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Volunteering - a few questions

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hey guys, I've been thinking over the past few weeks that'd I'd be interested in doing some local volunteer work, though I have a couple of questions.

Firstly, I'm on job seekers allowance, and while I know it won't effect my benefit to do volunteer work does anyone have any idea if I'll be put under pressure to find another job while volunteering? Currently the job centre asks me to apply to 3 jobs a week minimum and if I was volunteering for a reasonable amount of hours I don't think I'd really be able to do constant searching for a paid job as well.

Secondly...I really have no idea where to start looking! I wouldn't mind working for an animal charity (though I realise working with animals is probably a pretty difficult job to get into) or I could maybe work with children, or disabled children or something.

I'd even consider some sort of admin work maybe, I'm not sure what other volunteer jobs there are, I wouldn't be any good at fund raising or anything but I feel volunteer work could be a good thing for me to do right now.

Any advice or pointers would be more than welcome - thanks!

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    http://www.do-it.org.uk/

    check there for places in your area who are looking for volunteers

    as for not having time to hunt for a job, i cant see why not

    most places i have come across are not 9-5 volunteering, its simply a few hours of your time when you can spare it, some only ask you to commit to like 5 a week or something

    plus, even if it was a 9-5 opportunity, you can still easily seek employment when you get home/on your lunch, 3 a week wont exactly be hard, you could do that in one evening/weekend

    no excuse to stop job hunting just because you are volunteering IMO

    When you agree to get JSA, you agree to be available for work, which means looking for it, so you will still have to be actively seeking employment.

    You must also ( i think) be able to attend an interview within 48hrs notice and start employment within 1 week (although these times may vary from person to person, i aint sure) so in other words, paid employment must come before volunteer work

    good luck :)
  • Olly_BOlly_B Mod-u-like Posts: 222 Settling in
    Firstly, I'm on job seekers allowance, and while I know it won't effect my benefit to do volunteer work does anyone have any idea if I'll be put under pressure to find another job while volunteering? Currently the job centre asks me to apply to 3 jobs a week minimum and if I was volunteering for a reasonable amount of hours I don't think I'd really be able to do constant searching for a paid job as well.

    The Department of Work and Pensions has a guide about volunteering whilst on benefits (PDF) (you should also be able to get a copy of this from the Job Centre). This question is also answered on the Volunteering England website.

    Your personal advisor can advise you on what is a reasonable amount of time required to be available to seek work. The place where you volunteer will probably be happy to accommodate you around trips to the Job Centre and interviews etc.
    Secondly...I really have no idea where to start looking! I wouldn't mind working for an animal charity (though I realise working with animals is probably a pretty difficult job to get into) or I could maybe work with children, or disabled children or something.

    Try www.do-it.org.uk. It's run by us, YouthNet (the same people who run TheSite.org), and it was set up for people in exactly your situation... they wanted to volunteer but didn't know where or how.

    Good luck!


    Olly
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I am no help as far as the whole how it affects benefits thing but . . .

    I can only speak so so so highly of volunteering. It really does boost you as you are choosing what you would like to do and therefore you enjoy it. It is meant to be a hobby and not a chore; something you enjoy and look forward to. You should gain so much from it as much as you give to the charity/project you are volunteering for.

    Personally, I have reeked the rewards in my self esteem and confidence but it has also helped me with job interview questions, CV's and it just generally looks great to people who are "checking" you out.

    Go for it; you won't regret it - tis worth it mate!
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