Volunteering



Image: volunteer working on computer
We work with a number of organisations offering volunteering opportunities across London, Sussex, Kent and the Midlands.

Not sure where to start?

Whatever you’re interested in, we can work with you to secure a placement that’s best for you. Our volunteers make a huge difference in the lives of others as well as their own. Many have even gone onto full-time employment as a result of their placement.

Why volunteer?

Volunteering is a great way to give something back to your community, as well as gain new skills and meet new people.

Read how our team of volunteers helped feed local homes throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic:

Image: volunteers helping out at Four Courts centreThe COVID-19 pandemic put extra stresses on everyone. But for some families, it meant they were unable to leave their own homes safely to get essential food items and for others, they found themselves struggling financially.

But our incredible team of Optivo volunteers stepped in. Working from Four Courts Community Centre, St Leonards on Sea, they bagged up and distributed an incredible 2657 food parcels to help feed the local community.

They joined forces with local charities to help provide everything from toiletries to Christmas gifts and pizza making kits in the half term to over 101 homes. They made a real difference to those who used to service.

We appreciate all the help that we’ve received. It’s helped a lot and we’re very grateful for it.” – Optivo resident

What kind of placements are available?

Image: An open door to volunteering

  • Volunteer opportunities: We can help find the best volunteering placement for you out of a range of great opportunities available across a number of organisations.

  • Wellbeing champions: We’re looking for residents who are interested in  encouraging and supporting others to improve their health and wellbeing and are able to commit to volunteering for one year

  • Business mentor: provide guidance and advice to local entrepreneurs in Kent and Sussex.


Want to find out more?

If you’d like to chat through your options with our team, please complete our online form to let us know you're interested and we’ll be in touch with all the information you need.

Apply now
 

Frequently asked questions

Have a few questions about volunteering? Our FAQ section hopefully has the answers!
 

Do I need qualifications?


Usually you don’t need a qualification.

Some roles may require specific qualifications and experience, but there are many organisations that offer on-the-job training to enable you to perform effectively within the role.

How much time do I need to give?


It’s up to you! You can volunteer from a few hours per week to a full working week, depending on your circumstances.

Many people find they are able to fit volunteering around study and employment.

Some vacancies only require volunteers for one-off events, while others can ask for a commitment of at least six months.

I’m working full-time. Will I still be able to volunteer?


Yes, some opportunities are available at weekends, or during the evenings, such as befriending or joining committees.

Will I get paid expenses?


Most organisations will pay out-of-pocket expenses, such as transport and lunch.

However, there are some that do not have the funds to cover this. We will let you know this before you start.

Will volunteering affect my benefits?


You can volunteer as many hours as you like while you’re getting benefits as long as you keep to the rules for getting them (eg. it does not affect your ability to seek paid work).

In any case, do inform your benefits advisor before starting volunteering.

If you encounter any issues or would like further clarification, please contact us and we may be able to help.

I have a criminal record. Does this mean I cannot volunteer?


Having a criminal record should not be a barrier to volunteering. However, it may limit your options.

When you apply for a volunteer position, especially in roles involving children and vulnerable adults, you may be asked to disclose any criminal offence / convictions and decision will be made on an individual basis.

If you are concerned about this, please talk to us.