Volunteer FAQs

Here we answer some of the most common questions that you may have about volunteering for Cyrenians.

Can I volunteer as a Refugee or Asylum Seeker?

Yes! Refugees and Asylum Seekers at all stages of the asylum process (including post-refusal) have the right to volunteer in the UK, as expressed clearly in the current Home Office Guidance.

Can I volunteer whilst receiving benefits?

You are free to volunteer while you are receiving benefits as long as the work you do is unpaid and you meet the rules of your benefit. Always check with your benefits advisor before you start volunteering. For more information visit Gov UK website.

Can I volunteer with a criminal conviction?

Having spent or unspent convictions should not prevent you from volunteering with Cyrenians. However, some convictions and circumstances surrounding convictions may need to be discussed further with you. Therefore, it is very helpful to us if you declare any spent or unspent convictions you have, to enable us to take them into consideration; this is done at application stage. Roles that require PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) membership are promoted as such.

Do I need previous experience?

Undoubtedly you will bring a range of skills and experience that you may not even realise! We encourage applications from all walks of life and hope that we have a role that works for you and Cyrenians. The majority of our roles do not require specific experience, though if they do, we will outline this on role descriptions. We are keen for volunteers to share in our values and aim to deliver sustainable solutions for the causes and consequences of homelessness.

Do I need to supply references?

We request two references at application stage, however, if you don’t have them to hand we can follow up later. We also accept character references from friends, and those from a support worker. We would look at reference possibilities with you on an individual basis.

Do you provide expenses?

Volunteers are entitled to receive local travel expenses for public transport usage or mileage. We also cover food which is either £2.50 food reimbursement for over 4 hours volunteered in a day, or a meal included. This is agreed with your line manager and local project in advance of starting volunteering.