I have volunteered for lots of different charities but NYAS are by far the best. You can tell that NYAS really care about us as volunteers. Being valued makes me feel appreciated and committed.
Linda, Independent Visitor
At NYAS, we are fortunate enough to have a dedicated team of volunteers who help us to change young lives on a daily basis. We could not deliver the level of service that we do without the commitment of our volunteers.
NYAS works with local authorities across England and Wales, allowing us to offer child services volunteer work in a variety of locations. Our volunteer opportunities vary by location, and are constantly being updated. Check out what is available below. Additional vacancies can be found here.
If you don’t see a suitable volunteering opportunity near you then keep an eye on our listings, or sign up for alerts to ensure that you’re the first to know when we’re looking for volunteers in your area.
What is the Role?
An Independent Visitor is an adult volunteer who provides support and friendship to a young person in care. This involves establishing a long term supportive relationship where the young person will have the opportunity to develop their interests, learn new skills and build their self-esteem.
You do not need any special qualifications, but we are looking for dedicated people of all ages who are comfortable with befriending and being a good role model for a child or young person who may have experienced difficult times during their childhood. We ask that you are able to commit to a few hours once per month for a minimum of 2 years.
This is a worthwhile opportunity where you will make a positive difference to the life of a vulnerable young person, become part of a leading national children's charity, gain valuable experience, meet new people and have fun!
An interview and selection process including an enhanced DBS check, references and a digital risk assessment are required for this role. Please have a look at the role description above, which explains more about the skills needed for this role and the activities involved.
We have an interactive training package to provide you with the knowledge and skills to fulfil your role safely. The training will include safeguarding and compliance, the role of an independent visitor and induction to NYAS policies and processes.
Side by Side Mentor
Side by Side is NYAS’ care leaver support programme, which aims to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation for young people when they leave the care system.
Most young people in care just need someone to talk to, so this volunteer opportunity can be really varied. The activities in this role can range from helping young people to understand their bills, to supporting job applications and just being a friendly face.
This volunteering opportunity is only available in specific locations, so check our volunteering listings to see if it’s available in your area. If not, but you’re still interested, sign up for an email alert so that you’re the first to know when Side by Side comes to your local area.
Peer Mentors are individuals aged 18-29 who live in Wales that can offer advice and a listening ear to young people in care. These volunteers are usually care-experienced themselves, or have an understanding of the issues young people in care can face.
Our Peer Mentors can work 1-to-1 with young people, or in a larger group. As part of this volunteer opportunity, people also have the opportunity to gain their OCN Level 2 in Understanding Peer Mentoring and Peer Mentoring Skills.
If you are interested in having or becoming a Peer Mentor, please contact us.
A Peer Advocate is a young person who wants to help other young people make a change. In this volunteering role, Peer Advocates can help other young people to stop, start or change something in their lives.
NYAS offers accredited training through the Open College Network to support young people to understand the role and responsibilities of being a peer advocate.
For more information about becoming a Peer Advocate, or to apply, please email us.
Parent Peer Champions
Parent Peer Champions aim to befriend parents who need a little extra support. They also encourage involvement with Parent Support Groups which already exist in their local community, in the hope of this having a positive impact on the parents wellbeing.
NYAS Cymru will provide training opportunities to upskill the Parent Peer Champions. For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to support you in your query.
Find the Right Volunteering Opportunity
If you’re unsure about committing to a volunteering opportunity at this time, you can email email@example.com with any questions or queries. You can also support NYAS by fundraising for us, allowing us to offer more opportunities to children, young people and vulnerable adults across England and Wales.
People volunteer with NYAS for many different reasons. Some of our volunteers tell us they joined us to meet new people; others wanted to gain skills or experience. Many of our volunteers simply want to give something back and make a difference in their local community.
NYAS also offers a range of training opportunities and a reference after a set period of service.
Unless specified, you will need to be 18 or over to take part in our volunteering opportunities.
For our Peer Mentor volunteer opportunities, you will need to be 16 or over.
There is no upper age limit for our volunteers.
For volunteer work opportunities at NYAS, you don’t need to have any specific skills or experience.
All we ask is that you have lots of enthusiasm and a willingness to support children and young people in care. The role description for each opportunity gives more details of the type of characteristics that are best suited for each role.
Whilst our volunteering opportunities are not a full time role, we do expect a level of commitment to ensure that the children, young people and adults we work with have reliable role models that they can trust.
For an Independent Visitor we do ask that you commit to a few hours a month for a minimum of 2 years.
For Peer Mentoring volunteering we ask for at least 6 months’ commitment so that you and the person you are supporting can get the most out of the experience.
If you have any questions about the time requirements of a particular role, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.
Most of our volunteering opportunities require you to complete an application form and an interview.
Don’t be put off by the interview though! Our volunteering interviews are friendly and informal. They give us an opportunity to get to know you better, and allow you to ask questions in order to assess whether the role is right for you.
If you have questions about the specific application process for each role, contact email@example.com.
You will receive all the support and training you need to make the most of your role, including:
- Support and supervision from your line manager
- Access to a range of training opportunities
- Reimbursement of all reasonable expenses
- A full induction to the organisation, including the chance to get involved in other opportunities
- The chance to meet new people and gain new skills
- A reference once you’ve been with us for a period of time.
Absolutely! Please get in touch with volunteering@NYAS.net so we can discuss any additional support or adjustments you may need to complete your volunteering role.
Yes - for all of our volunteer roles a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required. This is necessary as you will be working with vulnerable individuals, and often minors.
A DBS is used to check whether you have a criminal record.Don’t worry - your DBS won’t cost you anything. NYAS will provide you with full information and guidance on how to complete your DBS.
As part of our safer recruitment process, NYAS uses a Digital Risk Assessment (DRA) in addition to enhanced DBS checks and obtaining satisfactory references.
A DRA is an assessment of a person's attributable, digital activities, actions, contributions and communications that are openly visible online. This is free for volunteers and we will provide you with full guidance on how to apply for your DRA
Yes, but you need to tell us when you apply for a volunteer role. If you have a criminal record we will make a case–by–case decision as to whether or not it is appropriate for you to volunteer in the role.
Yes. References are required for all our volunteer roles.
However, your references don’t need to be from previous employers. They can be personal references, provided that they are not from direct family members.
Volunteering shouldn’t affect your benefits. However, we suggest that you ask for advice from the Job Centre or your employment advisor.
No - you are never required to use personal funds within your volunteering work.
NYAS will pay agreed out-of-pocket expenses that you may have whilst volunteering (e.g. travel / meals / activity costs whilst volunteering).
Yes. You can ask for a reference or certificate of achievement when you leave your role. It may be possible to access your reference sooner if you need one for a job or college application.
You must, however, be a volunteer for a minimum period before you can access a reference.
We want to get you signed up and volunteering as quickly as possible, but sometimes DBS checks and references mean the process can be delayed.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org about specific timings related to your role.