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Questions About: Community & Voluntary Service Cheshire East

What does CVSCE stand for?Community & Voluntary Services Cheshire East
Is CVSCE part of Cheshire East Council?No, Community & Voluntary Services Cheshire East are an independant organisation. 
Is CVSCE a charity?Yes, Community & Voluntary Services Cheshire East is a registered charity No. 1132927

Questions About: Volunteering

 What sort of organisations do you refer volunteers to?We refer volunteers to not for profit organisations, such as charities and community groups. 
What can I do?You can get involved with all sorts of things…. Driving, Fundraising, Buddying, Youth Work to name just a few.
Think about the activities you like doing and whether there is a specific cause or group that you would like to help. Take a look at www.cvsce.org.uk/volunteering/opportunities to see the full range of current opportunities and see which appeal to you most. 
Will references be taken up by the organisations I apply to?It depends on the role, but as part of their good practice management, most organisations will require at least two references. 
Do I have to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check?It depends on the role, but some groups will carry out a DBS (formerly CRB) check but always with your permission.  If you think that your personal circumstances may prevent you from volunteering, please discuss this with a member of staff as this is not always the case.
Can I use my DBS certificate for several organisations?... or do I have to a new one for each organisation I volunteer with? Each organisation should have their own policy on DBS checks.
Some may be willing to accept an existing certificate provided that it is not more than 3 or 6 months old. Roles where you will be in direct contact with children or vulnerable adults will be likely to ask you to undertake a new one.
Please check with the organisation before you apply.
Will my benefits be affected if I volunteer?If you are in receipt of benefits, you should let the Job Centre or Benefits Agency know that you intend to carry out a voluntary role. You can volunteer for as many hours as you want, as long as you still meet the conditions to receive your benefit or tax credit. 

We would strongly recommend that you obtain a copy of the Department for Work and Pensions booklet ‘Volunteering While Receiving Benefits’, 2010 from your local Job Centre or view online here.
Is there an age limit on volunteering?From 14 years upwards is the usual age to start volunteering. However, some organisations have restrictions and cannot offer volunteer roles to under 18’s because of their insurance policies.
I've applied to volunteer but have not heard back yetWhen you apply for a volunteer role online through our website, you should expect to hear back from them within 10 working days.  If this is not the case, please let our team know by calling us on 01270 763100 or by emailing volunteeringteam@cvsce.org.uk
How much time do I need to give?Every volunteer role will vary in the time that is required. It is important to be realistic and honest to yourself and the organisations about how much time you would like to offer initially. Invariably, volunteering will not be the only activity in your life and you need to make sure it fits around other things. 
Can I leave if I don’t like it?Of course you can. You are not under a contract (like paid staff). However, we would advise you speak to your named supervisor in the organisation in the first instance to discuss why you are not enjoying your role.  
Do I get paid?No. Volunteering is not about being paid for the task/role that you applied for. However, any expenses incurred whilst you volunteer (eg, travel, phone calls) should be reimbursed.
Do I need any qualifications?This just depends on the type of volunteering role you are doing. There are lots of roles that don’t need qualifications.
Can I get a qualification?This depends on your role as a volunteer. Training may be offered by an organisation if it is relevant to the role.
Will I be interviewed?Most organisations will ask you to go along for an informal chat / interview. This is a great way for you to find out a little more about each other and whether the role is right for you.
Questions that a typical interviewer may ask .. 
Tell me about yourself – hobbies and interests

Have you had any previous experience as a volunteer?

If so, with what organisations, and what kind of work did you do?

What clubs, organisations, or associations are you currently involved with?

Why have you chosen to volunteer with us?

What do you hope to gain from being a volunteer?

What experiences have you had that might be useful to you in working with our organisation?

What skills do you have that you can bring to the role?

On average, how many hours could you commit each week?

Are there any days/time slots that you prefer to volunteer?

Are you willing to attend training if it is relevant to the volunteering role?

Do you speak any languages other than English? If yes, please specify.

Do you have access to a car?

A security check is required for all volunteers with our organisation. This involves a check of police records. Would you be willing to have a security check completed?

Is there any other information that you would like to provide?

Do you have questions or concerns about being a volunteer?
I work full time. Will I still be able to volunteer?Yes. There are lots of roles available, from one-off opportunities like supporting events to being involved in the running of an organisation as a Trustee.