You maybe thinking of becoming a volunteer but feel there are barriers to doing this. The following information is part of Amber Valley Centre for Voluntary Service's campaign to help you overcome the barriers you feel may affect you.
Age should not be a barrier to volunteering; however Voluntary Organisations can be constrained by their insurance agreements which may limit the minimum and maximum age for volunteering.
As an organisation, We are actively encouraging development into youth volunteering and have information on the insurance details and organisational policies relating to age restrictions for the organisations we support.
Organisations are now realising the potential benefits of the experience of older volunteers.
Could you use your skills to benefit yourself and others in retirement?
You can give as little or as much time as you want, volunteering is not restricted to Mondays to Fridays 9 to 5, there are many opportunities available at evenings and weekends. Your commitment could be a regular commitment or a one off; we have seen an increase in full time workers who are using volunteering in their spare time to enhance their career prospects.
We match the time you have available to the voluntary opportunities.
Before we agree to support an organisation we ask for evidence of their equal opportunities practice.
In the past some disabilities have had very negative stereotypes e.g., mental health or long term illness. Because of this some people may be concerned that they will be judged or excluded from volunteering. Every volunteer should be judged by their merits not on their personal circumstances.
We confidentially discuss with you as an individual your particular support needs and work with you to find a volunteering opportunity that is a fulfilling experience.
We strive to campaign against the common perception that involving volunteers with disabilities may create a greater outlay for less return. We support and advise organisations that have concerns about this issue.
Volunteering should not leave you out of pocket. We work with organisations to encourage them to develop a volunteer expenses policy. Reimbursements of expenses such as travel and meals vary depending on the individual organisation, there is no set standard. We can provide you with details of the individual policies before you decide where to volunteer so that you can make an informed decision.
Volunteering has greatly diversified over recent years; it is a vibrant sector of all of our communities, which has a major impact on improving many people’s lives. Volunteering is expanding to encompass all walks of life and all types of people. Volunteering has been challenged to diversify resulting in actively encouraging youth involvement and utilising the diversity and skills shown by the workforce and those going into their retirement. We continue to campaign for this to develop in the Amber Valley.
Have you recently challenged your own perceptions of what makes a volunteer? For more information have a look at,
You should be able to carry out volunteering whilst claiming benefits as long as volunteering comes under the following definition.
Voluntary work is work for a not for profit organisation, or work for someone who is not a member of your family, where only reasonable expenses are paid.
The rules vary according to which benefit you receive.
Some benefits advisers can be confused over these rules. If you experience any difficulties with benefits whilst volunteering please contact us and we will support you by giving evidence that supports your right to volunteer.
We are aware that transport is a real barrier to some people wanting to volunteer in the Amber Valley Area. We know that this has been a problem in rural areas for some time, and are now becoming aware that the problem is starting to affect towns as public transport routes are reduced.
In recognition of this we hosted a discussion with government representatives from the ministry of transport, Judy Mallaber MP and voluntary organisations in the Amber Valley. We will continue to campaign for improved public transport services. In the meantime please ask us about volunteering opportunities in your local area or that you can walk, bike or access by public transport.
You can use many skills and experiences to assist you in volunteering. Organisations encompass volunteering through a wide range of skill levels. Could you use your existing skills to help others?
You do not necessarily need existing skills to become a volunteer, volunteering could help you develop skills through training and on the job experience, which you may wish to use to enhance your employability and to grow in confidence through learning something new
We offer advice and training courses to volunteers and volunteer involving organisations in the Amber Valley area. We frequently update you with information on training courses many of which are free to volunteers. For more information please see the training page of this website.
These are just a few of the barriers that potential volunteers may experience, as an organisation we continue to break down these barriers to enable the wider community of Amber Valley to benefit from volunteering.
If you have experienced any barriers that we have not covered or would like further advice please contact Elaine Broadhurst on 01773 512076.
Amber Valley Council for Voluntary Services 33 Market Place, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3HA
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