A. People volunteer at Restore for all sorts of reasons including:
- To give something back to the community
- To learn more about mental health
- To meet new people
- To make a real difference
- To be part of a supportive team working together to help others
- To develop new skills – or to put existing skills to good use
A. All of our volunteers need to be aged 18 or over.
A. All of our volunteers will be asked to complete our Mental Health First Aid training before they start volunteering.
Volunteers are also asked to complete our one day Introduction to Restore course which looks at how Restore works and how policies such as confidentiality, professional boundaries and safeguarding relate to volunteers.
Opportunities Project volunteers don’t need to do the Introduction to Restore course but will be asked to attend a one day course specifically for the Opportunities Project role instead.
A. Most of our volunteering roles ask for a regular commitment of one day each week ideally (Monday to Friday), with a minimum commitment of two days each month.
We ask that our volunteers can ideally commit to at least six months volunteering with us. This is because it can be difficult for our members (our service users) if volunteers come and go quickly, and also because we invest resources in training volunteers before they get started. However, we do understand that circumstances can sometimes change unexpectedly and that sometimes people may not be able to continue volunteering for six months, or they may find that volunteering isn’t right for them.
If you are not sure that you will be able to volunteer for six months then please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your circumstances.
A. Yes, we actively encourage applications from people with lived experience of mental health issues and many of our staff and volunteers have experienced these issues themselves.
If you have used mental health support services yourself we ask that you have had a gap of at least six months between using services yourself and applying to volunteer. This is to ensure that you have had time to focus on your own wellbeing before you take on volunteering.
A. Yes, you can still volunteer. We would need to ensure you were volunteering at a different site or on a different day of the week to avoid issues with boundaries and confidentiality.
A: Many of our members go on to become volunteers at Restore but we do ask that members have a gap between leaving Restore as a member and applying to come back as a volunteer. It is important to have a break between being a member and being a volunteer to help with the transition between the two different roles.
Former members are asked to have a gap of at least three months between leaving Restore as a service user and applying to volunteer.
Ideally we ask former members to volunteer at a different site from where they were a member but if this isn’t possible they can volunteer at the same site but on a different day of the week so that they are not supporting members they knew when they were a member. In these cases former members are asked to have a gap of at least six months between leaving the service and applying to return as a volunteer.
A: Previous criminal convictions are not necessarily a bar to volunteering at Restore. We take into account what happened and how long ago, as well as what you are doing now.
- All of our volunteers receive initial training (as described above) before they start in their volunteering role.
- Volunteers then receive ongoing supervision and support from the staff in the team they are joining.
- Volunteers can claim out-of-pocket travel expenses and, if volunteering for a full day, will also get lunch provided.
- Volunteers receive a weekly newsletter from our CEO to keep them in touch with what is happening around Restore.
- Volunteers are invited to social events such as a Christmas party and a summer volunteer celebration event.
- Volunteers are invited to volunteer forums where they can meet our CEO, ask questions and raise any concerns.
- The Volunteering team are here to help if you have any queries or questions at any stage
A: In our latest Volunteer Satisfaction survey, we were delighted that 100% of the volunteers who responded said they would recommend volunteering at Restore. Here are some of the things they said they enjoy:
- “Learning new skills”
- “Being part of the community”
- “Developing my understanding of mental health issues”
- “Feel I’m doing something useful for a worthwhile organisation”
- “Helping members feel more confident”
- “Meeting people and trying to help them using the skills I have developed”
- “The great sense of community. Restore is such a positive, supportive place.”
- “Working as a team”
- “It’s just thoroughly rewarding to see what a difference it can make”
A. Yes! We often need volunteers to help at occasional events including at weekends e.g. at Cowley Road Carnival or at our Elder Stubbs Festival. This might involve helping to set up stalls, running those stalls, giving out leaflets etc.
If you might be able to help at occasional events please contact us at email@example.com (no need to fill in an application form) and we’ll make sure we send you details of events where we’d like some extra help.
Once we’ve received your completed application form we’ll invite you to an informal interview where we can explain more about our volunteering roles and find out more about you as well answer any questions you might have.