Frequently asked questions about volunteering

How old do you need to be to volunteer?

Due to the nature and setting of our volunteer opportunities volunteers must be 18 years old or over.

When do you need volunteers?

Please refer to the days and times we most need volunteers HERE.

How do you become a volunteer for Nepacs?

Please refer to our volunteer recruitment process HERE.

Can I volunteer if I have a criminal record?

Depending on the nature of your criminal record you may be able to take up some volunteering roles. Please ring us to discuss which opportunities are suitable for you.

How much time do I need to give as a volunteer?

There are no set hours for volunteers. It is helpful if volunteers can volunteer on the same day(s) weekly/fortnightly/monthly, a minimum  of 2 hours is appreciated. Ideally volunteers will be available all year round as term time volunteering can leave projects under resourced during the holidays. Nepacs encourage people who can take part in long term volunteering to apply and offer recognition in the form of long service awards and certificates.

Can I volunteer for Nepacs if I have a relative or friend in prison?

Nepacs encourages people who have used our services to volunteer for us. People who have personal experiences of using visitors centres, attending court and coping with a relative in prison are invaluable to Nepacs and the families we support. It is possible for you to volunteer for our court project whilst you have a relative in prison. You can also volunteer at a Visitor Centre based at a different prison to the one your relative is serving their sentence. We have to wait until 6 months after your relative/friend is released from prison before you can volunteer at the Visitor Centre/prison where they were serving their sentence. 

Do you pay expenses?

We pay for car mileage up to 22 miles, train and bus fares and we also offer a bike allowance. 

Can I claim benefits whilst volunteering?

Yes. Please refer to Job Centre guidance HERE.

Can I do online volunteering?

Yes. If you would like to give your time but are unable to turn up in person or have little free time then online volunteering could be the answer. Please ring us to discuss your skills so we can offer a suitable volunteering opportunity. Online volunteering opportunities may include helping with social media and creating databases. 

Will I get training?

All volunteers are inducted and trained by managers/project workers and are invited to the generic Nepacs induction. Ongoing training is available to volunteers relevant to their roles which is advertised in the regular news bulletin sent to all volunteers and all volunteers are invited to an annual training/celebration event. 

Can I get extra support to volunteer?

Volunteers can shadow experienced volunteers to understand their role and learn how to do tasks. If you have specific support needs please mention these in your informal interview with the manager/project worker.