-17 with more details below.
Do you accept all applications to volunteer?
Due to the sensitive nature of our work, we carefully assess all applications for volunteering. Unfortunately, we cannot accept every volunteering application.
In some cases, someone who has expressed an interest in one area of the charity’s operations may be offered a different volunteering opportunity in the charity.
We would strongly encourage anyone with any questions about which volunteering role might be appropriate to them to contact us for an informal chat on 01603 431788. This is particularly important for anyone who has had significant experiences of death that might affect them in a volunteering role.
What commitment and availability will I need to have as a volunteer?
The commitment and your availability required varies across the available volunteering roles. We expect a therapeutic volunteer to be available a couple of full weekends a year (Friday evening to Sunday afternoon) to support the delivery of our Activity Day and Residential programmes. An Office Volunteer might be expected to commit to a regular ongoing slot during working hours every week/every other week. Fundraising and Event volunteers will typically be asked to help a few times a year, generally for a day on weekends or in evenings.
Each role description gives an idea of the commitment we expect and the availability required for the role.
I’ve had experiences of bereavement. How will this affect my volunteering?
Many of our volunteers are motivated to help Nelson’s Journey because of their own experiences of bereavement. However, it is also important to be aware of how any experiences may affect your own wellbeing in a volunteering role. We would ask that you talk to us about your own experiences of bereavement during the process of applying to become a volunteer, and you can call us to discuss before you start the application process on 01603 431788.
Please be aware that even in office based and events roles, you will be volunteering in an environment where there will be conversations and discussions around death and bereavement.
What training will be provided?
Depending on the volunteering role, you will be offered training relevant to the tasks involved. A therapeutic volunteer will first need to attend a full day of training (available twice a year) which includes learning about the therapeutic activities delivered with the support of volunteers, and a further day of safeguarding training. An office or events volunteer will be offered training based on the specific roles undertaken and will be delivered ad-hoc as new volunteers join the charity.
All regular volunteers are required to undertake safeguarding training.
How soon will I be able to start volunteering?
How soon you start as a volunteer will depend on the specific role applied for and the training required. Becoming a Therapeutic Volunteer can involve a wait of a few months depending on when you apply, as training is delivered twice a year. Office based roles can generally be started much more quickly, as training is included as part of the induction process.
I’m interested in volunteering in different ways. Do I need to fill out a form for each role?
Some of our volunteers get involved in the charity in lots of different ways – they may be supporting children at a weekend activity one week, and holding collection buckets at a supermarket another week!
We only ask you to complete one formal application form, as we can collect all of your information once. But we do ask if you’re interested in getting involved in other activities too so please let us know on the form. Also, when you meet with us in person to discuss your application, there will be another opportunity then to talk about other volunteering interests.
What else is needed to progress my application?
We require the names and contact details for two references in support of your application; and we will also need to undertake a DBS check appropriate to the volunteering role applied for.
Please make sure that you have contact details of your referees before you start completing an application form, as progress cannot be saved.
Can I claim expenses for volunteering?
Travel costs required for volunteering activities will be reimbursed in line with our volunteer expenses policy, and should be made through a claim form available to our volunteers. It is unlikely that any other costs will be incurred as a result of volunteering activity.
What if I have a criminal record?
Having a criminal record will not necessarily prevent you from volunteering with us – it will depend on the role you are interested in and the details of the offence, which allow us to make a decision after completing a risk assessment. Please read our Recruitment of Ex-Offenders policy for more information.
Can I or my company offer a few hours volunteering as a one-off or for a limited time?
While our formal volunteer roles are expected to be appointed for a long term commitment and after training has been completed, we also from time-to-time welcome teams or individuals from local employers who have some hours to support our work. This might be helping to prepare resources for our activities, or it might be a team providing marshalling support at one of our events. In some cases, it might be specific skills sharing from an organisation that can help to upskill or develop an aspect of the organisation. If you or your employer can help, please email us: email@example.com
Volunteering roles and application forms
Due to the sensitive nature of our work, we have a thorough application process. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept all applications for volunteering at the charity and we would encourage you to give us a call before proceeding to discuss your interests and application first. This is particularly important if you have personal experience of death which may affect your volunteering experience due to the emotionally challenging nature of our services.
We require the names and email addresses for two references in support of your application. Please make sure that you have contact details of your referees before you start completing an application form, as progress cannot be saved.
We are currently only accepting applications from volunteer candidates aged 18+ for these roles, and we offer a Young Volunteer scheme for those aged 11-17 with details further below. Our Privacy Notice for volunteers and applicants can be read here: Volunteer Privacy Notice