Q: I want to volunteer. How do I apply?
A: The first step is to fill out the Volunteer Application Form. You can ask for a form at Reception, ask an adviser at NNRF (if you are also a service user) or simply call or email the NNRF volunteer co-ordinator who will happily send you a form via email. After we receive your completed application form, we will process it within four weeks and give you an overview of available roles and a timeline for recruitment.
Q: When is the best time to apply?
A: You can apply any time during the year, but please not it will take a few weeks to process your application and we might not be recruiting for your chosen role for a while (e.g. we recruit a group of around ten general advice volunteers every 3-4 months).
Q: When can I start volunteering?
A: You can start once you have received a call/email from the volunteer co-ordinator or project manager, inviting you for induction. At induction, you will also discuss the pattern of your volunteering (which days, how many hours per week etc.).
Q: How often and how long can I volunteer for?
A: For most volunteering roles, we require a minimum commitment of six months. The frequency of volunteering depends on the project, e.g. at least four afternoons per month for General Advice, at least one half-day shift per week at Reception, at least one four hours per month for Fundraising, at least one Saturday per month for Saturday Food Group etc.
Q: Will I receive any induction or training for my role?
A: You will receive a standard induction for all volunteering roles (usually by the volunteer co-ordinator), followed by different role-specific inductions (either by the vol. co-ordinator or the manager of the project you will be volunteering for). Different roles require different amount of training, e.g. advisers will have to attend specialised training in the UK asylum process and adviser skills, receptionists receive training in reception & customer service skills, managing challenging behaviour and confidentiality. OISC volunteers receive extensive training from the OISC and have to pass exams on Level 1 before being able to volunteer in the OISC advice role.
Q: Will I need a DBS check?
A: We will require enhanced DBS checks only if you volunteer with children and youth below 18 years of age. NNRF will do the check for you. You cannot start volunteering before we receive your clean DBS record.
Q: Who will supervise me?
A: Volunteers are supervised by the managers of the projects they volunteers with. Reception and Fundraising volunteers are supervised by volunteer co-ordinator.
Q: Can I volunteer in more than one role?
A: Yes, as long as you don’t “double-book” your volunteering time/shifts.
Q: Can I claim expenses?
A: Yes, you can. NNRF offers a flat rate of £4 for volunteering for up to five hours, and £8 for volunteering more than five hours in a day. The expenses should cover your travel costs and lunch, and are not a payment/salary. You can claim your expenses by filling in the Volunteer Expenses Form (found at Reception, with instructions on the back side) and submitting them to Senior Administrator by the end of the week/month. It takes about three days for the forms to be processed and the expenses to be ready for your collection.
Q: Will my volunteering at NNRF lead to employment at NNRF?
A: Unfortunately not, at least not directly. The experience gained by volunteering with refugees and asylum seekers will most definitely help you when applying for positions at NNRF or similar organisations, but volunteering at NNRF is not a guarantee for a paid work position within the charity.
Q: What do I do if I can’t volunteer any longer?
A: You notify your supervisor and/or the volunteer co-ordinator that you cannot volunteer any longer. You can do this in person or via email. We would like to know why and when you are leaving, and if volunteering at NNRF was a positive experience for you, so we will ask you to fill in a short Exit questionnaire.
Q: Can I get a reference from NNRF?
A: Yes, NNRF can provide a reference for you for up to three years after you have stopped volunteering with us.