Community Volunteer

Community Volunteers provide practical help to serving people and their families. Whilst a friendly chat is an important aspect of the role you will also be providing some hands-on support like a lift to a medical appointment or help with shopping.

Would you like to support people from within the serving community? You just need a friendly demeanour, and an ability to get on with people from different backgrounds and age groups. If so, please get in touch. 

Why do we need you?

We’ve been supporting the Armed Forces community for more than 130 years. Armed Forces life can bring its challenges when a loved-one is deployed overseas, or a family must move to a new location. Some people find themselves facing illness, bereavement or unexpected financial problems. Day-to-day activities can become difficult without a little help. That’s where you come in. Could you spare a few hours a week to lend a helping hand to a family in your serving community?

When would you be needed and where would you be based?

The essential part of the role is visiting clients, so you will need a driving licence and access to a vehicle or another way to travel to meet clients at home or elsewhere.

Some volunteers will visit more people than others. Whilst you may visit a client on a regular basis for a period of time you will not be developing the kind of relationship where you would provide personal care, handle money or support someone in an emergency. SSAFA can help clients to arrange other types of support if needed.

What can you gain from this volunteering role?

  • Give back to the serving community.

  • Support people in your local serving community using your patience, time and life experience.

  • Support and friendship from your local SSAFA Serving Community Team and the wider SSAFA community.

  • Experience, training and skills that you can highlight on your CV and in job interviews.

  • Better physical and mental health – studies show that volunteers live longer and experience lower levels of stress and depression!

What skills or experience are we looking for?

  • Friendly and approachable people with good listening skills, patience and empathy.

  • Respectful and non-judgemental approach with beneficiaries, their family, other agencies and SSAFA colleagues.

  • Understanding of the need to remain within the boundaries of the role with regards to friendship, finances etc.

  • Practice confidentiality and data protection in line with SSAFA’s policies.

  • Good IT skills  - e.g. an ability to use Outlook – you will receive your own SSAFA email address.

  • Ability to travel to meet beneficiaries.

  • A willingness to adhere to all relevant organisational policies and procedures.

What training and support will you receive?

  • One day training course for Community Volunteers with the option to gain an accredited qualification in community volunteering. Additional training is required for those wishing to undertake the Relief Care Service for Children (currently being piloted in certain areas).
  • Support from a local Community Volunteer Coordinator.

  • Support from SSAFA’s Welfare Team and Volunteer Experience Team based at our Central Office.

  • Online training modules to complete at home, so you are up to date with how to keep clients, their families and personal information safe.

  • Refresher training to keep your knowledge and skills up to date.

  • Reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses.

  • Volunteers will be covered by SSAFA's Public Liability insurance while carrying out their role.

Are references required?

Yes. Two character references from people who know you well (not family members).   You will be asked to provide references after you complete the initial application form below.

Is a disclosure check required?

Yes (the cost of this will be covered by SSAFA).

Please note that a disclosure certificate that contains convictions, cautions, warnings, reprimands or other information should not automatically mean that you are not able to volunteer. All certificates will be reviewed on a case by case basis and, if required and where possible, a modified or alternative role will be offered.

Is there a minimum age?

Yes, you will need to be 18 or older due to the sensitive nature of the role.

How to find out more

  • Complete the volunteer application form below.

  • Call our friendly central Volunteer Team on 0800 260 6775. They can answer any general questions about volunteering and put you in touch with your local branch.

How do we use your information?

The information you provide will be used to create a personal record on our database if your application to become a SSAFA volunteer is successful. It will not be used for any other purpose or shared with any other organisation; all data collected from unsuccessful applicants will be destroyed as soon as it is no longer needed. SSAFA complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018.  Please read our privacy policy for more information.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We welcome volunteers of all backgrounds, abilities, races, sexual orientations, socio-economic backgrounds, and of all faiths and none. SSAFA are committed to making reasonable adjustments to support disabled volunteers, so they have access to the same opportunities and experiences as non-disabled volunteers.

For further details see our equality and diversity policy.

What you'll do

Key role responsibilities

  • Contacting beneficiaries and arranging to meet them at their home or in a suitable place depending on their needs.

  • Providing practical help like lifts to appointments, going to the shops, washing-up, running errands etc.

  • Providing time limited, relief care for children (additional training is required for those undertaking this type of support).

  • Helping people to think about how to access other support if needed and signposting as required.

  • Reporting any safeguarding concerns in line with SSAFA’s safeguarding policy and procedures.

  • Keeping in touch with your Community Volunteer Coordinator, attending supervision and keeping a record of your visits.

  • Keeping up to date with training and SSAFA news so that you are best able to support beneficiaries.

  • Volunteering within the standards and values of SSAFA and adhering to SSAFA’s policies and procedures at all times.

Application form


Please provide us with your address by using our address lookup or by entering your address manually.

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