Volunteering FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for Volunteers

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, socialise, gain confidence, and improve self-esteem. The experience offers you the chance to learn new skills and improve your knowledge, which could enhance your CV and future job prospects. It is also an opportunity for you to donate your time and share your professional skills and knowledge with Portland Works.

We are committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for everyone who would like to join our team.  We have welcomed students, job seekers, retired workers and full time or part employed people to volunteer with us.Volunteering is for everyone.

Many of our roles do not require any specific skills or experience. The skills and qualities we are looking for are always specified in the Volunteer Task Profile. An interest in the role, your reliability, enthusiasm, dedication and good communication are the most important skills that we are looking for.

The minimum age for volunteering with Portland Works is 18. There is no upper age limit, a volunteer’s ability to complete a task will be assessed on an individual basis

You will be given a full induction on your first day, followed by training and mentoring relating to the tasks that you will be involved with. There are also more experienced volunteers who are happy to offer advice to new members of the team, in addition to regular catch-ups with the volunteer coordinator.

Yes, but you can register your interest online, get a call back to discuss the roles, and even arrange a visit to the Works before completing an application form. We are happy to post or email an application form to you.

Yes please, we will need one name, address and email. If your role involves unsupervised contact with individuals under the age of 18, then we will ask for the details of two referees.

Referees may be current or former employees, colleagues, family friends, or close associates. We ask that you please speak to your referees and let them know we will be contacting them – this can speed up the recruitment process.

Yes, all our volunteering roles require an informal face to face chat with the volunteer coordinator. This gives the opportunity for both parties to ask any questions, see the environment where you will be volunteering and of course meet the team.

We value our volunteers and want to make sure that nothing constricts their involvement. Reasonable out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed, if agreed in advance by the volunteer coordinator – subject to any rules and restrictions imposed by HMRC

Yes you can, volunteering is recognised as giving you a better chance of finding paid work. We suggest that you discuss volunteering with your contact at the Job Centre so they are aware of your interest in joining our team.

Asylum seekers, people who have refugee status, and people who have exceptional leave to remain in the UK are all eligible to volunteer. Please contact the New Beginnings Project Leader at the Volunteer Centre Sheffield on 0114 253 6649 for more advice.

We welcome applications from anyone interested in volunteering with Portland Works, including if you are living with a disability. We will discuss with you any extra support that you might need at the interview stage.

Yes you can, and many people with criminal convictions do. It depends on the nature of your conviction, how recent it was and the voluntary role you are interested in. We will discuss this at the interview (in confidence) and a decision will be made on a case by case basis.

There is no guarantee that volunteering will lead to paid employment. It is likely that you will benefit from volunteering by learning new skills, gaining experience and confidence, all of which help with job prospects. We are happy to provide references to support job applications – please speak with the Volunteer Coordinator.

We will follow the latest government advice around providing a COVID secure environment to protect staff, volunteers and visitors to the Works. This may include the requirement to wear a face covering.

PPE which is necessary for the role or task will be provided free of charge.

You can email the Building Manager or make contact by telephone on 0114 275 9354. It may take a few days for a reply, please be patient, we will get back to as soon as possible. Information about volunteering, including current volunteer vacancies, will be listed on our website.