In October 2010 Volunteer Now began a new volunteer recruitment campaign encouraging those who are unemployed to volunteer.
Whether you want to develop your career, further your education, improve your confidence or just be more involved in your community, volunteering can help you gain the skills and experience you need. Many people are finding it increasingly difficult to secure employment. Many face the difficult situation of not being able to find work because they lack experience but cannot gain experience because they haven’t got a job.
Volunteering While on Benefits
Volunteering is giving time to help others or a cause because you want to without expecting payment. For benefits purposes volunteering must be for a non profit organisation and for people other than your family.
If you are on benefits you CAN volunteer.
You can volunteer for as many hours as you like while on benefits as long as you continue to meet the conditions for receiving that benefit. For example with Job Seekers Allowance you will need to look for paid work and you must be free to attend an interview within 48 hours and start work within one week.
You can only receive out of pocket expenses and nothing more. This can cover for example travel, meals, clothing and equipment or carer costs.
You must contact your Social Security or Jobs and Benefits Office if you want to volunteer. They may ask you to complete a simple form about the volunteering you wish to do.
For more information about volunteering while on benefits see the Department for Social Development Volunteer and keep your benefits guide.