What you'll need in order to volunteer with us.
Our volunteers come from all sorts of backgrounds and we assess each application individually, but you’ll meet our key criteria if you:
- have at least three years’ experience in your professional field,
- have a relevant degree or equivalent qualification,
- pass criminal record and background checks,
- can commit to the full duration of your placement,
- are willing to live on a basic allowance and adapt to new living conditions, if you relocate as part of your work with us.
There are no age restrictions to volunteering with us.
If you’re aged between 18 and 35 and don’t have the required level of experience to become a VSO volunteer, find out more about youth volunteering with the International Citizen Service (ICS). Please note: the ICS scheme is currently paused, pending a review by the UK Government, which funds the programme.
Along with our partners, we value the skills and experience that older volunteers can bring to a placement. We actively welcome applications from candidates with lots of experience, and will work with you to find a suitable role.
Volunteering with a pre-existing medical condition
As long as you meet the requirements of the role, we welcome your application. We will work with you to discuss any specific support needs, or consider any reasonable adjustments that will make volunteering with us accessible for you.
Volunteering with a criminal record
We have a zero tolerance approach to abuse and exploitation of vulnerable people, so carry out mandatory background checks on all potential volunteers, as part of our safer recruitment processes.
Having previous cautions or convictions does not automatically exclude you from volunteering with us. We will discuss these with you as part of the application process and consider each situation on a case-by-case basis, depending on the nature of the offences and the level of risk involved with the role.
Volunteering as a couple
It is possible to volunteer as a couple, and this is something that we try to facilitate wherever we can. However, this can make finding a placement more difficult as you will need to find two vacancies at the same time, in the same location, which match both of your skillsets.
Taking your partner or family with you
If your partner isn’t suitable for a role with us, they can still accompany you if your role involves relocating – they can usually find work locally once you arrive. Your partner can share the accommodation we provide, but you will need to check first whether it’s suitable for two people.
We have had volunteers take their families in the past. We can discuss this possibility on a case-by-case basis, so please let us know at the start of the process if this is something you’re considering.
Please note that in all cases, we will only cover the costs of the person volunteering, so you and/or your partner will need to make provisions for themselves and your family if they accompany you.