Volunteering FAQs


Why do people volunteer? 

Who can volunteer? 

How do I apply for a role?

Where can I volunteer?

How much time would I have to give?

Do you offer training? 

Will it cost me anything to volunteer?

Can you explain the application process? 

What's Wishnet? 


Why do people volunteer?  Back to top ^                                                           

People have many different reasons for volunteering in general: to learn new skills, to do something inspiring, to give back and even just to meet new people. But here's what some of our volunteers said about why they support Make-A-Wish in particular:-                 


To give a child hope. 
To have an input into doing something wonderful for a family in a difficult situation.                                         
To help a child feel life is worth carrying on for. 
To give a poorly child at least one day where to have fun is normal.


Who can volunteer?  Back to top ^                                                          

If you share our goals, we'll try and find an opportunity for you! Currently our volunteers come from all different backgrounds and social groups; some are former wish children and wish parents, others are students, doctors, job-seekers, company directors, marketing professionals, disabled and non-disabled and from a wide variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds. All volunteers need to have regular access to the internet and must be aged 18 or over.      


How do I apply for a role?  Back to top ^                                                          

You can find volunteering opportunities by looking at our current opportunities page.


Where can I volunteer?  Back to top ^                                                          

Make-A-Wish has offices in Camberley, Edinburgh & Belfast where, subject to availability of roles, you can volunteer. We're also supported by hundreds of volunteers fundraising and wish visiting in the community.


How much time would I need to give?  Back to top ^ 

As much as you'd like. We don't expect everyone to be able to accept every request we send out, but for most roles we'd like a minimum commitment of one activity a month. That activity could even be liking something on Facebook or posting in our forums.


Do you offer training?  Back to top ^

Successful applicants complete online induction training via our volunteer portal, Wishnet. From the moment of completion, you're eligible to represent Make-A-Wish in your community (see community roles).  For wish visiting and some other roles, face-to-face training is needed and you'll be able to choose the best dates for you via Wishnet.


Will it cost me anything to volunteer?  Back to top ^ 

No. Volunteering does not affect the benefit payments you receive. Volunteers are not paid for their time but are entitled to be reimbursed for their travel and other legitimate expenses. People claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance can volunteer as long as they remain available for work and are actively seeking paid employment. People claiming Income Support and/or Disability Living Allowance can volunteer. People claiming Incapacity Benefit can volunteer for as long as they want. The rule that people receiving Incapacity Benefit could only volunteer for 16 hours a week no longer exists. Volunteering does not affect your 'permitted work'.


Can you explain the application process?  Back to top ^ 

Once we've received your application form and scanned photo, we'll give you a quick call to check your happy with the role you've applied for and contact your two referees. As soon as your references are received and approved, Sam Hurley will contact you to arrange a convenient time for a telephone interview with your local Manager. The phone interview is vital not only for us to get to know you, but for you to get to know us too. After this we'll ask you to complete the online induction training on Wishnet, our volunteer portal. It should only take 30 minutes but once complete, you'll start receiving requests from us to help in your community! We'll also set some initial objectives for you to achieve, with our support, over the first 6 months of your volunteering. The application process should take no longer than 12 weeks. For wish visiting and some other roles, face-to-face training is needed and you'll be able to choose the best dates for you via Wishnet.


What's Wishnet?  Back to top ^                                                          

Wishnet is our on-line Volunteer Community! It’s a safe place to communicate with staff and other volunteers. Wishnet also manages all our requests for volunteer support.



Current vacancies               What our volunteers say

Fancy a challenge? Support Make-A-Wish by taking part in one of our challenge events. Find out more