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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Volunteering while looking for work

Volunteering is a great way to develop and learn new skills while you are looking for a job. It could even increase your chances of finding work. Find out more, including information about 'Work Together' - the new help you can get with volunteering from Jobcentre Plus.

Voluntary work

There are many benefits of volunteering. It is a great way of getting into a working environment which could help you:

  • develop new skills
  • gain experience
  • get training in new areas of work
  • explore career interests
  • increase your contacts, which could provide job leads
  • build your confidence
  • develop and enhance your CV

Volunteering is also a great way to support your community and can make a big difference locally.

Work Together – help to volunteer

If you are getting benefits and are keen to volunteer, you can get help to find opportunities from Jobcentre Plus, through ‘Work Together’.

Work Together can help you find out more about volunteering as well as information on where to find opportunities.

If you want to know more about Work Together talk to your Jobcentre Plus adviser at your next appointment.

Search online for voluntary work

There are around 914,000 volunteering opportunities available online in England (as of 30 July 2011). Many more are available throughout the United Kingdom by using the links below.

You can search for volunteering opportunities by entering your postcode or location. You can also add how far you are willing to travel. To help refine your search you can enter keywords, for example the name of a charity or a specific area of interest.

Volunteering while on benefits

Volunteering shouldn’t affect your right to benefits, as long as the only money you receive is to cover your volunteering expenses. This could be for things like the cost of travelling from home to the volunteering location.

There are no limits on the amount of time you can volunteer for, nor any restrictions on the types of organisation you can volunteer for. The only requirement is that you continue to meet the conditions of the benefit or tax credit you are receiving.

Use the following link for more information on volunteering while on benefits.

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