Volunteers FAQ

How old do I need to be to volunteer at the Centre?  

We have roles for anyone over 16; however, volunteers working directly with clients/service users must be over 18.

What kind of commitment is required?

Most of our admin/office-based roles ask you to give approximately ½ day per week, but this is flexible. For volunteers with a specific expertise, a more structured commitment is required i.e. regular weekly commitment for counsellors, a weekly slot for Welcomers, and agreed timetable for therapists. If that’s not possible you could volunteer on an ad-hoc basis for fund-raising events or community engagement. Ideally, we ask that you will be able to volunteer with us for a period of six months or more.

What training and support will I receive?

All volunteers will be provided with relevant induction and training for the role they have chosen. Regular volunteer support groups or team meetings  are held regularly and networking is encouraged for learning and support. Relevant IT training will be provided where appropriate. Volunteer reviews are carried out after the first 3 months, and at least annually thereafter. We also offer £50 per annum towards professional development within related areas, after six months as a volunteer.

Can I volunteer if I have cancer or been recently bereaved?

Not in a client support role. if you have been bereaved or had personal experience of cancer (either yourself or a close family member) with in the last two years you will be unable to volunteer with us in a client support role. We do have other rewarding roles in administration, fundraising, helping at events and community engagement.

If volunteers are current or previous clients of the Centre, they will need to have an exploratory meeting with the Mulberry Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Services Manager, who will make a judgement as to whether or not they are ready to undertake a volunteering role and in what capacity. This decision is final.

The criteria which will be taken into consideration includes:

  1. The candidate must be two years post diagnosis of a cancer.
  2. The candidate cannot still be accessing the Centre’s services. This is both to protect the candidate’s emotional wellbeing and to protect other Centre clients with whom they may come into contact (i.e. confidentiality/boundaries/contra-indications)
  3. If a candidate is applying for a client-facing role (counselling, therapist, workshop facilitators, telephone befriender or welcomer) they need to be two years post accessing the Centre’s support services.
  4. If a candidate is applying for an administrative, fundraising/communications or student role, they need to be six months post accessing the Centre’s support services.
  5. If a candidate is a carer or a bereaved person, they will be treated on an individual basis but will be considered for a volunteering role after a minimum of six months post accessing the Centre’s support services.
  6. If a candidate is still accessing the Centre’s services, then they can still volunteer as a Community Volunteer or take part in fundraising events, subject to satisfactory interview.

The same rules apply to those volunteers who declare that they have been diagnosed with cancer or are a carer or a close family member or a bereaved person affected by cancer, who have not previously accessed the Centre’s services.

Will my expenses be paid?

Public transport expenses are reimbursed or vehicle mileage up to a limit of 20 miles (currently at 45p per mile) or £10 per day. Parking on site is limited and cannot be guaranteed.  Other ‘out of pocket’ expense will only be reimbursed with the prior agreement of your Lead. Volunteers who volunteer six hours or more on a single day are entitled to a maximum of £5 for lunch.

Do I need a DBS check?

If you wish to apply for a role as a counsellor, therapist, wellbeing class facilitator or telephone befriender, you will need an enhanced DBS check.  Other roles may be subject to a DBS check depending on the nature of the role. This can be organised for you free of charge.

Will I need to provide references?

You will need to give the contact details of two people who can provide references for you. These must not be members of your family. Where you have applied for a role that requires professional skills, one of the referees will need to be a qualified professional in that field.

What is the application process?

• Complete the application form available here

• If your application is successful, we will invite you to an informal interview.

• If you are accepted as a volunteer, we will then contact your two referees.

• You will also be required to provide copies of your relevant qualifications, professional membership, and insurance certificates where relevant.

• You will be requested to provide evidence of or complete a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check where relevant.

• All volunteers must attend any induction and training specific to their role. For volunteers volunteering five or less hours per month this will be less formal.

Can I talk to someone about volunteering before applying?

To arrange an informal chat about volunteering at The Mulberry Centre please e-mail volunteer@themulberrycentre.co.uk, or telephone 020 8321 6300.

Still not sure?  Read our volunteer stories here