Contact us about volunteering or placements
We'd recommend contacting our volunteer co-ordinator to discuss the first steps for an application. We can arrange an online meeting or a visit to help you assess whether the opportunity is a good fit for your skills and interests.
07516 240 785
Step 1 - Complete the volunteering or placement form, link below or contact Chris using the details above.
Step 2 - We will need to complete an enhanced DBS check for working with vulnerable adults.
Step 3 - Check references (not required for placement students, instead provide us with contacts for your placement supervisor).
Supporting volunteers or placements
Kingston Eco-Op is a project of Kingston Voluntary Action, a well-established leader in the local voluntary sector. All our key policies and procedures are written with and signed off by the senior management at KVA alongside an experienced board of trustees. This framework provides a comprehensive set of up-to-date policies and procedures drawn from many years of professional social care experience. This is the foundation for working safely and within the law.
Induction – Every volunteer will receive a basic induction by the volunteer co-ordinator which covers the fundamentals – adult safeguarding, professional boundaries / conduct, incident reporting, expectations of supervision, confidentiality / GDPR, personal safety and lone-working.
Policies and procedures – Volunteers will be expected to read a selection of vital policies and procedures. Critical details will be discussed during induction and further info available should a volunteer or student want to explore the details.
Managing risk – The frontline staff team and managers of Eco-Op will take the lead on handling risk. Volunteers play a role in communicating concerns but will not be expected to resolve anything on their own. Students of social work, nursing or other fields may want to explore in greater detail how our risk assessments are developed. We have risk assessments for our premises, activities, infection control and for the behaviour of some members.
Learning from the team – Our staff team has a lot of varied experience in social care. Whilst we encourage all volunteers to find their own voice and style of work, it is always beneficial to learn from others who may have a different approach. Finding innovative ways to tackle challenges in communication and behaviour often requires creative thinking. In these situations, different perspectives and delegating to other team members can be the right solution which suit the needs of our members.
Sharing your interests and hobbies – As a small independent charity we have the freedom to introduce new activities and explore them with our community. We encourage everyone to share their interests with the community; everything from music, dance, art & crafts, storytelling to discussions about other countries, cultures and history!
Frequently asked questions
This is helpful but we have worked with many volunteers and students with limited experience but have a willingness to learn and are interested in supporting people.
Ideally a minimum commitment of one session per week (3 hours, morning / afternoon or all day for 6 hours). This means we can make the most of your time to create a positive impact for our members and it will give you a better experience to learn or develop your skills.
Our service benefits from taking a structured approach to the staff team and the volunteers who assist us. We can be flexible but ask you to plan ahead particularly around longer breaks like holidays or exam periods.
We can contribute to end of placement reports and work with your college or university to ensure your experience meets course learning requirements. We can discuss your SMART targets during the application process.
Some of our placements have even been nominated and won Student awards for excellence.
Absolutely! Some of our students have kindly continued to support our work after a placement to gain more experience and make our a community a more fun and interesting place to visit for our members.
Speak to us if you need support with any expenses related to volunteering. We have a budget we can use if needed.