What is a Volunteer Centre?
The Volunteer Centre Bromley is part of a national network of volunteer development agencies.
You can search for local volunteering vacancies using this website..
Why should I volunteer?
People have different reasons for volunteering, they may include:
• to have fun, meet new people and make friends
• to help my community and/or give something back
• gain experience to help get work or to put on my CV
• to try working in a different environment e.g. working with children/elderly
• to provide a structure to my week
• to help people going through something I've experienced
• feeling that I'm doing something worthwhile
• to have training for new skills
What can I do as volunteer?
The list is huge. You might want to go with something you already know or you might like to try something new. Here are a few examples.
• Media - design leaflets and posters for a charity
• Events - help plan and organise fundraising events
• IT - show other volunteers and staff how to use computers
• Environment - go out in the countryside to help its sustainability.
• Sports - coach sports at after school clubs
How do I start volunteering?
You can search online using this website.
Will volunteering affect my benefits?
Genuine unpaid volunteering should not affect any state benefits you receive. It is important that if you're on benefits you don't accept any payments other than having your expenses re-paid at the exact cost for example: if your bus fare is £2.80 you can accept £2.80, it can lead to problems for you and the organisation if they round it up to £3.00.
You will need to be available for interview with the Job Centre Plus if asked. If you are on Job Seekers Allowance or some forms of Universal Credit you will still need to provide evidence that you are seeking paid work, are available for job interviews, and willing to take up paid work at a week's notice.
It is best to keep in touch with the Job Centre about your volunteering so that they know you are keeping to the rules and you know that they know your situation. For instance, if you are on Incapacity Benefit you need to be keeping to such hours of activity as a doctor has suggested is good for your health. (Advisors may refer to a long extinct guideline not to volunteer for more than 16 hours a week but in a welcome move the Government has completely changed their advice about volunteering while on benefits. They had said that:
For more information about how much time you can give click here
If on Incapacity, you do need to volunteer in accordance with any medical advice you have been told, but in general occupational therapists, GPs and community health workers believe volunteering aids recovery and can help manage pain, anxiety or depression. Do not ignore medical advice.