Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Have a read of some of the questions that we're frequently asked!
If you have any further queries, please don't hesitate to email: email@example.com
Did you know that you are a volunteer if you are any of the following within Queen’s?
- Club/Society Committee member
- Voluntary or Charitable Club/Society Member
- Peer Mentor
- International Buddy
- Student Rep
- Part-time Officer for the Students’ Union
- Homework Clubs volunteer
- Handy Helper
- Student Councillor
- Residential Assistant
- Green Impact Project Assistant / Auditor
- Helping out in a chaplaincy
- Active member of RAG
How do I get certificates to recognise my volunteering?
You can achieve 50, 100 and 200 hour awards through Millennium Volunteers (if aged 25 and under) or Prestige Volunteers (if aged 26+). To register and receive instructions, just email firstname.lastname@example.org telling us your name and whether you are 25 and under or 26+ and we’ll get back to with all the necessary information.
Your volunteering hours are the total of your time spent volunteering including, preparing for your voluntary role e.g. research from home, training to undertake your role and travelling to/from your role.
How do I find a volunteering opportunity?
You can tell us what you are looking for by completing this form. We will make some suitable suggestions and should you wish to proceed we will link you in with your chosen organisation. It’s ok if you’re not quite sure what you’d like to do, just tell us that and we will make a range of suggestions.
You can search for volunteering opportunities on MyFuture:
- Log in to MyFuture
- Select ‘Jobs’ from the top panel and click on 'Search Jobs' from the drop-down menu
- Refine your search by clicking ‘Advanced search’ and under the ‘Position type’ drop down box click ‘Voluntary’
- Select ‘Search’ and find your perfect volunteering role!
You can sign up to our newsletter so you can keep up to date on all the latest volunteering opportunities available.
At what events can I browse and talk directly to Volunteering Organisations?
2019/20 events information coming soon!
I want to volunteer but I don’t have a lot of time.
Sounds like Handy Helpers could be right up your street. A variety of one-off volunteering initiatives to help the community and you just attend the sessions that suit you. Register and find out more here! Oh, and did we mention you can achieve Degree Plus / Graduate Plus / Researcher Plus by taking part?
How do I achieve Degree Plus/Graduate Plus/Researcher Plus through my volunteering?
Route A Millennium/Prestige Volunteers: Achieve 200 hours Millennium/Prestige Volunteers award during your studies and submit a 500 word essay on how volunteering has impacted your personal and professional development to email@example.com by 1 April or 1 November on your year of graduation.
Route B: Participate in at least two extra-curricular activities (volunteering can be one of these) during your studies. Complete the Route B application form, outlining your activities and the skills you have gained. Examples of eligible activities and the application form can be found here.
I sit on the committee of a club or society, is there any support available on managing volunteers?
Absolutely! We can give you lots of pointers and tips. Drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a chat.
I want to set up a volunteering initiative, what do I need to do?
We are always happy to hear from students who have ideas for volunteering initiatives and can provide plenty of information to get you started! Drop us an email on email@example.com to arrange a chat.
What do you use my personal data for?
You can view our privacy statement here.
I signed up the Volunteer SU E-Newsletter but I haven’t received it.
This is a monthly newsletter, if you signed up more than a month ago please let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will double check the sign-up was processed.
If you are using MS Outlook, please make sure you check your ‘Other’ inbox by clicking on the ‘Other’ tab at the top left corner of the main navigation menu. To add Volunteer SU newsletter to your ‘Focused’ inbox, right-click on any Volunteer SU newsletter in your inbox, then select ‘Move’ - ‘Focused inbox’. This way any future newsletters from Volunteer SU will automatically appear in your main inbox.
I no longer want to receive the Volunteer SU E-Newsletter.
Just drop us an email on email@example.com and we will remove your email address from our mailing list.
I volunteer in a leadership role with significant responsibility. Is there any way I can further develop my skills?
You sure can! See more information on our Inspiring Leaders programme. We recruit at the start of each semester and you can achieve Degree/Graduate/Researcher Plus by taking part.
What should I expect from an organisation when I volunteer with them?
