Do you have skills that you would like to use to help others?

Are you looking to gain valuable experience to support a future career in the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) sector, counselling, psychology, or social work?

Perhaps you are a survivor who would like to support other women experiencing domestic abuse?

Whatever your motivation for supporting our work as a volunteer, we will ensure that your experience as a Refuge volunteer is a rewarding one.

Check out our Volunteer Stories to learn more about the benefits of volunteering with Refuge.

Refuge is committed to building a volunteer community that is diverse, inclusive and accessible to those who wish to support us in this way. We want our volunteers to be as varied as the women they are helping us to support, and therefore encourage applications from adults aged 18+ of all ethnicities, religions, backgrounds and abilities.

However, due to the nature of the support our volunteers provide, many of our roles are restricted to women.

Refuge is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion. Our recruitment and selection procedures reflect this commitment which applies to all applicants for roles at Refuge.

Volunteers support the work Refuge does in different ways – in our office, on our helpline and in our refuges and community services. Take a look at our Volunteer Roles and explore our Volunteer Stories to learn more.

The majority of our roles require you to volunteer at least once a week for a period of 6-12 months.

We do understand that occasionally you will be absent from your volunteering due to sickness, holidays or other commitments and make allowance for this.

Please note that due to the level of training and time we invest in our volunteers, we do not have the capacity to consider applications outside of times stated.

We don’t expect you to know everything about domestic abuse to volunteer with us, as we will provide you with extensive training before you begin your volunteer role.

However, knowledge, understanding or experience that complements the role you are applying for is always an advantage in securing a volunteer position with us – be sure to include this in your application, as there is often strong competition for the roles we have open.

We recommend you read the person specification carefully for the volunteer role you’re applying for.

Our Volunteer Roles page can tell you more about the specific skills and experience that are desirable for each post.

1. If you haven’t done so already, we recommend that you Register with us to be emailed about the Refuge vacancies as they arise. You can see our current vacancies here.

2. When a role comes up that interests you, you will need to follow the instructions to apply. This is usually in the form of a digital application through our website.  We recommend you read the person specification carefully for the volunteer role you’re applying  for. Ensure that you give us some examples in your application of the skills, experience and  attributes you have, that match the ones we are looking for.

3. Shortly after submitting your application, you will be advised whether you have been shortlisted for an interview. If you are invited for an interview, we will arrange a time with you that is convenient. Interviews take  place in person or via a digital platform, like Zoom.

4. If you interview successfully, you will be asked to provide documentation proving your identity, references and undergo an enhanced DBS check.

5. All being well, we will ask you to join us for a Volunteer Induction, which is training that is either carried out in person or online. It covers both the theoretical and practical knowledge you will need to carry out your volunteer role successfully. We will also ask you to sign a Volunteer Contract. This is a non-legal agreement outlining what you commit to as a volunteer and what you can expect from us as well.

6. Start your volunteer role with Refuge and make a difference in the lives of women and children experiencing domestic abuse! Unfortunately we cannot guarantee that everyone who applies for a volunteer role will be selected.

Ensuring that our volunteers feel supported and appreciated, in ways that are meaningful to them, is very important to us.

Every successful volunteering applicant will receive extensive theoretical and practical training from our experienced staff to ensure that they are able to carry out their role. After completing this induction phase, volunteers continue to learn from the staff teams they support during their volunteer shifts.

A Volunteer Coordinator or Manager will also arrange to meet with you one-to-one on a regular basis to ensure that you are getting the support you need. We also offer structured training opportunities to contribute to your learning and development.

We recruit for volunteers several times throughout the year.

Register with us to be emailed about all Refuge vacancies as they arise.

You can view all of Refuge’s current paid and volunteer vacancies here.

Volunteers are not paid, as they are not legally contracted employees. They give their time, skills and experience for free.

We do not offer work experience placements in the majority of our services due to the sensitive nature of the work that we do.

However, you will gain valuable skills and experience whilst volunteering, and we are happy to sign off volunteer hours as a contribution to your course.

In these instances, we would still require you to make a full volunteering commitment in terms of the time and skills you donate.

Due to the sensitive and confidential nature of the work that we do, and the extensive training that we provide, we cannot offer ad hoc volunteering opportunities.

Volunteer Checklist: What do I need to consider before applying?

 Do I have the time to commit to the training required for this role?

 Am I free on the interview and induction dates?

 Am I able to make a regular commitment to volunteer each week for at least 6 months?

 Have I fully read, and understood, what the expectations will be of me as a volunteer in this role?

 Am I feeling emotionally ready to volunteer?



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