We get asked a lot of questions about how you can become a volunteer and what is involved, so we've tried to answer as many of these as we can in our frequently asked questions (FAQs) below. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, please email volunteering@stroke.org.uk 

How do I find out what roles are available?

Whether you’d like to support stroke survivors, support one of our voluntary groups, raise awareness of stroke or help at events, we have a role to suit you. Take a look at the roles on offer and see if there is one that interests you.

For each role, there is a role description that provides details about what you do in the role, and what kind of training or support we'd provide. This tells you where the role is available and further details about local requirements, and details of whom to contact about the role.

How do I apply for a volunteer role?

We think it is important that everyone has a good volunteering experience, and part of it is making sure that the right people are in the right roles.  So for most of our volunteer roles, you will have to go through a process where we will assess your suitability for the role. 

Once you've found a role that you are interested in, just contact the person who is recruiting for that role.

We will have a look at your application form and get in touch either to arrange an informal chat about the role; or perhaps, in some circumstances, suggest an alternative role which we feel might be a better fit.  Occasionally, we might not have an appropriate role for you, so we may signpost you to other organisations or charities.

When we invite you to have an informal chat about the role, it means we can find out a bit more about you and you can find out more about us and the role you have applied for.

For most of our roles, we also ask you to give us details of two people who would be willing to provide you with a reference to support your application.  

For some of our roles, you will need to have a police check. In England and Wales, this will be a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check, in Northern Ireland it will be an Access NI check, and in Scotland you will become a member of the Disclosure Scotland Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme.

Will I receive an induction and appropriate training?

Yes. The member of staff or person whom supports you will let you know when the next volunteering induction is being held and will talk to you about the training you will need to do. 

For some roles, there is mandatory training that needs to be completed before you can start your volunteering.  This will make sure you feel confident in your volunteering role and help you gain some new skills. 

Not all volunteer roles require training. If you are volunteering at an event, like a Resolution Run for instance, you will receive information about your role before the event and on the day support from one of our teams.

Recognising your achievements

We want to make sure you feel valued and appreciated when you volunteer with us, because we know what a difference you make to our charity.

You’ll receive certificates to celebrate your volunteer hours, regular national communications where we celebrate volunteer successes and you’ll be invited to local volunteering celebrations. 

I want to volunteer but none of the roles are right – can I still volunteer with you?

Please contact our Volunteering and Community Partnerships team or call 0207 566 1540 and we can chat about whether there is anything suitable

How much time would I need to commit to volunteering?

Some roles will need a regular commitment, while others might only happen now and then. We try to make our roles as flexible as possible.

The role description for each role will let you know what kind of commitment is needed.

Do I need to have any specific skills?

For some roles, you will need specific skills and experience, and the role descriptions will tell you what they are.

For other roles, you will just need time and enthusiasm.

Will I require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check?

Yes, for some roles we do require a DBS check, an Access NI check, or we will ask you to become a member of the Disclosure Scotland PVG Scheme. Whether you need a check or not will be written on the role description.

These are free of charge for volunteers and we will support you to apply for them.

Can volunteers claim expenses?

Yes, you can. We think it is important that volunteers are not out of pocket as a result of their volunteering.

Once you’re a registered volunteer with us, you can claim reasonable travel costs to and from our offices, travel while volunteering and other expenses by arrangement. 

I have a disability. Can I still volunteer?

We try to make sure that our volunteering opportunities are accessible for everyone, however, if you would like to discuss any additional requirements that you may have, then please contact our national volunteering team on 0207 566 1540 or volunteering@stroke.org.uk

What if I have a criminal record?

Having a criminal record does not necessarily mean you can’t volunteer with us.  We will look at what the offence was and what role you have applied for and make a decision on an individual case basis.

Will I be given equipment or a uniform?

If your volunteer role requires any particular clothing or equipment, for example a t-shirt or clipboard or a mobile phone or an ID badge, then we will provide this free of charge. 

Can I volunteer if I am an asylum seeker or refugee?

Yes you can.

Can I volunteer if I am under 18 years of age?

Yes you can but only in certain roles.  If you want to find out more contact the UK Volunteering and Community Partnerships team on 0207 566 1540 or volunteering@stroke.org.uk

Will volunteering affect my benefits?

If you are receiving benefits, you can still volunteer but sometimes there are some rules you need to be aware of. It is always best to let your benefits advisor or job coach know that you are planning on volunteering. 

Further information about volunteering while claiming benefits can be found on the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) website or talk to your job coach or benefits advisor.