FAQs

Volunteering FAQs


Click on any question to read the answer.

People join our volunteering team for many different reasons. Some of our volunteers tell us they joined us to meet new friends, others wanted to gain valuable skills or experience. Many of our volunteers want to support their local communities, or they have a personal connection to St Luke’s and want to give something back. Whatever your reason we would welcome your application.

Almost anyone! St Luke’s is committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for everyone who would like to volunteer with us. Our volunteers are students, job seekers, retired workers and full-time employees. All St Luke’s staff and volunteers are expected to be committed to St Luke’s values and behaviours.

Most volunteering roles do not require special skills or qualifications. Whilst we try to match the volunteering role to the volunteer’s skills, we can also offer further, relevant training and development opportunities.  Some roles do require certain skills and qualifications, which will be clearly stated in the Volunteer Task Profile. However, enthusiasm, good communication, and the ability to smile and encourage are the most important skills required.

We can support volunteers to gain qualifications relevant to the role, such as a Retail Level 2 NVQ and a Level 2 in Food Safety & Hygiene for Catering. We also offer short courses in Warehousing & Customer Service after a qualifying period of volunteering hours. Using your spare time to become a volunteer could make you more employable as you gain valuable experience, skills and a reference.

We have many students who choose to volunteer in our retail shops as part of their D of E. As a volunteer we ask for a commitment of a 3.5 hour shift per week in order to get the benefit of the training provided by our team.

In our Retail shops, the minimum age for volunteering is 14 years old.  However the minimum age to volunteer in any patient-facing roles is 18 years. All of our Task Profiles state the minimum age, so you’ll know before completing your application form.

You will be given an induction to the role when you start.  Training that is relevant to your role and catch-up and supervision will always be provided by your Manager or Mentor.

Yes, you can apply online or give us a call if you would like to discuss any of our roles. We are more than happy to send you a form in the post if you prefer.

Yes please, for volunteering roles within our retail team you will need to provide just one name, address and email.  If the role is patient facing then we will need two names.  References should ideally be from people who know you in a professional capacity e.g. from somewhere you have worked, volunteered or studied. Referees should have known you for at least two years, and must not be related to you. Please speak to your referees and let them know that we will be contacting them – this can speed up the recruitment process.

It can take a few weeks for your application to go through the recruitment process as we have to contact your referees and also some roles require a Disclosure and Barring Service check to be completed. Once these have been received, you will be contacted by the manager of the relevant department.

Yes, all of our volunteer roles require a face to face informal chat with the manager of the team that you wish to be a part of.  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.

It depends on the volunteer role – some of our opportunities involve dedicated time each week, and other roles are on a more ad hoc basis, such as our one-off events. We will advise you on what we are looking for and you can advise us of your availability – a typical shift would be 3-4 hours per week.

Each of our volunteer role task profiles will state the time commitment for the role. As a volunteer, you agree how much time you are able to give, which will help us determine which opportunities would be suitable for you and enable us to add you to our rota. If your circumstances change, please talk to your manager or mentor.

We value our volunteers and want to ensure that nothing constricts our volunteers’ involvement. Reasonable travel and ‘out of pocket’ expenses will be reimbursed, if agreed in advance by the relevant manager – subject to any rules and restrictions imposed by HMRC, the Charity Commission or the hospice. However we cannot pay childcare expenses.

Yes you can, volunteering is recognised as giving you a better chance of finding paid work. It is a good idea to discuss your volunteering with your contact at the benefit agency so they are in the picture.

Many people start volunteering when they are unemployed as a way to learn new skills and gain experience to help them find a job.

Asylum seekers, people who have refugee status and people who have exceptional leave to remain in the UK are all eligible to volunteer. St Luke’s may be able to involve you as a volunteer – please contact the New Beginnings Project Leader at the Volunteer Centre, Sheffield on 0114 253 6649.

We welcome applications from anyone interested in volunteering with St Luke’s, including if you are living with a disability. We will discuss with you extra support that you might need.

You can and many people with criminal convictions do. It depends on the nature of your conviction, how recent it was, and the kind of voluntary role you are interested in. If you have a criminal record and would like to volunteer in a role where a criminal records check is required, we will need to speak with you about this 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 and gaining experience and confidence, all of which can help with job prospects.

Everyone is different, but if you have been recently bereaved you may find it difficult to be in an environment supporting individuals living with a terminal or incurable illness.

This is something to consider before you apply and you can discuss this with the Volunteering Team.  There are a range of roles available at St Luke’s and you may want to think about volunteering in a different environment initially, for example volunteering at one of our charity shops or at a fundraising event.