Frequently Asked Questions about Volunteering at WDP
We have answered some frequently asked questions about volunteering at WDP below. If your query is not answered, please email us at Volunteers@wdp.org.uk and we will try our best to help you.
Once I have sent my application form to you, when will you get back to me?
You will receive an automated email when we receive your application. We will only contact you afterwards if a suitable vacancy arises. Due to the volume of applications we do not have the resources to have an involved discussion with each applicant. However, if you have a specific question we will do our best to get back to you within 7 working days.
Do I need a DBS check (previously CRB) to volunteer with WDP?
Yes. All volunteer roles require a full Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check (previously a CRB check). Once you receive your approved DBS check, please let the WDP Volunteering team know as we would need to make a copy for our records.
Without a valid DBS check, you can start your role but you will not be able to do any one-to-one work with service users. For any volunteering roles involving work with families and children, unfortunately you will not be able to start your volunteer role until you show us your completed DBS check.
Do I have to be abstinent to volunteer?
WDP will review applications on an individual basis. We have no specific requirements for periods of abstinence but would expect applicants to be motivated and ready to fulfil voluntary role descriptions that have been applied for.
Recruitment of ex-offenders
We recognise that individuals looking for volunteer positions with WDP may have criminal records. While certain serious offences may have an impact on the volunteer roles you can undertake, having a criminal record will not automatically bar you from undertaking volunteer positions with WDP.
It is important to be honest about any criminal convictions you may have when applying for a volunteer role. This is because, if you are successful in achieving a volunteer role, you will be asked to complete a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check (formerly a CRB check). Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss any issues around previous convictions or DBS checks.
What training will I receive?
Throughout a volunteer placement, individuals have access to the same training opportunities available to paid members of staff, apart from management specific courses. A quarter of all places on training courses are allocated to volunteers.
You can access local training arranged by your service and there will also be opportunities for specialist volunteer training either locally or at the head office.
When being inducted by your supervisor you should agree on a training plan which can be reviewed during supervision.
Will I get line management Supervision?
Every volunteer will be allocated a supervisor when they start their placement with WDP. As a volunteer, you will receive regular one-to-one supervision support.
Can I get my out of pocket expenses reimbursed?
Yes - we will reimburse reasonable travel and lunch costs.
Am I able to volunteer while receiving benefits?
Receiving state benefits should not impact on any volunteer placements that you undertake, provided that you do not receive payment while volunteering and that you adhere to the conditions of the benefits that you receive. For example, if you are receiving Job Seekers Allowance you will still need to evidence that you are looking for paid employment and be available for an interview within 48 hours.
Full information relating to volunteering and state benefits can be found on the following links:
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that volunteering does not impinge on the requirements of your benefits.
Can I work and volunteer at the same time?
Absolutely – there are no stipulations on working outside of your volunteer placement, unless you are receiving benefits. However, we ask that you are able to commit to the days and hours that you have agreed with your Service Manager / Supervisor. If you are having any difficulties in committing to your agreed days and times you will need to discuss this with your supervisor, as a priority.
Can I volunteer in the evenings or weekends, as I work daytimes during the week?
Our Barnet service runs Saturday Social Clubs and Passmores House operates on a 24/7 basis. In addition some other services are open into the evening. If you would like to volunteer during the evening or on a weekend please let us know and we will see what is available.
Can I volunteer across different services in WDP?
Successful applicants will not be asked to volunteer across more than one service. There may be the potential to move to another service if there is availability and the new role suites the skills of the volunteer.
Will working with clients be dangerous?
Clients tend to recognise that we are offering them support and respond accordingly. Paid staff are responsible for dealing with very challenging situations that arise in services.
How much volunteering do I need to do to get a job in the field? What support do you give when someone wants to move to paid employment?
A high proportion of our staff entered the field via voluntary work, a significant number of them through our own volunteering scheme. Still, it is important to recognise that volunteering with us will not guarantee you a job with WDP. What volunteering will do is give you valuable experience which will increase your chances of becoming employed with WDP or other Social Care agencies.
Usually, at least six months experience in this or a related field to is required to be employed in a practitioner role. Some people find that it is useful to volunteer for a year or more to build up their confidence to apply for jobs.
Work related support includes the following: formal and informal supervision from staff; shadowing experienced members of staff (for those in client facing roles); Volunteer Development/Support Groups; Training - you will have the option of having a place on our in-house trainings, as well as a number of volunteer specific trainings that we provide.