Volunteering with us
Frequently asked questions
We currently rely on the support of more than 600 volunteers working in a variety of roles. We strongly believe that all volunteers, paid staff and the people we work with deserve to be treated fairly and with respect.
Whatever your role, we want you to be clear about what you are doing and confident doing it. We will help you to develop your skills and enjoy your time as a volunteer.
- give you induction and training
- offer supervision and support
- treat you fairly and with respect
- consider your health and safety
- provide appropriate insurance while you are volunteering with us
- pay you agreed expenses
- listen to you and consider your feedback
- recognise your achievements and contribution to our organisation.
We ask you to:
- be committed, reliable and on time
- tell us as soon as possible if you are not able to do something you agreed to do
- work positively with staff, children, young people and families according to your role and our policies
- take up opportunities for training and supervision
- follow the instructions we give you about your role
- understand and follow our policies and procedures
- provide references upon request
- complete a disclosure and barring check where required.
Your volunteer supervisor will tell you about learning and development for your role. They can also help you plan how to develop your knowledge and skills to move into new roles.
- We use volunteer competences to describe what you need to do and the knowledge and skills you need to do it.
- Your supervisor will arrange an induction so you understand how you support our mission and goals, and are able to perform tasks effectively and in line with our values and standards.
- Volunteer induction varies between roles. It may only involve a briefing, email or conversation (e.g. for an activity supporter helping parents at a family sign language course) or it could be a detailed process to comply with external regulation (e.g. for youth support volunteers supervising children at Ofsted events).
- Your supervisor will arrange any initial training for your role.
- Your ongoing learning and development needs will be regularly reviewed and addressed through support, supervision and training.
Keeping children safe is paramount to the National Deaf Children’s Society. If your volunteer role involves working with children, we will request a criminal record check as part of our safeguarding process.
Criminal record checks, or disclosure checks, tell us whether you have any previous criminal convictions, reprimands, cautions or anything else that might pose a threat to a child.
The checks are called different names in the UK depending on where you live:
England and Wales: Disclosure and Barring Service check or DBS
Northern Ireland: Access Northern Ireland check
Scotland: Protection of Vulnerable Groups check or PVG
To apply for a disclosure certificate, we will ask you to:
- complete the form we send you
- return the completed form and the necessary original identity documents to us (by recorded delivery, which we will pay for).
When we receive your paperwork we will:
- immediately return your identity documents to you by recorded delivery
- process the form within 2 working days and send it to the appropriate disclosure agency.
The disclosure agency then checks for any criminal records and sends you a certificate. You need to send us the original certificate as soon as you receive it. For DBS certificates, we also ask you to register with their online service to save us money in rechecking your certificate in the future.
If you have been in trouble with the police in the past, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t volunteer with us. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions before you apply or look at our Volunteers with Criminal Convictions Policy for more information.
Watch this short film (9 minutes long) to find out what you can expect on events where children and young people need support and supervision: