Volunteering Frequently Asked Questions
How do I become a volunteer?
Please take a look at our volunteer vacancies page here; from there, you’ll be able to browse the roles we have available and, if there’s one that interests you, start your application. If you have a specific skill you think our members would benefit from, please take a look at our Specialist Skill Volunteer role!
Do I need any specific skills to volunteer?
For most of our roles we just ask that you’re passionate about helping young people and there is no prior experience needed! However, there are some roles where we’ll be looking for someone with a particular skill or qualification. Each role description will specify what skills are needed, if any are needed at all.
If I don’t have any experience working or volunteering with young people, can I still apply?
Absolutely! While it’s beneficial if you have some experience working or volunteering with young people, this isn’t essential. We all need to start somewhere, and we’d love to support you in your first role alongside young people.
How much time do I need to commit?
As a volunteer you will not be contracted to any time commitment. That being said, each role description comes with a ‘suggested time commitment’ that we hope you’ll be able to fit into your week. There is always flexibility within any suggested time commitment so please have a chat with us if you’re not able to offer the full amount.
How old do I need to be to volunteer with the Youth Zone?
We ask that all of our volunteers are at least 18 years of age, unless they’re a Young Leader Volunteer (which is only open to HideOut Youth Zone members).
I’m not a British national, can I still volunteer?
Generally speaking, this shouldn’t stop you from volunteering. However, we would ask that you check the terms of your visa and demonstrate your eligibility to volunteer during the recruitment process.
I’m receiving benefits. Will volunteering affect these?
Volunteering rarely affects benefits but there is some really helpful information on the NCVO website. You can find the information, here: NCVO – Volunteering and benefits
Will I be interviewed?
The application process for most roles will require you to come in and meet with us for an informal interview. This will take around 60 minutes and will be held by the Volunteer Manager and the Coordinator involved with the specific volunteer role (i.e. Sports Coordinator for a Volunteer Sports Youth Worker role).
What can I expect when I volunteer?
You can expect a clearly defined role within our Youth Zone, a volunteer management specialist you can go to for support and a sessional main contact who will assist you throughout your volunteering journey. You’ll be provided with training, ongoing support and feedback throughout your time with us so that you can develop your skills. As well as this, we’ll ask for your feedback, whilst utilising your skills/experience and continually appreciating your contribution.
Can I leave if I don’t like my role?
As a volunteer you can leave your role at any time. However, if you intend to leave, we’d ask that you give us as much notice as possible so that we don’t have any gaps in our services for Young People.
Can I volunteer from home?
Most of our roles do require volunteers to come into the Youth Zone. However, we may have some roles that require visits less often and some administration tasks which can be done from home. The location of each role will be stated on the respective role description.
Do I get my expenses paid?
Yes. We reimburse any expense incurred during your volunteering with us. All expenses need to be claimed back, using a valid receipt and in compliance with our expense policy; but don’t worry, we’ll go through all of this during your induction!
Hear from parents, voluntary sector youth providers and councillors in this short video about why they think Youth Zones are so important to their local areas: https://www.onsideyouthzones.org/changing-perceptions-of-a-youth-zone
I’ve got a criminal record – can I still volunteer?
All of our volunteer roles require an enhanced DBS check. A criminal conviction will not necessarily prevent you from becoming a volunteer; the decision will depend on the type of offence and its relevance to the volunteering role. If you do have any convictions, please add this information on your application and mention it when asked at interview.
I’ve recently been a member of the Youth Zone – can I still volunteer?
If you’re aged 14-19 or 25 with additional needs, you can apply to take part in our Young Leaders programme. If you’re over 18 years old, you can apply to be a Volunteer once you have had a year long break from attending as a member.
Do you offer corporate volunteering opportunities?
Yes we do. Please contact our Volunteer Manager by email email@example.com to discuss possibilities.
I have a disability; can I still volunteer?
Yes you can! Approximately 16% of our members identify as having a disability or additional need, and representation is really important to us. Please do let us know at your interview of any reasonable adjustments so that we can support you.
I need to volunteer as part of my education, can I do this at HideOut Youth Zone?
We do offer placements, but these are organised through local universities and are extremely competitive. Please speak to your placement tutor or contact our Volunteer Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m pregnant, can I still volunteer?
When we are notified that a volunteer is pregnant, we carry out a risk assessment to see if the volunteer role they want to take on is safe for them to do so. If we feel the role poses too many risks, we may be able to make some adjustments or suggest another volunteer role.
My child attends the youth zone, can I still volunteer?
This will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Please contact our Volunteer Manager by on email@example.com to discuss this further.