Volunteering with the Trussell Trust – FAQs
Here are some of our most commonly asked questions but if we haven’t covered your query or you require further clarity on any of the points below please email firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I find out about volunteering opportunities at my local food bank?
You can either contact them directly using the details on the find a food bank map or you can register your interest on our volunteering page
My local food bank doesn’t have any volunteering opportunities, how can I help?
There are many ways you can help the fight against poverty and hunger in the UK. From organising a food collection to taking on a charity challenge or signing up for our latest campaign, you can help people in crisis today.
I’ve contacted my local food bank and haven’t received a reply.
At certain times of year food banks can be extremely busy with influxes of people or food donations. Many rely heavily on volunteers with only one or two part-time members of staff.
If you haven’t heard back within a few weeks then please forward your email to email@example.com and the central volunteering team will try to get in touch with the food bank.
What support will I get as a volunteer?
Every volunteer will have a main contact either at the Trussell Trust or their local food bank. This person will help induct you into your role, answer any queries you may have while volunteering and support you if any problems occur.
Volunteers will receive training that is relevant to their role. This may be internally delivered at the food bank or may involve going on an external course eg food hygiene.
Do you reimburse expenses?
If you are volunteering for the Trussell Trust, we will reimburse expenses in line with our Volunteer Expenses Policy.
Your local food bank may or may not have its own expenses policy. Please check with them directly before commencing your role.
Will volunteering affect my benefits?
If you are in receipt of benefits, including means-tested benefits, you are fully entitled to volunteer for as many hours as you wish, as long as you continue to keep to the rules or conditions for getting that benefit.
For example, if you are in receipt of Jobseekers’ Allowance, you are fully entitled to volunteer as long as you meet the conditions of your claim (e.g. remain available for and actively seeking a full time paid job etc.) Or if you are receiving Carers’ Allowance, you need to continue to provide at least 35 hours a week of care to the person who is receiving the disability benefit. For Jobseekers’ Allowance, Carers’ Allowance and Income Support, you should inform the Jobcentre Plus office that you are volunteering.
Are there any age restrictions?
For the majority of roles, volunteers must by over 18 years old. There may be circumstances where volunteer roles may be appropriate for volunteers under 18, for example, while taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh award. Volunteers that are under 18 must receive permission from their parents before starting their role.
Can I volunteer if I have a criminal record?
A criminal record will not necessarily prevent you from volunteering, but we may need to make an assessment of any risks both to you the volunteer and to others. The nature of the offence, how long ago it was committed and its relevance to the volunteer role will be considered. Anyone with a caution or conviction for a sexual offence will not be able to volunteer.
What if I have a physical or learning disability?
We are committed to embracing diversity and promoting equality and inclusion. As a volunteer, you can expect to be treated fairly regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, parental or marital status, disability, religion, colour, race, ethnic or national origins or socio-economic background. Please let us know if there are any health conditions or additional needs we may need to know about that could impact your volunteering in order for us to best support you to carry out your role.