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If you have criminal convictions and would like to explore the possibility of volunteering then please get in touch! You just need to download a registration form, which can be found at the bottom of this page, complete it and post or email it back to us. One of our support workers will then get in touch to arrange a meeting. You can also find out about our service and pick up a registration form from Volunteer Centre Leeds. Alternatively you can give us a call on 0113 297 7920 and we will post a registration form to you.
Giving Time has supported many people with criminal convictions to take part in volunteering. The type of conviction that you have may place some restrictions on the volunteering role that you can get involved in, however we are usually able to find a suitable opportunity.
What types of volunteering are there?
At Giving Time we work with a range of charities to make sure that we have a wide variety of opportunities. People volunteer in a wide range of roles such as cooking for homeless people, mentoring people with drug and alcohol problems, caring for animals and much more. We can usually find a volunteer role that meets your interests.
How will volunteering help me?
Volunteering has a wide range of benefits. People often say that it has made them feel more confident and that they have learned new skills. Volunteering can be a great way of meeting new people. For some it relieves boredom and gives a reason to get out of the house and have fun.
Volunteering is also a great way to enhance your CV and meet new people. People often gain work from volunteering either within the organisation that they volunteer for or through a person they have met while volunteering.
Many organisations that involve volunteers provide an induction to the role and may also offer training. Let the support worker know if training is something that you are interested in.
What happens when I meet with the Giving Time support workers?
Our support workers will meet with you to complete a registration form, this will help you to think about the types of volunteering that you would like to do. We will talk about your criminal convictions and identify volunteering opportunities that are suitable for you. We can help you to arrange a volunteer interview and will keep in touch while you apply.
At Giving Time we are also able to support you in identifying whether you need to disclose your conviction or if it is now spent. If you are required to disclose then we will support you to write a disclosure letter and to plan how you will tell people.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get my travel and lunch paid for?
Most organisations pay expenses to reimburse you for your travel. If you volunteer for the whole day then you may also be given money for your lunch expenses. Remember to ask your volunteer manager about this.
Will volunteering affect my benefits?
The benefits agency are beginning to recognise the value of volunteering as a means of gaining employment. Be sure to inform your Job Centre Advisor about your volunteering placement before starting your volunteering. It is important that you remember your Job Centre appointments, interviews and other work related commitments must be prioritised over your volunteering to prevent your benefits from being affected. If you are currently on the Work Programme then you can speak to your adviser about incorporating volunteering via Giving Time. For more information see this document.
Is volunteering the same as community payback?
Volunteering is very different to community pay back. The main difference is that it is completely voluntary, you choose how much time you would like to give and there are no sanctions if you decide to stop volunteering. You also choose the types of role that particularly interests you.
What if it doesn’t work out at my volunteering?
Sometimes volunteering placements don’t work out. If this is the case we always recommend that you explain to the volunteer coordinator or organisation manager why you don’t want to volunteer anymore. Then, you’re welcome to get in touch with Giving Time and we will help you to find a new volunteer role.
Can I volunteer for Giving Time?
Giving Time and Youth giving Time recruit Volunteer Ambassadors. The main focus of the role is to promote volunteering to people who are eligible for our support. We only recruit volunteer ambassadors that have lived experience of the criminal justice system. Documents containing the role description and application form can be found at the bottom of this page.
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