volunteers hub

Current volunteers will find everything they need in this handy list of links and FAQs.

This includes expenses forms, feedback forms and policy documents.

What types of volunteering do you offer?

The different types of volunteering roles depend on what opportunities we have available within the organisation and in your location. These could include supporting the fundraising team at a range of exciting external events, spreading the word about akt as an outreach volunteer, supporting our weekly LGBTQ+ youth groups or mentoring a young person one-to-one. We update roles regularly on our website and social media channels. If you are interested in volunteering with us, please check out our website and apply so that we can contact you with the next steps.

What support will I receive?

Volunteers’ involvement will be managed and guided by the team/manager in charge within that department in akt. Whether it is at the office or at an event, you will always be in contact with a member of staff to answer any questions you may have.

I don’t live in the UK; can I volunteer with you?

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer any remote volunteering roles or any roles outside of the UK given that we are a charity that supports LGBTQ+ young people aged 16-25 in the UK. We appreciate your interest, but we are only able to offer national volunteering opportunities at this time.

What training will I receive?

All volunteers will attend an online Welcome to akt induction session which covers an introduction to akt, our services, and what to expect as a volunteer. Depending on the role, you’ll then receive some role-specific training. We also offer volunteers ongoing training and development opportunities.

Do you offer references?

Yes, we are happy to provide a reference for you if we feel able to comment fully enough on your time as a volunteer with us.

I’d like to bring a group from my work to volunteer, can I do this?

Unfortunately, our roles are very specific, and we can only accommodate a small number of volunteers at a time. We really appreciate the interest, and we are sorry to say that we are unable to offer this at the moment.

Do you cover travel expenses?

Yes. We want to make volunteering with us as accessible as possible which means we will reimburse your travel expenses to and from your volunteering will be reimbursed as well as a meal if volunteering for more than 3 hrs. Please have a read of our full Volunteer Expenses Policy here in our Volunteer Hub page.

How much time do I have to give?

This really depends on each role, and this will be outlined in the role description posted on our website. Whether it is 3 hours for a one-off event or a commitment of an hour a week for mentoring, we offer flexibility so that you can fit volunteering around your schedule.

I have a criminal conviction, can I volunteer?

For roles that will be working directly with young people (e.g. supporting our youth groups) you will need an enhanced DBS check (previously CRB) – this is free of charge for you and will be processed by us, you’ll just need to provide some ID and your address history. A criminal conviction does not necessarily stop you from volunteering with us so don’t let this put you off. All decisions regarding convictions will be made on a case-by-case basis and will depend on the type of offence and its relevance to the volunteering role. You can read our full Safer Recruitment Policy here.

I’m an asylum seeker, can I volunteer with you?

Home Office guidance states that volunteering by asylum seekers can be undertaken at any stage of the asylum process.  But it can’t interfere with interviews, reporting events, etc.  Volunteering does not provide any protection from removal if not qualified to remain in the UK. 

Home Office guidance makes a distinction between volunteering and voluntary work.  Volunteering must not amount to unpaid work, e.g., nothing more than reasonable travel expenses, and no contractual obligations.  The Home Office says that voluntary work, as opposed to volunteering, is where there’s an obligation on the individual to perform work and an obligation on the organisation to provide it (i.e., a contract or internship) Permission to work and volunteer.docx (publishing.service.gov.uk) 

(The relevant information can be found on page 18 of this document.)

Home Office staff can get confused by the difference between the two.  The Sheffield Volunteer Centre has produced a letter template that can be used for challenging any Home Office decision.

Can I volunteer while claiming benefits?

