How do I become a volunteer
Volunteering is a great way to use your skills and experience to help others. As a beneficiary you understand first hand the issues faced by people affected by thalidomide, making it easier to provide empathetic support.
Being a beneficiary volunteer can be a rewarding experience which benefits the whole beneficiary community as well as you as an individual.
Why not give it a try?
Applying to be a volunteer
It is essential to the success of volunteering in the Trust that all beneficiaries have confidence and trust in the integrity of beneficiary volunteers. So, although any beneficiary can apply to be a volunteer, not all applicants will be successful. You must demonstrate that you have the skills we are looking for as well as understanding the sensitive and important commitment you are making.
We are committed to supporting and developing our beneficiary volunteers as they do a remarkable job and provide highly valued support.
1. Before you become a volunteer it’s important to ask yourself some key questions:
- What skills do I have to offer?
- Am I at the right stage in my own journey to be able to support someone else, or should I offer more practical skills?
- Do I have time to make a commitment?
- If I’m supporting another person, will I be able to fit in a regular commitment – and stick to it?
- Can I trust myself not to focus on what’s going on for me and listen to the person I’m supporting?
If you’re in doubt about any of these things, it may not be the right time for you. We’re happy to talk this through with you; contact Annabelle Blackham, the dedicated Volunteer Coordinator in the Health and Wellbeing team, on 01480 474074 or by email.
2. The volunteer recruitment process
To ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to demonstrate their abilities fairly we have a clear and simple but robust recruitment process in place.
- We write a clear role description and person specification that sets out the skills and experience that is required to undertake each beneficiary volunteer role.
- We have a simple application form where you detail how your skills and experience match the person specification. You will also need to provide names of people to provide a reference.
- If your application form shows you may be suitable for the role you will be offered an online or telephone interview with a member of Trust staff and a current volunteer.
- If you demonstrate at the interview that you meet the requirements of the role then we will contact the people you have nominated to provide a reference for you.
If it has been a long time since you had an interview or had to fill in an application form don’t be put off. We can provide some guidance and support to help you make sure you do the best application you can.
3. Once you’re ready to proceed you’ll need to fill in an application form.
Complete an application form and submit it by post or email to Annabelle.
If you would find it helpful, we can arrange for one of our existing volunteers to talk to you about their experience of being a beneficiary volunteer.
4. If you’re successful at the first stage we’ll interview you by phone and take it from there.
The process is designed to make sure that you understand the needs of the role and are happy that you can meet them.
Volunteers get training - TalkTogether and Connect volunteers are given telephone based training to give you the confidence to get going.
Support is available for volunteers - We value our volunteers and want to make sure you feel supported to do your job. Annabelle Blackham our Volunteer Coordinator can talk this, and any other issues, through with you if you want to know more.
There are also some further requirements:
- You will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement and a volunteer agreement
- You will need to provide a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check – which tells us if you have a criminal record - that we will help you with and pay for.
Take a look at some volunteering tips and stories from our beneficiaries