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      FAQs about volunteering

      Want to volunteer for Action on Hearing Loss but have questions? Read our FAQs to find out more.

      I can't find a suitable role. Am I still able to help?

      Yes. Contact our friendly team and we'll talk through your requirements. Call 01273 840960 (telephone) or email volunteering@hearingloss.org.uk

      Can I claim expenses?

      We don't want our volunteers to be out of pocket. We reimburse reasonable travel costs while performing your volunteering role in line with our expenses policy.

      Will volunteering affect my benefits?

      Expenses you receive from us won't affect your benefits, because they're a refund of payments you've had to make (for travel etc.), and not a wage for what you do with us. Volunteering will not affect your Incapacity Benefit, Disability Living Allowance, Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance. If you receive Job Seekers Allowance, you have to actively look for paid work as well as volunteering, but the Job Centre should give you a bit more notice if they call you for an interview. See our section Benefits and grants and our leaflet Understanding benefits.

      What if I have a criminal record?

      Criminal records will be taken into account only when the conviction is relevant. Declaring a conviction won't prevent you from being considered for a post. We treat every case on an individual basis to avoid blanket or unnecessary restrictions on people wishing to volunteer.

      Can I volunteer if I am an asylum seeker?

      Asylum seekers (people in the process of applying for refugee status) have had permission to volunteer in certain types of organisations since April 2000. Asylum seekers generally receive a document stating that they can't take up paid or unpaid employment. But this doesn't apply to volunteering as long as it's on behalf of a registered charity, voluntary organisation or another body that raises funds for them.

      Can I volunteer if I'm from overseas?

      Volunteers from overseas are able to volunteer in the UK if they are from EU member countries and countries in the European Economic Area (EEA). People from outside the EEA must have a visa to work or study in the UK and may volunteer as long as they're still doing the activity stated on their visa, and as
      long as their visa allows them to do ‘unpaid work’ or volunteering. It’s also possible to get a visa to come to the UK specifically to volunteer, but it must be arranged in advance and certain restrictions apply.

      Is there an age restriction on volunteering?

      We welcome interest in volunteering from anyone aged between 16 and 18. But we would seek parental/guardian permission for anyone under 18, and would assess the role to determine whether the placement of a young person would put them, or the people they are working with, at risk.

      My company encourages me to volunteer. How can I help?

      You can volunteer as an individual or as part of a group. Have a look at our current Volunteering opportunities. If you can't find what you are looking for or you want your whole team to take part in a volunteering project, then give us a call and we can discuss your requirements in more detail - please contact us at volunteering@hearingloss.org.uk or call 01273 840960.

      What support will I be given?

      Whatever you do for us we'll make sure you have everything you need to make the most of the experience. There'll be someone to support and guide you in your role and you'll be encouraged to ask questions and meet new people. Our volunteers are a great support to each other and often become good friends along the way. We want you to get the most out of volunteering and gain as much as you give.

      More information

      If you still have questions, contact us on 01273 840960 (telephone) or email volunteering@hearingloss.org.uk