- Information about your role i.e. what tasks are you expected to undertake
- An induction to include a tour of the premises, Health and Safety information and essential/relevant policy/procedure information
- Specific training and regular support / supervision if you are undertaking a specialist role e.g. mentoring
- A named supervisor and their contact details who you can contact for support etc.
- Reimbursement of out of pocket expenses where the organisation has a budget to do so
- The necessary resources and materials to carry out your role
- Being kept up to date with changes which affect your role
- The organisation should have appropriate insurance in place to involve volunteers
- A reference if you are a regular volunteer
- Opportunities to input into the development of the volunteering or organisation
How do I apply?
You can find more information and the application form here (applications currently closed).
When do applications open/close?
Applications are usually open the first 2-3 weeks of Semester 1 and Semester 2.
Am I eligible to apply?
To apply, you must be a Queen’s University student currently volunteering in a position of leadership in or outside of Queen’s, with at least 25 hours of this role already completed in the past 6 months.
What do you mean by ‘volunteering in a position of leadership’?
Any time you work with others, in a position of responsibility, as a volunteer. There are lots of things which fall into this category, like: Peer Mentor, School/Course/Class Rep, Students' Union Councillor, Club/Society Committee Member, Students’ Union Part-Time Officer, Residential Assistant, Homework Club Volunteer, Green Impact Project Assistant/Auditor, Fundraiser for a Charity, Sports Coach, Youth Leader … this isn’t an exhaustive list! If you want to run your role by us to make sure, just contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
How much does it cost?
It’s free! Inspiring Leaders is an all-expenses paid experience: training (from the experts at the William J Clinton Leadership Institute) and catering (and accommodation and transport if you choose the residential programme) is included!
I am volunteering, but haven’t been able to do 25 hours yet. Am I eligible to apply?
To be eligible, you must have completed at least 25 hours of your volunteering in the past 6 months. You can still apply if you are working towards this, but will have to have completed the required hours by application deadline.
What counts as volunteering hours?
Your volunteering hours are the total of your time spent volunteering, preparing for your voluntary role, training to undertake your role and traveling to/from your role. Attending Inspiring Leaders can also be counted towards your overall training hours!
Do I need a reference to apply for Inspiring Leaders?
Yes. In your application form you need to provide contact details for someone who can verify that you are a current volunteer. For example, this could be the President of your club or society or the Volunteer Co-ordinator at your place of volunteering.
I am the President of my club/society, who can I put as my reference?
You can provide details of another committee member of your club or society who can verify your volunteering hours, for example, the Treasurer or Secretary.
What is the dress code for Inspiring Leaders?
There is no dress code for the Inspiring Leaders programme, wear whatever you feel most comfortable in.
I have specific dietary/access/faith requirements. Can I still apply to Inspiring Leaders?
Yes! We ask about this on the application form so if you are accepted on the programme we can make suitable arrangements if required.
I wish to participate in the Inspiring Leaders residential – what are the sleeping arrangements?
We will allocate you to a room with another 1 or 2 participants (same gender) and you will all have separate beds. We find this is a nice way to bond with other participants and make your experience more fun.
I am: on placement; Postgraduate; Part-time - can I apply?
Yes, Inspiring Leaders is open to all current students at Queen’s, just make sure you are able to attend the dates of your selected programme.
I completed Inspiring Leaders last year, can I do it again?
Unfortunately not. If you are still keen to continue developing your leadership skills, you might want to come along to some of our Inspiring Leaders Masterclasses –which occur during Development Weeks! Contact us on email@example.com to find out more!
I only want to go to the Inspiring Leaders Masterclasses. Do I have to do Inspiring Leaders too?
No! Our Masterclasses are open to all student volunteers at Queen’s – you don’t have to have completed the Inspiring Leaders programme to attend.
I’m only able to come to part of the programme, can I still apply?
Please only select programme dates that you can attend IN FULL. If you do not attend the whole course, you will not be eligible for Degree Plus/Graduate Plus/Researcher Plus and may be taking the place away from another student who is wholly available. We run 3 programmes each academic year so there will be other opportunities if you can’t fully attend this time around.
I can no longer attend the programme date I was allocated to - can I change?
With enough notice, we will endeavour to find you a place on another programme however, please be aware this is not always possible.
