Common questions

Here’s a list of common questions we’re asked. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for here, call us on 01733 864775, or email volunteering@vivacity-peterborough.com.

Why do people volunteer?
People volunteer for lots of reasons – to meet like minded people, to gain work experience, the ‘feel good’ factor or simply the chance to try something new. Volunteering is a great way to:

  • gain new skills, knowledge and experience
  • develop existing skills and knowledge
  • enhance your CV
  • improve your employment prospects
  • gain an accreditation
  • use your professional skills and knowledge to benefit others
  • experience that ‘feel good’ feeling
  • help people who can really benefit from your support

Who can volunteer?
Almost anyone can volunteer. We want to recruit people who share Vivacity’s vision. We provide equal opportunities for everyone who volunteers with us – whether they’re students, retired, unemployed, employed, disabled, old, young, or from minority ethnic and religious backgrounds.

What kind of volunteering can I do?
Volunteering is an excellent way to gain and share experience and skills, and make a difference while you’re doing it. We have lots of different volunteer opportunities on our opportunities page, covering things like:

  • Sport
  • Libraries
  • History
  • Computers
  • Children
  • One-off events

If you have a specific skill you think could help us, call us for a chat. We may not have a role that fits precisely, but this may lead to other opportunities for you.

How do I become a Vivacity volunteer?
It’s simple. Find a role you’re interested in and get in touch. We’ll meet you for a chat so we can find out more about each other. You might also like to have a ‘taster’ of the role before you committ. If you’re still interested after that, you’ll need to complete an application form and provide two references. Depending on the role, we might also need to complete a DBS check. Provided everything is okay, you can start volunteering.

What tasks will I be doing?
Every volunteer role has a role profile describing the different tasks and responsibilities you can expect.

How much time can I give?
As much as you want. Some roles require at least an hour a week. Other roles need more time or a longer-term commitment. Some people volunteer to help at one-off events or during school holidays. We’ll ask you how much time you want to give and find a role to suit you.

What skills do I need?
This depends on the role you choose. Some roles require specific skills, while others are more flexible. If you don’t have the skills needed, where possible we’ll help you develop them. Of course, enthusiasm, motivation and a smile are a good start! If you’re unsure whether you have the right skills for a role, get in touch. You might also find it useful to visit the Meet our Volunteers of the website.

What support and training will I get?
You’ll receive an induction and a tour of where you’ll be based. We’ll introduce you to the team, and provide any specific training required for your role. We’ll also make sure there’s someone available if you need any help. You’ll receive our staff and volunteer newsletter ‘Voice’ and get to attend our volunteer get-togethers.

Can I volunteer while claiming benefits?
Yes you can, including means-tested benefits such as Job Seekers’ Allowance, Incapacity Benefit and Income Support. But, there are some guidelines and rules you should know about. Some of these rules are general and others relate specifically to a certain type of benefit. To find out more, just ask or visit www.volunteering.org.uk and search for ‘volunteering and state benefits’.

I’m an asylum seeker/refugee, can I volunteer?
People with refugee status or who have exceptional leave to remain can do any type of work, including voluntary work. You may have a letter saying you must not do any paid work, but this doesn’t apply to voluntary roles. You are entitled to receive agreed out-of-pocket expenses.

Will I be paid expenses?
We will discuss paying out-of-pocket travelling expenses with you before you start your volunteer role. We do pay agreed out-of-pocket expenses.