The latest information I can find is from December 2022.  This is on the ‘Voluntary Worker’ site:

Guide to Volunteering While Claiming Benefits (voluntaryworker.co.uk)

Claimants can volunteer for as many hours as they want each week without it affecting benefits.  There are some exceptions:

  • Can only be paid out of pocket expenses
  • Can’t volunteer for a close relative
  • The volunteer still needs to be available for work if claiming Jobseekers Allowance
  • Someone doing work as part of a sentence is not considered to be a volunteer
  • Choosing not to be paid for work is not considered as volunteering

Although claimants are permitted to volunteer the Job Centre should be informed.  There may be conditions on the volunteering:

  • With Universal Credit a claimant will probably have a commitment to spend an agreed number of hours per week searching for work.  50% of this time can be spent volunteering.
  • You should still be available to attend job interviews with 48 hours’ notice
  • If you receive Carers Allowance, you can do as many volunteer hours as you like as long as you still provide at least 3 hours of care each week
  • It’s advisable to keep any receipts for expenses

Job Centre staff may try to impose conditions on claimants but there is clear DWP guidance on volunteering that can be used to challenge any restrictive conditions on volunteering:

Volunteering and claiming benefits – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Another useful link is the Citizens Advice website:

How volunteering affects your benefits – overview – Citizens Advice

How old do I have to be?

Unless otherwise stated, all our volunteer roles are for 16+. Some of our mentor roles are for 25+ owing to the nature of the role. To find volunteer opportunities for those under 16’s, we recommend contacting your local volunteer centre.

Who can volunteer? Do I need to be LGBTQ+?

We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds, including those who are part of the LGBTQ+ community and have lived experience of homelessness. Whether you’re an ally or can relate to the struggles LGBTQ+ young people face due to not feeling safe enough to express themselves openly in their own household, we would be happy to have you volunteer with us!

You will need to be at least 16+ to apply and for some roles, you may be required to have a DBS check. Also, if you have a criminal record, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to volunteer with us, but it may impact the ways you can get involved.

For corporate enquiries, we’re unable to offer one-off group volunteering opportunities at the moment but we can offer roles for individuals who would like to volunteer. Please drop us an email at volunteering@akt.org.ukif you would like to attend any training or if you would like to fundraise and raise money, please contact supporters@akt.org.uk

How do I apply? What’s the application process?

We have tried to make the application process as quick and simple as possible. All you need to do is fill out a short application form online and depending on the role, you may be invited to an informal interview. After that, you will be expected to attend an online ‘welcome to akt’ introductory session as well as any role-specific briefing you may need before starting your role. Thank you for wanting to volunteer with us – we look forward to receiving your application! All our current roles are posted on our website here.

What will I gain as a volunteer?

Volunteering with akt means that you will be having a direct impact on the success of the charity and therefore the lives of the young LGBTQ+ people we support. As well as the feeling of making a difference, you may be sharing your existing skills and experience in addition to developing new ones. We will support you every step of the way so that you feel part of the team, knowing that you are valued and having the chance to connect with other volunteers.

BROWSE VOLUNTEERING ROLES

Find out where akt are currently looking for voluntary support. Our volunteers work in a variety of capacities; from regular office-based commitments to ad hoc in-person events volunteers. There’s something for everyone who wants to help.

VOLUNTEER ROLES

VOLUNTEER EXPENSES FORM

Make sure you claim back any expenses you’re due by filling in this form and emailing it to volunteering@akt.org.uk

DOWNLOAD FORM

VOLUNTEER HOMEWORKING POLICY

Find out more information by downloading and reading our volunteer home working policy here. If you have any questions, drop us an email at volunteering@akt.org.uk

DOWNLOAD FORM

CONFIDENTIALITY POLICY

Find out more information by downloading and reading our confidentiality policy here. If you have any questions, drop us an email at volunteering@akt.org.uk

CONFIDENTIALITY POLICY

LONE WORKING POLICY

Find out more information by downloading and reading our lone working policy here. If you have any questions, drop us an email at volunteering@akt.org.uk

LONE WORKING POLICY

ADULT SAFEGUARDING REPORT FORM

Download our adult safeguarding report form here. If you have any questions, drop us an email at volunteering@akt.org.uk

ADULT SAFEGUARDING REPORT FORM

CHILD SAFEGUARDING REPORT FORM

Download our child safeguarding report form here. If you have any questions, drop us an email at volunteering@akt.org.uk

CHILD SAFEGUARDING REPORT FORM