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Frequently asked questions

How old do I have to be to volunteer with Second Step?

The minimum age to volunteer with Second Step is 18.

How long does it take to be a volunteer with Second Step?

As we work with vulnerable adults we have a recruitment process to adhere to. This includes a DBS check and the provision of a reference. We also ask that volunteers complete our core training which is currently being held online.,

We estimate that it takes approximately 6 - 8 weeks to complete all the stages required before being ready to volunteer. If you have opted to be a one to one mentor there may also be a period of waiting to be matched with a suitable mentee.

I am a student of counselling /psychotherapy, can I do a placement with you?

We are not able to provide counselling or student placements. We do not have staff capacity for appropriate placements and supervision for counselling students. Please speak to our HR department about any future opportunities in this area.

I would like to be able to practise counselling or CBT. Will I be able to do that if I volunteer with Second Step?

We do not offer our service users one to one counselling. As an organisation we are committed to providing a recovery-focused support and we ask that our volunteers are committed to working within this approach.

I am receiving support, am I able to volunteer?

We are unable to accept volunteers who are receiving a high level of support. For people on a lower level we will evaluate your suitability on a case by case basis.

I am in supported housing, am I able to volunteer?

We are currently developing a programme to support the opportunity of volunteering either within Second Step or externally for people who are currently being offered support. Please get in touch with us for more information.

I’m in recovery from alcohol and drug misuse, can I volunteer?

You need to be in recovery for 6 months. If you are on a low level prescription for substance misuse then please let us know and we’ll have a chat with you about it.

I have a police record. Will I be able to volunteer?

All volunteers need to complete a DBS before starting to volunteer with us. If you have convictions it does not necessarily mean that you cannot volunteer, we will complete a risk evaluation and management plan if necessary.

I am on benefits. Will I be able to claim expenses?

We pay expenses for travel, including bus or car travel. We also will pay for refreshments over five hours volunteering in a day, and drinks to a maximum of £2 per drink for mentors per meeting. Volunteering with us should not affect your benefits in any way.

What training is available before starting volunteering?

We require that our volunteers attend our core training package, covering issues such as Recovery, boundaries, confidentiality, mental health stigma and Safeguarding. There is Mentoring training for volunteers who would like one to one roles. Second Step also runs training programmes that volunteers can request to attend alongside staff.

What support will I get from Second Step?

All volunteers have one to one support and supervision from a Volunteer Coordinator, they are also invited to group supervision with other volunteers who are doing the same role. You will also have regular check in’s from your Volunteer Coordinator.

The staff of volunteer services are available from Monday – Friday if you need anything.

I’m only available on the evenings and weekends, can I still volunteer?

The volunteer hours are generally between 9 – 5  Monday to Fridays. Occasionally we have requests for out of hour one to one support over the telephone. If this is something you would be interested in we can discuss this with you in more detail.

What commitment do you need from me?

We ask all volunteers to commit for up to 4 hours per week (including travel time) for 12 months.

Please contact us if you have any further questions or would like to discuss volunteering in more detail. Email volunteering@second-step.co.uk