Volunteering FAQs

Got a question about volunteering for Tŷ Hafan? We’ve provided answers to the most common questions we get asked.  

Is volunteering safe, given the recent Covid-19 pandemic?
We continue to review all our volunteering practices in line with government guidance. This reduces the risk of spreading the virus as much as possible and protects our volunteers, employees, shop customers, contractors and visitors.
What happens after I apply to volunteer?
We’ll take a look at your application and a member of our Volunteering team will get in touch to arrange an informal chat.
What documents do I need to provide before I start my role?
All volunteers must show proof of their identity when they apply. Some roles may also require you to provide further documents, for example, if you need to pass a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for your chosen role. We’ll get in touch with you to let you know exactly what we need.
How much time do I need to commit to volunteer? 

We value any time you can give. You might volunteer for just two hours a week or at one-off events, or you may give more of your time. It really depends on your circumstances and what role is right for you. 

Can I choose what I do?

Yes, you can apply for any role. Or you can contact our Volunteering team and we’ll discuss with you your interests and all our roles, and explore what feels like a good match for you.

I receive benefits. Could they be affected by my volunteering?

Generally, you can volunteer and receive out-of-pocket expenses and your benefits, as long as you comply with the relevant regulations.

But the best thing to do is speak to an adviser at your Jobcentre Plus and let them know that you’re looking to volunteer. You can also find guidance about volunteering and claiming benefits on gov.uk.

Do I need to be a certain age to volunteer?

For insurance reasons, we only accept volunteers over the age of 16 in our shops and over 18 in our offices and hospice.

What will happen on my first day?

All our volunteers receive an induction about Tŷ Hafan and their specific volunteering role. What else you do on your first day will depend on your role. But it will typically involve you meeting your colleagues and being gently introduced to what you will be doing going forward.

Will I get training for my role?

Yes. All roles require an element of training. But the amount you do will depend on your role. For example, you’ll receive longer, more comprehensive training if you’re going to be directly supporting children and families at our hospice.

What happens if I don’t hear back when I enquire about a role or I need further information?

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Volunteering team at volunteering@tyhafan.org or 029 2053 2254. Sometimes emails go into junk inboxes and telephone numbers are recorded incorrectly.

What if I change my mind about volunteering?

It’s fine if you change your mind about being a volunteer while youre volunteering with us. But please contact us at volunteering@tyhafan.org about this, so we can update our records and inform your line manager or coordinator.

Also, it may be the case your current role is not quite right for you, but another volunteer role at Tŷ Hafan might be the perfect fit. We would be happy to discuss other suitable roles that may be available.

Will you provide me with a reference when I leave?

Once you’ve been volunteering with us for three months, we’re more than happy to provide you with a character reference.

I won’t be able to volunteer every week or sometimes there’ll be long gaps between when I can volunteer? Can I still apply?

Of course. We have a wide range of volunteering opportunities that don’t require a regular commitment from you. When you apply to volunteer, we’ll ask you about your availability and preferred hours, which can be changed at any time.

Can I apply to volunteer in my local Tŷ Hafan shop?

Yes, of course. Pop into or call your local shop and speak to the manager there. They will be more than happy to answer your questions and have an informal chat with you.

Can I volunteer if I have a criminal conviction?

We consider all applications fairly and equally. However, it is important that you tell us immediately about any convictions you receive whilst volunteering for Tŷ Hafan.

Can I volunteer if I have any additional needs?

Please let us know if you have any health conditions or additional needs we need to know about that could have an impact on your volunteering. We can then explore how we can best support you to help you carry out your role.

You can provide this information in the 'additional information' box on our application form, or you can discuss your needs with us, for example, when we contact you after you first apply.

What if I live outside the UK and want to volunteer?

If you’re visiting the UK on holiday and would like to volunteer during your stay, you can volunteer with us for a maximum of 30 days. When applying, please provide your UK address in the ‘Address’ field of our online application form.

If you’re an international student studying in the UK, you can volunteer throughout the time you’re enrolled at a UK university. Please provide your UK address in the ‘Address’ field of our online application form.

If you have restrictions on your visa that prevent you from volunteering in the UK, then unfortunately we cannot offer you a volunteering opportunity. We are also unable to sponsor visa applications.

Can I apply for multiple roles?

Yes, you can apply for and carry out multiple roles, such as volunteering in a shop and volunteering at an event. This means you may be contacted by more than one person after you make your initial enquiry.

I used to be a Tŷ Hafan volunteer but then I left. Can I volunteer again?

We know there are many reasons why a volunteer may decide to leave and later wish to return. If this is the case with you, please get in touch with us at volunteering@tyhafan.org or on 029 2053 2254. We can then discuss your personal circumstances and what role you’d like to be considered for.

Can I choose what area I volunteer in or the event I volunteer for?

Yes, we have opportunities in many communities and at a wide range of events. You can find out about where roles are available on our current vacancies page, or you can contact us at volunteering@tyhafan.org or 029 2053 2254 to discuss your specific needs.

If I start in a role and don’t like it, can I change roles?

Of course. If you want to try something different, let us know and we can discuss other suitable roles that may be available.

Can I volunteer with a friend?

Yes, as long as your applications are successful and suitable roles are available at the same times you both want to volunteer.

What’s the difference between volunteering and work experience at Tŷ Hafan?

Work experience at Tŷ Hafan is only available in our shops and in our offices. It’s typically for people starting on a career path or who want to do something to enhance their current career. Work experience is usually unpaid and for a fixed length of time.

Volunteering for Tŷ Hafan is typically more flexible than work experience because it’s about giving your time whenever you can. You can also take on a wider range of roles as a volunteer. As with work experience, you won't be paid, but you may receive out-of-pocket expenses, depending on your role.

I’d like to volunteer but I’m not sure if I will have the right skills? 

Don’t worry. We’re positive we have a role for you that will suit your interests and skills set. Also, please remember that you will not be expected to do any task without full training and support.

Do you ask for references? 

If you want to regularly volunteer for Tŷ Hafan, we’ll ask you to provide details of two referees. But we don't need to obtain references if you decide to volunteer at one-off events or you’re a volunteer from a corporate partner.

Will I need to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check?

We’re committed to taking care of all the people we support and our employees and volunteers, as well as Tŷ Hafan as a whole. This is why we sometimes need to carry out DBS checks for some of our roles, for example, the ones based at our hospice.

Please check the description of a volunteer role you’re interested in to see if a DBS check is required.

I am an asylum seeker. Can I volunteer?

Yes. If you’re applying for asylum in the UK, you can still volunteer at Tŷ Hafan.

I’m a refugee. Can I volunteer?

Yes. Everyone who has refugee status in the UK can volunteer at Tŷ Hafan and support our work.

I have a disability. Can I volunteer with Tŷ Hafan?

Yes. We’re positive we’ll have a role for you. Just let us know about your disability and needs when you apply online, or chat to us and we’ll start to explore how we can best support you as a volunteer.