VAST Vault – Volunteering

VAST Volunteering

If you work with volunteers as a Volunteer Manager, Co-ordinator or in any other capacity, we have a package of training and support than can help you in your role.

1-2-1 Support

You can contact us for tailored support around managing your volunteers or to help with a particular problem you’re experiencing. Our experienced team will work with you to help you find solutions. We can also assist you with updating and writing your Volunteer Policies, agreements and Handbooks. Contact us to find out more about our 1-2-1 support. 


You can advertise for volunteers on our website

Our volunteering team are happy to assist you with writing volunteer roles to help you attract volunteers.

Volunteers and DBS Checks

It’s important to ensure that your volunteers are suitable and legally allowed to carry out their role within your organisation but not all volunteers need to have a one. You may need to complete a DBS check if the role is a ‘Regulated Activity’ as defined by the Disclosure and Barring Service. Regulated Activity means certain jobs or volunteering roles which involve regular and unsupervised contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults

DBS check: application process for volunteers

Volunteers and State Benefits

You are allowed to volunteer and receive state benefits but there are some rules that you need to be aware of to ensure that your volunteering does not impact your benefits.

This guidance aims to help you start volunteering by giving an overview of what you need to know and providing some answers to some of the questions you may have before you start volunteering.

This doesn’t cover every situation and you may have questions about your individual circumstances. If you’re unsure about where you stand in relation to the rules, you can contact your local Volunteer Centre, or you should speak to your job coach or benefits adviser. Your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau may also be able to help.

Safeguarding Information

Keeping people safe is important and is something that all organisations need to do.

These resources from NCVO will help you make plans and carry them out.

Barriers to Volunteering

We commissioned Staffordshire University to conduct a participatory research project, the findings from which shaped our support and helped organisations better understand the volunteering needs of people over 60 ensuring that appropriate and inclusive opportunities are offered to people in this age group.

You can access the report here

Drawing on this research we can help you and your organisation to identify barriers that stop people from participating in volunteering.

Another interesting and helpful bit of research that can help your organisation be more Age-friendly and inclusive is the Age-friendly and inclusive volunteering: Review of community contributions in later life:

Inclusive Volunteering Guide

Using six weeks worth of ‘Know Your Neighbourhood’ funding, VAST carried out consultation and engagement work to further identify barriers to volunteering for people in Stoke-on-Trent. This is to inform our future work around supported volunteering opportunities for the city, and to find out what is needed to support people who are not confident to, or are otherwise excluded from volunteering, to participate in enriching volunteering opportunities and connect with others.

We already understand that we cannot underestimate the amount of support that people need and the time it can take to increase confidence and trust before people are ready to successfully volunteer.

Click here to download the Inclusive Volunteering Guide

Working with Young Volunteers Guide

Volunteering is a fantastic way for young people to learn more about, and engage with, their local community. It will also help them to gain more confidence in themselves, develop new skills, and build up experience for future work opportunities. Young people are more likely to volunteer with an organisation that has supported them in some way in the past and can bring lived experience to their role in working with others. 

While recruiting and working with young volunteers can sound scary, but in reality, it’s not as daunting as you might think. And the benefits of having young people involved in your organisation can certainly make it worth the time and effort. Yes, you may have to think about your legal responsibilities, insurance, safeguarding, and risk assessments but, if you’re already working with volunteers, you’re halfway there. VAST can support you with creating the right policies and procedures tailored to cover young volunteers. 

Click here to download the Working with Young Volunteers Guide

 Enabling safe and effective volunteering during coronavirus (COVID-19)

This guidance aims to help organisations and groups understand how to safely and effectively involve volunteers during the pandemic.

Volunteers and General Data Protection (GDPR)

Unless your volunteers are volunteering informally or as a one-off activity your organisation will need to keep details about your volunteers. If these details are under the definition of ‘Personal Data’ of the Data Protection Act 1998 then you must follow the rules on how your organisation collects, stores, uses and discloses the information.

You must also ensure that all volunteers are trained on how they handle personal data, and it is advised that volunteers receive training as part of their induction around the eight principles of data protection.

For more information visit the Information Commissioner