Frequently asked questions from students/staff:

Please visit our Volunteers Handbook if you want to find out more about the services we offer.

****Coronavirus update**** Although many face to face opportunities have been suspended, we have added new information to our site to signpost you to virtual volunteering which can be done from home, and how you can help in your local community if it is safe for you to do. Visit our Virtual Volunteering and Covid-19-How you can help pages to find out more. Any questions about these opportunities please get in touch with us.

1. Why should I volunteer?

Volunteering can have many benefits; it can help you meet new people, get involved in your community, develop your skills, and even help you stand out from the crowd (all of which will help improve your employability!).

If you achieve our Silver, Gold, Platinum, Platinum +, or Excellence awards you will receive recognition of these. If you are an undergraduate student these awards will also appear on your Higher Education Academic Record (HEAR). 


2. How do I record my volunteering hours?

Via this website! Simply register as a volunteer and then log hours as you go!

For more information on how to do this, please see our How To guide.


3. I want to volunteer and need guidance, how do I go about this?

If you don’t currently volunteer and can't see anything on the website that you’d like to volunteer for, or you just want some guidance on how to get involved, why not request an appointment or attend one of our drop-in sessions?* 

*These are term-time only and resume in October following the summer break. Drop-in sessions and appointments are primarily held at Parkgate Road Campus.

You can also email volunteering@chester.ac.uk if you are unable to get to Parkgate Road Campus or are seeking advice outside of term time.


4. I’m not sure if I have time to volunteer?

Volunteer roles vary in the amount of time you need to give. The opportunities we work with know we are primarily working with students who have exam periods, essay deadlines, and may not be available during holiday periods. If you are still unsure, liaise with your interested opportunity and see if they can accommodate to your academic and personal timetables.

*We would also recommend trying out a one off volunteering opportunity, as this is a great way to try out volunteering without the commitment. Have a look through this website and our Facebook page for more details.


5. I’ve already done some volunteering, can I record this?

Yes! As long as you volunteered whilst you were a student (or staff)* at the University of Chester you can record your hours on this website as you would normally.**

*If you are a staff member then please get in touch with volunteering@chester.ac.uk so our team can help you set up an account and log your hours.

**Please note that you can only log hours from when you commenced your studies.


6. What recognition do I receive for volunteering?

If you apply for our UCV Awards you will get recognition for your volunteering. You will recieve recognition through your Higher Education Academic Reocrd (HEAR)* and at our Celebration Evening**.

*Recognition via HEAR is only for our undergraduate students.

**Our Celebration Evening usually takes place in April. 


7. Can staff volunteer?

Yes! Although many staff members are already volunteering but aren't recording their hours.

To record your volunteering hours please email us via volunteering@chester.ac.uk with your full name and date of birth so we can register you to this website.

*Please note that the University of Chester does not currently have a policy allowing staff to volunteer during work time.


8. I have a disability, can I still volunteer?

Yes! If the information you require is not on here, we can contact the opportunity provider(s) on your behalf and help find an opportunity to suit specific needs.


9. Do I need specific skills or experience to volunteer?

Not always. If an opportunity has requested specific skills or experience then they should be listed on this website.


10. Will I have to undergo a formal interview process?

Not always. Opportunities with formal interview processes are normally opportunities which require a certain level of commitment from their volunteers. When you search for opportunities on this webite, opportunities should state their recruitment process.


11. Will training be provided?

If the role requires a skill, training is usually offered. Again, this will be on the opportunity description.


12. Can I volunteer for more than one opportunity?

Yes! If you’re new to volunteering, however, it may be best to start off by volunteering in one place to assess how much commitment it will take. If you volunteer for more than one opportunity you can log volunteering hours for both.


13. Will I need to travel?

Some of the opportunities aren’t within walking distance of the University, but most partner organisations will pay your travel expenses.*

*Please check with the organisation that this is the case if you feel you would be unable to commit to an opportunity without this cover. 


14. I’ve been told I need a DBS – what is this?

DBS stands for Disclosure and Barring Service check (formally known as a CRB Check). This is a police check you will need if you're working with vulnerable adults or children. Your chosen opportunity should do this for you.* 

*To receive a DBS, you will need to provide the address and postcode of every property you have lived in for the past 5 years. You will also need to provide identification.

Please email us if you require more information via volunteering@chester.ac.uk


15. I want to volunteer overseas, how do I go about this?

Unfortunately we do not advertise or endorse any overseas volunteering. If you do choose to volunteer overseas, you may register your hours on this website (when selecting 'Type' choose 'Other').


16. I have an idea for a volunteering project, can I apply for funding for this?

Yes! Please visit our Santander Community Fund page for more details.


17. I'm on the CDA (Chester Difference Award) Scheme, how does my volunteering or mentoring count towards this?

Both Mentoring and UCV Awards count towards CDA points.

Please note, however, that you must complete the awards to get CDA points – just volunteering does not count.

*For more information on the CDA scheme please visit Careers and Employability (Careers Hub, Parkgate Road Campus / Martin Building, Warrington) or visit their page on Portal.


18. I come from another country, am I permitted to volunteer on my visa?

This would depend on your visa. Often there are restrictions on work and this includes volunteering. If you are unsure, please contact the University of Chester International Centre via international@chester.ac.uk.


19. I have a complaint about my opportunity, what should I do?

If you have any issues during your volunteering placement, your first action should be to speak to your supervisor at your volunteering placement. However, if the issue continues or you believe that the issue can't be resolved through communicating to your provider, please get in touch with us.


Still got a question which wasn’t answered? Please see our handbook or drop us an email volunteering@chester.ac.uk