What are the minimum and maximum ages for volunteering?
The minimum age for volunteering at Islamic Relief UK in nearly all cases is 14 years. We categorise anyone under the age of 18 as a child, but parental/guardian consent for volunteering is only required if you are under the age of 16. Certain roles within Islamic Relief UK may have additional age restrictions.
On very rare occasions, we may encourage the involvement of volunteers under the age of 14 (eg sponsored fundraising activities in schools).
No maximum age is set for volunteering opportunities.
Volunteers must be 18 or over to participate in activities outside the UK (e.g.: overseas fundraising challenges).
Who can volunteer?
Asylum seeker: people who have refugee status or who have exceptional leave to remain in the UK are eligible to volunteer, provided that they have their own accommodation in the UK.
Student visa: most student visas stipulate the ‘right to work’ in the UK. Tier four student visas allow students to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week.
Overseas volunteer: Islamic Relief UK understands that UK immigration rules allow people to apply for a ‘volunteer’s visa’ in order to come to the UK for full-time voluntary work. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to take responsibility for inviting applicants into the UK via this scheme.
A criminal record: most convictions will not stop applicants from volunteering but applicants must declare unspent or pending convictions when enrolling. Applicants with convictions will be referred to our screening committee.
No work permit: applicants without a valid work permit for the UK are prohibited from volunteering by law.
Student placement: applicants are not classed as volunteers. Please refer to our student placement policy and procedure for further information.
Employer-supported schemes: we welcome these schemes, provided that an agreement is in place between Islamic Relief UK (host) and the company/organisation.
Can volunteers be reimbursed for travel expenses?
Volunteers are entitled to having their travel expenses reimbursed upon producing valid receipts. Travel fares to and from a place of work and travelling whilst volunteering will be reimbursed, subject to prior agreement with supervisors.
What about refreshments/lunch?
A reasonable subsistence rate will be reimbursed, subject to local availability, up to a maximum of £5 per day (upon production of valid receipts). In some instances, volunteers may engage over two meal periods. It is under the discretion of the supervisor to agree expenses for the second meal for an additional amount of up to £5.
Are there any volunteering positions available in the field? Can I volunteer abroad?
Unfortunately Islamic Relief rarely sends volunteers abroad. Volunteers are notified about any international opportunity that arises. We use local support and volunteers to ensure that communities are supported whilst keeping operational costs at a minimum. This approach also helps to empower and train local people in developing countries to serve in their own local communities.
There are numerous volunteering organisations such as the ICS (International Citizen Service) that can offer international volunteering opportunities.