Volunteers are so important to the work we do at Blenheim. Without you, it wouldn’t be possible to have the impact we do. We’ve put together these frequently asked questions so you can decide if we are the right organisation for you and to help make the application process as easy as possible.
How do I apply?
The form asks you to specify the kinds of roles you are interested in and the locations you would like to be based in. Once we have your application we will invite you in for an informal interview and we will do our best to find you a volunteering placement that matches your preferences!
Can I volunteer with no experience?
Yes, you can. No previous experience is necessary, as we will support you with a full induction and on-going training so you feel confident in your abilities.
What kinds of volunteering roles are available?
We have a range of roles which are always open for you to apply, from helping with administration in the central office to working in a drop-in service. Find out more here.
What kind of experience will I get?
This depends on the role! Lots of our volunteers start by working in a drop-in. It is an informal but very important part of the work the service does. In the drop-in you would welcome clients in to the service, make them a cup of tea and have a chat. This is about becoming a friendly and familiar face for the clients, who are often very scared. It is important to build this trust before you take on other kinds of work in the service.
How much time do I have to give?
We would like a commitment of a minimum of 1 day a week for 6 months.
Where will I be based?
This depends on the role and borough you want to volunteer in. Blenheim has over 20 services across 11 London boroughs and we do all we can to match you with a location that is convenient for you.
What kind of qualities and skills does a volunteer need to have?
You need to be motivated to support people with alcohol and drug issues. Having a non judgmental attitude is also crucial. You will need to be comfortable working as part of a team and communicating with good interpersonal and basic written skills.
Can I volunteer as a therapist?
If you want to volunteer in a qualified role such as a nutritional therapist or counsellor, then you will need to have or be working towards the appropriate qualification. Get in contact with us at email@example.com if you’d like to talk about this option.
What support can I expect from Blenheim?
You should expect guidance, training, supervision and a 3 month induction period. Someone will always be there to talk about any concerns you may have or anything you might need to help you in your role. We want to help you to help others, so you should feel comfortable to let us know if there is any additional support you might need.
What training will I receive?
We provide all our volunteers with great training opportunities. We look at how drugs and alcohol impacts on individuals and communities. We also focus on the psychosocial interventions we use and the treatment options that are available. Find out more here.
I want to eventually become a paid member of the team. Will this be possible?
Yes, many of our current workers started as volunteers before joining the staff team and we can support you to work towards this. Becoming a volunteer is a great way to build up your experience and to make the most of the training opportunities open to you.
Do I have to be drug and alcohol free?
Yes, you must be a minimum of 12 months free from illicit drug and problematic alcohol use. We welcome applications from ex-users, and you may also like to consider becoming a peer mentor. You can find information about peer mentoring here.
Do I have to have a DBS check?
This will depend on your volunteering role. If the role involves regular contact with our service users you will need to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before you start.
Do I need to provide references?
Yes, on the application form we ask for two professional references. These could be from a previous manager, or a professional who knows you such as your doctor.
Will I be paid?
You won’t be paid a wage. However, you will be paid for expenses such as reasonable travel and lunch.