Work at Hadlow

Even if you don't work or study at Hadlow College you can still be part of our community through our volunteering scheme

There are many reasons why people choose to volunteer.  Perhaps you want to make a difference to children, young people and vulnerable adults or do something inspiring.  Other people want to meet new people, learn new skills and improve their CVs.  Or, it may be you want to give something back.  Whatever the reason, we're able to help.  Below are some of the frequently asked questions from past volunteers.

Who can volunteer?

There's an opportunity for almost everyone who shares the College’s core values and mission. We are committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for everyone who volunteers with us.  We aim to find a volunteering role to suit the individual, and we screen all our volunteers who will have contact with our staff and students.

Do you offer training to volunteers?

We want to provide the best service we can to our students. For those volunteers coming into contact with them we provide a high level of support and training. We also provide induction training to ensure that volunteers are able to carry out their tasks in a safe way.   We ensure there is someone available if you need additional help.

What will I get out of volunteering?

It depends on what motivates you. Volunteering means you're making a difference (directly or indirectly) to the children, young people and vulnerable adults we work with. You could also benefit from helping or supporting other people, using existing skills or learning new ones, gaining confidence, being creative, responding to challenges and being with other people. You may feel satisfaction from playing a positive role in someone else's life. If you're looking for work, you will gain valuable experience for your CV.

Above all else we want our volunteers to have fun and enjoy their experience.

How much time do I have to give?

As much as you want. You tell us what you can do and when you can do it and we will help you find a suitable volunteer role.  Some roles, especially those working with vulnerable adults, need volunteers who will aim to be available on a longer term basis.  Other roles have a minimum time commitment of a few hours per week. Some people volunteer for a couple of hours a week, others help out at one off events or during College holidays.

What skills do I need to volunteer?

This will depend on what you do. If you don't have the skills needed, where possible, we'll help you develop them. Often, enthusiasm, the ability to smile and encourage are the most important skills required.

Will volunteering affect my benefits?

No. Volunteering does not affect the benefit payments you receive. Volunteers are not paid for their time but are entitled to be reimbursed for their travel and other legitimate expenses. If you're claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA) you can volunteer as long as you remain available for work and are actively seeking paid employment.  You can also volunteer if you're claiming Income Support, Disability Living Allowance or Incapacity Benefit.The rule that people receiving Incapacity Benefit could only volunteer for 16 hours a week no longer exists. Volunteering does not affect your "permitted work".

I’m an asylum seeker/refugee, can I volunteer?

People who have refugee status or have exceptional leave to remain are allowed to do any type of work, including voluntary work. You may have a letter saying that you must not engage in paid work - but this does not apply to roles that are voluntary and you are entitled to receive out-of-pocket expenses.  However, we will undertake a check with the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and you could not start volunteering until a satisfactory check has been received by the College, if you are a recent arrival this can take some time.

Will it cost me anything to volunteer?

Volunteers should not be out of pocket when they work with us and we reimburse expenses.

Disclosures and pre-registration checks

To ensure we safeguard and protect the children, young people and vulnerable adults we work with, we have a number of pre-registration checks before recruiting for some positions. The College is entitled to ask questions about a volunteer's entire criminal record because it is exempted from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.  Having a criminal record does not necessarily bar someone from volunteering. It depends on the nature of the position applied for and the circumstances and background of the offences.  We will ask for your consent to a clearance check. Any information supplied will be treated in confidence and in accordance with the Data Protection Act. You do not have to agree to these checks but objecting could affect your recruitment.  We seek information on criminal records in two ways. Firstly, the volunteers’ application form requires applicants to supply written information on any convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings, both spent and unspent. Secondly, the volunteer will be asked to undergo a check via the Criminal Records Bureau (England and Wales) or POCVA (Northern Ireland); this will be an Enhanced Disclosure.  We would also carry out reference checks.

Applying from outside the UK

Unfortunately, we can only consider placements if they are supported by an official agency or government department in your own country. This is because volunteers may need support to find accommodation and also need funding for everyday expenses which we are unable to meet.

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