What will I do as a volunteer?
There are many different roles you can take – some people work directly with people with a learning disability as an activities volunteer or befriender, or you can support Mencap to raise awareness of learning disability through event volunteering.
How old do I need to be?
Most roles are available for people aged 16+ but there is no upper age limit.
Anyone who wants to volunteer with us younger than 16 years needs to contact us directly so we can talk through what volunteering is possible. Young people under 18 need consent from their parent or guardian.
I learnt as much from the person I supported as they learnt from me Amanda, volunteer mentor
Can I volunteer if I have a disability?
Yes, please get in touch so we can talk about what roles might suit you best and any additional support or adjustments you may require.
I have a criminal record – can I still volunteer?
This will depend on the circumstances of the crime, when it happened and the role you are applying for.
If you have a criminal record and would like to volunteer in a role which requires a DBS check or an access NI check in Northern Ireland (See below for more information), a decision will be made on a case-by-case basis. We would encourage you tell us about your record when you apply.
I don’t have much time – can I still volunteer?
We offer one-off and occasional volunteering opportunities. You can volunteer as much or as little as you want – some of our opportunities are for set amounts of time, but others can adapt to your availability.
Can I volunteer for more than 1 service or project?
Yes, you can.
Will volunteering affect my benefits?
Volunteering shouldn’t affect your benefits - there is no maximum number of hours you can volunteer for. We suggest you seek advice from the Job Centre or your employment advisor.
Volunteering with Mencap has given me a better idea of what I could do to work better with people with learning disabilities and what I have learnt I will take forward with me into my medical career David, volunteer mentor
Will volunteering cost me anything?
No - Mencap believes that reimbursing expenses is an important factor in making volunteering accessible to all. This means we will pay agreed out-of-pocket expenses, such as travel, meals and other costs.
How can I apply?
Currently, there are 2 ways:
1. By using our online recruitment system.
2. Calling 808 808 1111 for an easy read application form, or alternatively email:
- England and Wales email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Northern Ireland email: NIvolunteering@mencap.org.uk
Will I have to attend an interview?
This will depend on the role you are applying for – some roles will require a formal interview, others may require an informal interview, some will not require an interview at all.
Will I need a DBS check or an Access NI check?
A DBS check is a Disclosure and Barring Service check - it sees whether you have a criminal record. In Northern Ireland this is called an Access NI check. You will not need a DBS /Access NI check for some of the volunteering roles available with Mencap. If the volunteer role is a direct support role then a DBS check or Access NI check will need to be carried out.
Will I need to give references?
Some of our volunteering roles do not require references, but roles where you will be directly supporting people with a learning disability or be in a position of responsibility will.