Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What can I offer a charity?
Although you may not realise it, you have lots to offer even if you have little to no volunteering experience! Many organisations look for nothing more than a friendly attitude and a willingness to get stuck in. They’re also usually appreciative of the enthusiasm and fresh perspective that young people can bring.
What do I need to think about before I decide to volunteer?
It’s important to be realistic about the amount of time you’re able to commit to volunteering. For example, if you have a busy university timetable and are also managing a part-time job, it might be best choosing a one-off volunteering opportunity, or one that only requires you to set aside one morning or afternoon per week. Whilst some of our organisations will require a particular time commitment from you, others are able to offer more flexible opportunities. Whilst it may seem obvious, it’s also important to make sure that you choose an opportunity that you feel passionate about and will enjoy doing! Many students think they need to volunteer on a project directly linked to their degree subject, but this isn’t true. You will acquire and develop plenty of transferable skills – e.g., communication, leadership, organisation, time management – regardless of the type of opportunity you get involved in, which can be applied to any career.
What skills and experience do I need?
This depends on the type of opportunity you apply for. For instance, our befriending and school-based opportunities require you to be fluent in spoken English, and our opportunities with Meal Makers require a good level of cooking skills. However, don’t let this put you off from exploring your options and trying something new. Most of the organisations we work with don’t expect you to have prior knowledge or experience and will provide you with adequate training and support throughout your volunteering role.
What can I expect?
You can count on organisations providing you with an outline of your volunteering role and expectations; specialised training, if required; appropriate supervision; and opportunities for personal development.
Can I volunteer from home?
Some of our volunteering opportunities can be done remotely from the comfort of your own home, regardless of where you are in the world. Examples of remote opportunities include our Conversational English Language Cafés, where volunteer tutors help international students practice their spoken English, and our Telephone Befriending roles.
I’m an international student. Can I volunteer on my student visa?
If you are studying on a student visa, it’s important to ensure you are not completing more voluntary work than what your visa permits. For further advice and information, please get in touch with the University’s International Student Support team directly, by emailing email@example.com.
Will my travel expenses be covered?
In most instances, our community partners will reimburse your cost of travel, although it is always worth double-checking with them if this is not mentioned on their volunteering advert.
Can I leave if I don’t like my role?
You are not obligated to continue volunteering for an organisation if you are not enjoying it, although we’d suggest checking in with someone first to see if anything can be done to help improve your time as a volunteer. If you’re not comfortable approaching the organisation directly, get in touch with us and we can help support you. If you do decide that your volunteering opportunity isn’t right for you, have a look at what else we have to offer and simply choose another one!
What is a PVG check, and will I need one?
The Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) membership scheme is managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland. It helps ensure people whose behaviour makes them unsuitable to work with children and protected adults cannot do ‘regulated work’ with these vulnerable groups. When someone applies to join the PVG scheme, Disclosure Scotland carries out criminal record checks and shares the results with individuals and organisations. Any of our volunteering opportunities which require you to work with either children or protected adults will require you to do a PVG check. However, your volunteering organisation will assist you with your application and will cover any associated costs. You can read more about the PVG membership scheme on the Scottish Government’s website: https://www.mygov.scot/pvg-scheme
Can you help my club or society recruit volunteers?
We have a separate page on the volunteering section of our website which lists SRC-affiliated clubs and societies who do volunteering work either on campus or in the community and would like a space to help recruit some more student volunteers. If you would like us to list your club or society here, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I be kept up to date with the latest volunteering opportunities?
You’ll receive periodic emails – unless you’ve opted out! – from us to let you know of any recently added volunteering opportunities, and you can follow the SRC Facebook and Twitter pages @srcvolunteering. You can also follow the SRC’s general Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pages @glasgowunisrc
What if my question isn’t answered here?
Get in touch with us at email@example.com, or give us a ring on 0141 330 5360.