How do I apply?
You can find out more information and the application form here.
When do applications open/close?
Applications open at the beginning of each Semester and will next open in September 2019.
Who should I nominate as my two referees?
The referees you nominate can be personal and/or professional and should know you well enough to be able to comment on your suitability to volunteer in this role e.g. past teacher, friend, employer, tutor, studies advisor, lecturer, colleague, housemate, neighbour, a peer from a club or society, a sports teammate or supervisor from a volunteering role. Remember to ask if they are happy to give you a reference before nominating them. Family members/relatives cannot be nominated as referees.
I have already completed an Access NI check with a different organisation, do I have to repeat the process?
Yes, if your allocated club requires an Access NI check, you must complete it again.
If my allocated club requires an Access NI check, what types of Identification will I need to bring to Induction Training?
As this role involves activity with children and young people, your allocated Homework Club may ask you to complete an Access NI (criminal record) check. As part of this process, you will be asked to bring original identification (see page 2 to view acceptable ID) & photocopies to the Induction Training.
Three documents should be produced in your name; one from Group 1 and two from Group 1 or 2a or 2b. At least one document must show your current address.
If this is not possible, then four documents from Group 2a and 2b should be produced, one of which being a birth certificate issued after the time of birth. One document must show your current address.
If you are having difficulty finding relevant identification, please bring along originals & photocopies of what you feel best meets the list and your allocated club co-ordinator will provide further guidance.
I would like to become a volunteer with Homework Clubs, however, can’t attend the Induction Training, can I still apply?
If you cannot attend, unfortunately, we would be unable to match you to an HC. Don’t worry though as there’s another chance to apply at the beginning of Sem 1, next academic year (2019/2020) if you haven’t graduated before then.
What happens if I arrive late to the Homework Clubs Induction Training?
We do understand that some students may have class/other commitments which may result in late attendance at the Induction Training. In such circumstances, we ask that students contact us to let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org. Students must attend Induction no later than 2 pm and ensure they sign the registration sheet on arrival.
I volunteered with Homework Clubs last Semester and want to return to the same club, do I have to reapply and attend training?
You are not required to reapply or attend induction training again, however, you are more than welcome to come along if you need a refresher.
Please contact your club co-ordinator directly, to let them know you will be returning. Also, please let us know if you are returning, so we can keep you up to date on recognition and training opportunities over the next academic year. Just contact us on email@example.com
I volunteered with Homework Clubs last year, can I join a different club this semester?
You need to complete a new application so we can match you to a club which suits your availability and location. You may also be asked to undertake an Access NI (criminal record) Check by your newly allocated club.
You do not have to attend Induction Training again, however, will need to meet your new club coordinator at the end of the next Induction Training.
I am currently volunteering with Homework Clubs but my club times no longer suit me, what can I do?
If your club is open on other days during the week, you could ask your coordinator if it’s possible to switch. If this is not an option, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss other options.
How do I achieve Homework Clubs Degree Plus/Graduate Plus/Researcher Plus?
Attend the Homework Clubs Induction Training organised by Volunteer SU and across a single academic year, you must:
- Volunteer a minimum of 5 sessions with your allocated Homework Club
- Participate in at least two specialised workshops
- Complete and submit a record book, which includes a 500-550 word reflective journal about your experience as a Homework Clubs volunteer, as well as log of your hours spent on Homework Clubs volunteering.
The Homework Clubs team will contact you via your Queen’s email address to circulate the record book, let you know when the specialised workshops are being held, and confirm the submission date for completed record books.
Can I include Homework Clubs volunteer hours and workshop attendance from different academic years in my application for Homework Clubs Degree Plus/Graduate Plus/Researcher Plus?
Unfortunately not. Homework Clubs Degree Plus/Graduate Plus/Researcher Plus is only achievable by completing steps above (apart from Induction Training which can have been completed previously) completely within an academic year.
I have a class on the day of a specialised workshop, can I come late?
If you wish to achieve Homework Clubs Degree Plus/Graduate Plus/Researcher Plus, we ask that you attend the whole session, so please register for 2 Workshops which you are available for. If you have class/other commitments which may result in late attendance, please contact us on email@example.com as we do allow a 15-minute (maximum) grace period at the start or end of the session.
