Volunteering: What to expect

A note to current volunteers:

Our Volunteer Coordinator Angela Austin will be in our café every Tuesday from              1 – 2pm for drop-ins. This is a chance to chat to Angela about how your volunteering is going and ask any questions you might have.

Why should I volunteer for North Edinburgh Arts?

Volunteers are at the heart of North Edinburgh Arts, and we value the contribution volunteers make to the creative connections we make. People volunteer with us for a variety of reasons including; to develop new skills or provide an opportunity to enhance existing skills, gain valuable work experience and qualifications, and it’s a great opportunity to get involved and meet new people.

Whatever your reasons, you will be a part of the team, involved with imaginative, thought-provoking and creative activities, within a sometimes challenging environment. Volunteers make an essential contribution to our team, and the life of NEA as a whole.

What can I do as a volunteer?

North Edinburgh Arts has a wide range of volunteering roles and you can see the types of volunteering opportunities available by checking our current volunteering opportunities page. Please contact us if you have any questions about volunteering or if you have specific skills you would like to share.

Who can volunteer?

Anyone aged between 16 and 100 can volunteer with North Edinburgh Arts provided they can fulfil the role description and meet volunteer requirements. We are delighted to work with young people (14+) although there is a slightly different application process. Please contact Angela Austin directly if you are, or know, a young person who would like to volunteer

How much time do I have to give?

Our volunteers’ roles are generally flexible and allow you to give as much or as little time per week as you can. If time is short for you, we sometimes need volunteers on an ad hoc basis to support our fundraising and family events. We ask all volunteers to commit to a minimum of three months.

How do I apply?

The first step is to read our current volunteering opportunities. If you are not able to access these, please call the Admin team on 0131 315 2151, and they can send out these roles and application forms by post.  If you’d like to apply for a role, once we have received your completed forms and references you will be invited to meet for an informal interview and tour of the building. All volunteers will be given induction training.

Do I need to supply references?

Yes. As part of the application process we ask prospective volunteers to supply the contact details for two references. These can be people who know you personally or in a professional context. We ask that your references are not family members and that they have known you for two years or more.

Will I need a Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) check?

Most of our volunteer roles do not require a Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) check, but all volunteers must complete a self-disclosure form. Some roles will require a full PVG check, especially where you will be working directly with children. The volunteer coordinator or senior staff member will advise if this is needed.

I have a conviction. Can I still volunteer?

Yes. A criminal conviction does not necessarily bar someone from becoming a volunteer with North Edinburgh Arts. We ask all potential volunteers to disclose any ‘unspent’ criminal convictions before their interview is arranged to assist with finding an opportunity to suit.

I’m a refugee/asylum seeker, can I volunteer?

Yes. People with refugee status or exceptional leave to remain (and their families) and asylum seekers, including failed asylum seekers (and their families) can volunteer with North Edinburgh Arts.

In general, volunteers with non-EU/EEA passports have the responsibility to ensure their immigration status permits them to volunteer. It is the responsibility of the volunteer, not the organisation, to ensure the right to volunteer.

What skills do I need?

The skills needed to volunteer with North Edinburgh Arts will vary with the volunteer role. Many of our roles do not require any specific skills and training will be provided where required. And of course, volunteering with North Edinburgh Arts is a great way to learn and develop new skills.

What training is offered?

Additional training is offered to volunteers where appropriate throughout the year in areas such as REHIS Food Hygiene, Barista Training, REHIS Elementary Cookery Skills, Child Protection, Play@Home and other training opportunities that are offered by local/national organisations. We recognise and value our volunteers, and we have nominated volunteers for various awards. See Robert’s story on our website. We are aiming to establish our youth volunteering accreditation, and hope to be actively participating in spring 2017.

What support and supervision will I receive?

North Edinburgh Arts takes the safety and well-being of its volunteers very seriously. Volunteers will be assigned to a staff-member who will offer ongoing support and supervision where required to help develop your volunteering role. Supervision may be through one-to-one meetings with a manager or through group evaluation meetings with other staff and volunteers working in the same role.

Do you cover volunteer expenses?

North Edinburgh Arts believes that when you volunteer with us you should not be left out of pocket. Volunteers are entitled to be repaid for travel and meals in accordance with our expenses policy.