Volunteering - FAQ
Your questions answered about volunteering with the British Lung Foundation
Who can volunteer?
Anyone can volunteer with the BLF, and we appreciate the contribution all volunteers make to our work. We have a range of opportunities which are suitable for a variety of people.
What kind of volunteering opportunities are there at the BLF?
There are many ways to get involved. Our volunteers engage with many aspects of our work, from community fundraising, through helping at our offices, to supporting our national campaigns.
What kind of skills do I need to volunteer?
Enthusiasm, commitment and interest in our work help all our volunteers. The specific skills and experience needed depend on the role you’re interested in.
For example, we have admin support and reception roles which are suitable for volunteers with basic computer skills, but we also have specialised roles which require well-developed research skills or knowledge of health care-related issues.
We hope that we will be able to find opportunities to match the skills you have and the ones you wish to develop through volunteering.
How much time do I need to give?
There is no minimum commitment, and we appreciate the difference all our volunteers make.
If you only have a small amount of time, for example if you work full-time, you may be interested in supporting our campaigns through actions you can perform in your lunch breaks.
Some of the roles based in our offices are most rewarding with if you can help us two or three days per week, but they are always designed to be flexible.
Where will the roles be based?
This will depend on the role that you apply for. Our head office is located in Central London, just 10 minutes’ walk from Angel, Farringdon, Barbican and Old Street stations.
If you apply to volunteer for an events based role then the location will be dependent on the event.
What training is available to volunteers?
If a role requires the volunteer to have specialist knowledge, we will provide any training needed. In most cases, this is done by the volunteer’s line manager and through in-role learning.
What support will I get?
We support our volunteers with all the information and resources they need. Each volunteer works with a member of staff, and there is a Volunteering Co-ordinator who can help volunteers with any concerns.
Will there be an interview?
Before starting in most roles, volunteers will be invited for an informal interview. This gives us an opportunity to tell you more about our work and role, and to learn about your interests and skills.
Will my expenses be covered?
Yes, the British Lung Foundation covers reasonable travel expenses for volunteers. In London, the maximum amount we can cover is equivalent to Zone 1-6 Oyster off-peak travelcard. Volunteers need to collect receipts and tickets to evidence of their travel costs.
Can I claim benefits while volunteering?
Volunteering does not affect benefit payments, as volunteers are not paid for their time. We advise you to inform your benefit advisor or Job Centre Plus when you start volunteering.
Can I leave if I don’t like it or if I am offered a paid job?
Yes, of course. We hope that all our volunteers have a rewarding and challenging experience, and will endeavour to solve any problems volunteers face in their role. Volunteering is by nature flexible, and we understand that people often volunteer while looking for work.