Interested in becoming a volunteer at Minstead Trust?

We are sure that you have many questions about what is involved when you volunteer for Minstead Trust so we have put together a few of our most frequently asked questions which we hope may help. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please do get in touch.

  • Why volunteer with Minstead Trust?

    We greatly value our wonderful team of volunteers who are an integral part of our Minstead Trust community. Volunteering with us is a great way to share your enthusiasm, skills and ideas whilst having fun, meeting new people and knowing that you are making a massive difference to the lives of vulnerable adults at the same time.

  • How do I become a Volunteer?

    First things first, please get in touch with our Volunteer Team to let us know that you interested in getting involved! They will be able to answer any questions you might have and discuss possible volunteering roles depending on your skills, interests and availability. We will then arrange a suitable time for you to visit so you can see first-hand what we do, meet the team and see how, as a volunteer, you could be involved.

    There is some application paperwork to complete too but we will be on hand to guide you through the whole process.

    Get in touch today!

  • Where can I volunteer?

    Minstead Trust is a charity based in the New Forest, supporting adults with learning disabilities across Hampshire, Wiltshire and Portsmouth. The Trust is made up of 4 main sites as well as drop-in groups based within the local community.

    • New Forest Day Services – Minstead Lodge, Minstead (SO43 7FT)
    • Portsmouth Day Opportunities – Warren Avenue, Southsea (PO4 8PY)
    • Furzey Gardens (10 acre garden, tea room & gift shop) – Minstead, (SO43 7GL)
    • Hanger Farm Arts Centre (Theatre, art gallery, café & bar) – Totton, (SO40 8FT)
    • Community drop-in groups – Totton, Hythe, Romsey and Eastleigh.

    All of our sites offer a variety of volunteering opportunities and there may also be ways you can get involved from home!

  • How much time do I need to volunteer?

    This really is up to you! We have a wide range of volunteering opportunities available which all offer different time commitments; some roles might be for one-off events while others can be offered on a more regular (weekly, monthly) basis. Weekdays or weekends, daytime or evenings, we really do try to be as flexible as possible to ensure that if you want to be involved, then you can be!

  • Can I try out the role before I commit?

    Yes. We are all too aware that just occasionally the hopes and anticipation of a volunteering role might not match the reality of what you are asked to do in practice. Here at Minstead Trust we want all of our volunteers to have a really good, hands-on experience of how they might be involved from the very start. Where possible, we try to offer all our new volunteers a taster session so they can meet their team and get a really good idea as to whether a certain role feels right for them before any official commitment is made. We strongly believe that any positive volunteering experience starts with finding the right role to ignite that passion and enthusiasm!

  • Do I need any qualifications?

    No. No formal qualifications are required to carry out any of our volunteering roles but obviously any experience and skills you can bring to the table will hopefully only add to your volunteering experience. Equally, we’re always happy to encourage and support people who wish to try something new. All we really ask for is reliability, bags of enthusiasm and the willingness to get involved!

  • Will I receive any training?

    Every new volunteer who joins Minstead Trust will be offered a volunteer induction. This will include the opportunity to attend an Induction morning to meet other volunteers and staff from across the Trust, as well as any necessary training specific to your role. You will also be assigned a personal point of contact (usually your session leader or Head of Service) who will be responsible for you, and any additional training, while you undertake your volunteering activities.

    Everyone at Minstead Trust wants your volunteering experience to be an enjoyable and meaningful one and we will endeavour to offer you all the support you need to achieve this.

  • Will I need to undergo a DBS check?

    Yes. Due to the nature of the people we support – vulnerable adults with learning difficulties – it is standard policy for ALL staff and volunteers to undergo a DBS and personal reference check. Both these checks will need to be completed as part of the application process and before any volunteering can begin – although it may be possible to attend an initial taster session to be sure the role is right for you. (See FAQ 4. above.) To complete the checks, we will ask you to provide certain documents along with the names of two referees but the Volunteering Team will be on hand to help and guide you through the whole process.

  • Is it possible to claim expenses?

    Yes. We value our volunteers and want to ensure that there are no barriers to volunteer involvement. Although voluntary work is freely given with no expectation of payment, we do not want our volunteers to be out of pocket as a result of their contribution. Therefore, volunteers may claim reasonable, authorised expenses as agreed in advance with the Volunteering Team.

  • How old do I need to be to volunteer?

    Currently all our roles (on site) are aimed at 18+.

    On occasion, we have been able to offer one-off work experience, placement or Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme opportunities for younger volunteers although these are addressed on a case by case basis with the appropriate staff.

    It is always worth dropping us a line though to see what the art of the possible is and it might be that you can even support us from home!

  • None of these FAQ answer my questions. What do I do now?

    Please contact the Volunteering Team directly with your questions and we’ll do our best to answer them – or point you in the direction of someone who can.

    We look forward to hearing from you!