I am a returning volunteer, so did not attend the Induction training session this academic year. Can I still apply for Homework Clubs Degree Plus/Graduate Plus/Researcher Plus?
Yes. When completing the record book, in place of this year’s Induction training date, insert the date of the Induction training that you attended. Please note all other criteria must be completed within a single academic year.
I could only attend one workshop as I had class. I have had separate training in my own club, can I substitute this for attendance in the workshop?
No. Unfortunately, in order to achieve Degree Plus/Graduate Plus/Researcher Plus, you must attend two workshops organized by Volunteer SU.
I am interested in Handy Helpers, but I am unable to attend all activities. Can I still be part of the initiative?
Of course, that’s the beauty of Handy Helpers – you only attend the activities that suit your availability and interests.
I missed an activity. Am I allowed to come to the next one?
Absolutely! You can come to as many or as few activities you want to. Please note: If you are aiming to achieve Degree Plus/Graduate Plus/Researcher Plus Route A through Handy Helpers, you need to attend at least 7 Handy Helpers activities throughout the year.
What does being a Handy Helper entail?
As a Handy Helper, you will have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of one-off volunteering activities, including anything from planting flowers in a community garden to making Valentine’s cards, to decorating a cats’ shelter. This will allow you to get a taste of different volunteering roles without making any long-term commitment. You will also have access to a number of relevant training sessions, which will help you further develop the skills you have gained through your volunteering as a Handy Helper.
How do I achieve Degree Plus/Graduate Plus/Researcher Plus through Handy Helpers?
Click here for full information on achieving Degree Plus/Graduate Plus/Researcher Plus through Handy Helpers.
How does the Loyalty card work and what rewards do I get?
At the first Handy Helpers event you attend, you will be given your very own loyalty card which will be stamped at every Handy Helpers activity in which you participate. At 3, 5 and 10 stamps you will be given a small reward for being an awesome volunteer. We don’t want to give away too much, but some of the rewards include vouchers, hoodies and travel mugs. But the best reward of all is that you will be making a positive, tangible difference in your local community
I have lost my loyalty card. Can I still get a reward?
No need to panic - we keep attendance records of all Handy Helpers activities. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as you realise your card is missing. If you think you are due for reward, please bare with us as we check back through your records to verify the number of activities you have attended.
Do I need to prepare anything before I attend a Handy Helpers activity?
Prior to the activity, you will be sent a detailed itinerary, which will give you all the necessary information, including descriptions of the tasks you will be required to do during the activity. Any necessary equipment will be provided for you. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that you wear suitable and comfortable clothing/shoe wear for the weather conditions and tasks involved.
How do I find out about current Handy Helpers opportunities?
After you register as a Handy Helper you will start receiving our exclusive bi-monthly newsletter (different from the Volunteer SU newsletter) which will keep you informed about upcoming Handy Helpers volunteering activities and training sessions. All opportunities are also listed on our website, but you will only be able to register through the newsletter. If you have registered but not received our newsletter yet, make sure you let us know on email@example.com.
When does registration open?
Registration is on-going throughout the academic year (September-June), so you are welcome to join anytime. However, if you want to achieve Degree Plus/Graduate Plus/Researcher Plus through Handy Helpers, it is advisable to register early to allow yourself enough time to complete the required number of volunteering activities.
Where are Handy Helpers activities held?
Handy Helpers activities are held at different locations, many within walking distance from the main Queen’s campus. If a certain activity requires transport, it will be provided for you free of charge. When you register for an activity, you will receive full information about the location and transportation arrangements well in advance.
How long in advance do I need to register for an activity?
We aim to inform Handy Helpers about upcoming opportunities at least 2 weeks in advance, so you are welcome to join as soon as registration is open. Please be aware that the number of Handy Helpers participants for each activity is capped, depending on the nature of the tasks involved and health and safety regulations. The short answer is – if the Eventbrite for the activity is open, then you can still register. If the Eventbrite is closed, all spaces have been booked. If registration for an activity is closed, but you are still keen to participate, you can join the Eventbrite Waitlist or contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we can inform you if a space becomes available.
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