Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions are ones that might give you the information you need to know to become a volunteer with Educate Together.

Q : What do Volunteers across the Educate Together network do?

A : 

Almost anything you want to do or can think of! You can volunteer to help spread the word about a new school in your area, to devising a nature programme, from being a Chairperson on a Board to helping out at an annual Picnic!

Q : I’m interested in Volunteering with Educate Together, what do I do next?

A : 

Before filling in the Volunteer Application Form or making contact with the Volunteer Officer in Educate Together, it is a good idea to think about what you would like to do in terms of activity and location. There are many options available to you, volunteering in your local school, interning in the national office or indeed becoming a virtual volunteer and supporting a programme area in your own home!

Q : Can I get my expenses paid while volunteering?

A : 

Before you start volunteering with a local school or the national office, it is important to ask what and how expenses are covered, as this may vary across the network.

Q : How much time do I need to volunteer for?

A : 

This is really up to you. Commitment to a volunteer role can vary from an hour a month, to a day a week, depending on the opportunity you decide is best for your skills, talents and availability. The Volunteer Role Descriptions will give an indication on how much time you can expect to volunteer for a particular role. Hours of volunteering can be negotiated with your line supervisor.

Q : Will I be interviewed?

A : 

This really depends on the role – a one-day fundraising role will not require an interview, however some level of contact will be had with the Volunteer Coordinator. Other roles will require an interview, reference check and garda vetting. The role description for the role you are interested in will outline what interviews and checks may take place.

The sort of questions you may be asked will depend on the type of voluntary work you are interested in.

However, a typical interviewer (formal or informal) may ask any of the following:

-        why you are interested in volunteering?

-        what sort of voluntary work are you interested in?

-        what your particular skills are?

-        what new skills would you like to learn through your volunteer work?

-        how much time you have to offer?

You can ask them anything that you feel unsure about. You may want to check some or all of the following:

-        reimbursement of out of pocket expenses

-        training/qualification opportunities

-        what level of variety will there be in the work

-        support/supervision (someone to talk to regularly about how you are getting on)

-        how volunteering may effect social welfare benefits

An informal chat or interview can also give you an opportunity to look at where you will be volunteering and meet some of the other staff and volunteers.

Q : Can I leave if I don’t like it?

A : 

Yes, of course. You are under no real obligation to keep volunteering should your circumstances change or the role is not what you expected it to be from the outset. Having said that however, you should speak with your line supervisor and/or the Volunteer Officer in Educate Together.

Q : I’m working full time, can I still volunteer?

A : 

Yes, there are many opportunities to volunteer that do not require you to be available Monday to Friday during the day. Don’t be put off volunteering because you work full-time! Many opportunities can be filled by volunteers who are able to commit time in the evening, weekend or for a ‘once off’ day here and there.The role descriptions  will give an indication as to when the volunteering activity should take place. Remember that if there is something you are really interested in doing, the time schedule can always be negotiated with your line supervisor.

Q : Will I get training?

A : 

All volunteers receive an induction into the ethos and principles of what Educate Together is all about. Depending on the role, the volunteer may be asked to attend specific training on particular subjects ie. Board of Management training.

Q : Do I need qualifications to become a volunteer?

A : 

There are no specific qualifications needed to become a volunteer with Educate Together. However do note that some volunteer roles require a specific skill set and previous experience, due to the nature of the work.

Q : Can I claim social welfare benefits while volunteering?

A : 

Yes, you can. We advise that you inform your local welfare office that you are volunteering. Please refer to Volunteering Ireland’s fact sheet on Volunteering and Social Welfare Payments here

Educate Together Volunteer Policy

Download and read Educate Together's Volunteer Policy here.

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