What is volunteering?
As an individual, this is about you giving up your time to help others. On the IIC site you will see a growing number of community projects (not just charities) that have been set up to help people or a community where there is no other source of help.
You can make a difference with just a few hours of your time, and whilst doing so, earn Community Credits™ and gain the satisfaction of having made a difference real people and their lives.
If you volunteer with the support of your employer or your affiliate organisation, then you are able to select them on the “Giving widget” to receive a COPY of the Credits you earn, as a thank you for releasing you to help out. The credits you earn are always in your account; it’s just that it fairly recognises the organisation that helps you to help others.
What is skilled volunteering?
Skilled volunteering is the term we use to describe you doing your day job. If you are an accountant, a bricklayer, an engineer, a solicitor, teacher, medically trained, then volunteering for something that asks for your core skills is described as skilled volunteering.
What is general volunteering?
This relates to activity that is something you don’t do in your day job. People often assume that this is just manual work, but it doesn’t have to be. In painting a community asset for example, a qualified painter could be classified as a skilled volunteer, and the other as general volunteers.
What about my age – does that matter?
Yes it does. In volunteering your time, select an activity that suits your ability as you think fit. Some environments are best suited to adults and the good cause will usually stipulate this. If you are under 18 there are other considerations to do with your safety, and we recommend an adult is in supervision at all times, and that your parents or guardians are fully aware of your volunteering intentions. Please fill in the extra email field in your profile if you are under 18, or consider yourself vulnerable in any way, with the email of a trusted adult. They will then be able to look out for you and your needs.
If you are part of an organisation or company, ask them to explain their policies and protection for you, as you volunteer for something. Check with the good cause to see if they have insurances and polices that protect your well-being, especially if you are going to be using any kind of machinery. If you are driving as part of the volunteering ensure your insurance company provides cover for you, and don’t get caught out by small print. Finally ask the question who is liable for you as you volunteer for anything, and be aware of risks at all times.
If you offer your time to a good cause, please turn up. Communicate with the project using the message button or the chat forum to agree times, meeting places, clothing needs or anything else needed. Please take your responsibility to yourself and to the project seriously.
But don’t let this put your off, go out there and do great things, earn Community Credits™ and add value to lives – but act responsibly for your own safety and well-being.