Where can you volunteer?
As a volunteer, you can choose from a number of different types of work placements:
- Full-time – Whether you want to spend a whole year out, or just fill up your holidays, you can find a number of full-time charity placements both in the UK and abroad.
- Part-time – If you’re looking to fit volunteering around university studies or other commitments, you can always take on a part-time role, from as little as a few hours a month.
- University societies – You may not even realise it, but running a university society or sitting on the committee of one will count as volunteering, as does mentoring new students.
- Online volunteering – You can even volunteer from the comfort of your own home. Some charities will have opportunities where you can offer support online or over the phone.
- One-offs – If you don’t feel able to commit to a set number of hours each week, that’s ok! You’ll still find lots of one-off volunteering activities where you can help out. These are sometimes known as ‘speed volunteering’ opportunities and can usually be found online.
- Casual – Similarly, if you don’t have the time to commit to regular hours but do want to volunteer for a particular organisation when you can, you could always ask to keep it casual or request they give you a call any time they need an extra pair of hands.
What to expect from volunteering
Well you found the placement that is suitable for you. Now what?
Agreement. You will contact the Sending and Hosting organisation abou the agreement that you will sign. First read it carefully and if is everything ok you are ready to sign it and then to book your flights (if needed). Inform the Sending and Hosting organisations about your travel arrangements
Allowance. Participation in volunteering is free of charge for you. Except for a possible contribution to travel costs and expenses the volunteer encounters not directly linked to the project. You are entitled to one return travel ticket between the sending country and the host country, and to insurance, food and local transport if needed. During the entire volunteering period, including vacation, you are also entitled to a monthly or weekly allowance (pocket money) for your own expenses.
Insurance. You will also be insured throughout the voluntary service period, by the obligatory group insurance plan set up by the European Commission. If needed you can request and must receive help from the organisations in obtaining a visa. If asked to do so in due time, the National/Executive Agency or SALTO can also issue letters supporting the volunteer’s visa application.
YouthPass. You will receive Youthpass certificate, attesting your participation in the project and the experience and skills that you acquired during the period of service (more info at www.youthpass.eu). Upon your return, you also must complete a final report.
Practical arrangements. You will be provided with accommodation that must remain available for you throughout the entire service period, including holidays. Of course, you must take good care of the accommodation that has been provided. Vacation periods and weekly rest days have to be agreed between you and the Hosting Organisation.
Training. Upon arrival in the host country volunteers in projects with a duration of more than two months have the right and obligation to take part in an onarrival training session. Volunteers whose period of service lasts six months or more also have the right and obligation to take part in a mid-term evaluation session. Depending on your agreement online language courses will be available for you or the option to have funded language courses. You will also be assigned to a person that will act as a mentor to you.
Volunteer’s tasks. The task should be mentioned on the agreement and must not be tasks that would normally be carried out by paid employees. You will not carry out high responsibility tasks alone or unsupervised. For any question on any task the person assigned to you will be there to help you.