Volunteer > Volunteering FAQs

What age do you have to be to volunteer? Am I too old?

You have to be at least 16 years old to volunteer. Other than that, age is no barrier. We all have something to offer no matter what our age.

How much time do I need to volunteer for?
The amount of time needed does depend to an extent on the particular role, but generally it simply depends on how much time you have to give. You can spend as much or as little time as you wish volunteering.

How do I sign up?
In the first instance you should contact Jo Rooks, Learning and Participation Officer on 01449 618227 or email volunteering@eastanglianlife.org.uk. Jo will put you in contact with the member of staff most suited to your area of interest who will arrange for you to visit and have an informal chat about the role you may be interested in and make sure that it is going to suit both you and us.

If you agree to join us you will attend an induction meeting at which we will cover aspects such as health and safety, signing in procedures, who your supervisor will be etc, as well as practical things like where all the facilities are and introducing you to other staff and volunteers.
Roles which require more responsibility‚ such as being a trustee‚ will involve a more formal interview.

Can I be paid to cover my expenses?
Unfortunately we are unable to reimburse travelling and other expenses

Can I claim benefits while volunteering?
Yes. Volunteering does not affect your benefits‚ although you may have to let the Job Centre staff know.

I’m working full-time, can I still volunteer?
Yes. There are activities that are suitable outside of normal working hours such as at the weekend or when you are on annual leave, or that you can do from home in the evenings.

Do I need any skills or qualifications?
Most volunteer roles don’t require special skills or qualifications and you will be given any training you need. Some roles require certain skills but this will be stated clearly in the role description.

Can I get a qualification?
Occasionally we can help volunteers obtain qualifications such as an NVQ. If this is your goal, please mention this when you contact us and we will do our best to support you. Even if you can’t get a qualification volunteering can help you gain valuable experience‚ skills and a referee for future employment.

What support will I get?
We will make sure that you have what you need to perform your role‚ you are insured, and you know who to go to if you have a question or a problem. We also have a Volunteer and Trainee Liaison Forum (VTLF) which represents volunteers and involves them in the management and development of the museum. The chair of the VTLF attends our Trustees meetings to make sure our volunteers have a voice.