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Disabled man wearing a lei smiling next to a young female volunteer who are both enjoying time at Revitalise Sandpipers

Volunteering FAQ

Revitalise runs one of the largest and most diverse volunteer programmes in the UK. Over 2,000 people volunteer their time with us every year. If you have any questions, please call us on 0303 303 0145 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) and we’ll be happy to help.

Book your volunteer place

Who can volunteer at Revitalise centres

Everyone over the age of 16 is welcome. Revitalise actively welcomes people from all ages, backgrounds and countries. We have volunteers from Europe and even as far afield as South Korea! Students, graduates, retired people, teenagers, people in employment and not in employment all volunteer with Revitalise to help our guests have a great holiday.

We have no upper age limit and no previous experience is necessary for any of our roles. You will receive a thorough induction and training on your arrival. In return, we ask that our volunteers are friendly, to provide a warm and memorable holiday for our guests. We also ask volunteers to have a competent level of English so they are able to provide support and follow safety procedures.

Please note that to receive training in aspects of health care, volunteers must be 18 years or older.

Overseas volunteers must also be 18 years or older. Exceptions can be made if volunteers are coming as part of a school/college group from within the EEA. Please see ‘group bookings’ for more information.

Volunteers outside the EEA will need to arrange their placement through one of our agencies.

Please see ‘I am not from the UK section’ for more information.

The majority of our volunteers are residential, but we have plenty of opportunities for local volunteers to support whenever they can. With so much going on in the centres, we’re certain to find a role and time that works for you. You could spend time in the centre with guests, accompany them on excursions or enjoy the evening entertainment with them. Or you could host a coffee morning, support in the gardens, shops or use your current skill-set to lead an activity in the centre. Anytime you can give is greatly appreciated!

To help on a daily basis in your local Revitalise Centre, please call the centre directly. You can find their details in the Our Centres or Contact Us sections.

Yes, you can! If you feel more comfortable coming along with a friend or a group of friends, then just make sure you book in advance so there is enough space for you all. There is so much to do and so many new people to meet though that if you do come alone, you will soon make friends with fellow volunteers, staff and guests alike!

Please do remember that if you are booking to complete your DofE residential, then a requirement is that you should not know anyone during your placement. You should contact your Group Leader for advice if required. Please see our ‘Duke of Edinburgh Participants’ section for more information.

Yes you can — many of our volunteers come from abroad. Spaces are limited and some restrictions may apply for overseas volunteers, but don’t let that stop you! Please fill in our booking form or get in touch to find out more.

Please note that volunteers from outside the EEA will need to organise their placement through one of our agencies. Please get in touch with us for more information and we can put you in touch with the agencies that we work with.

We are an Approved Activity Provider for the Duke of Edinburgh Award, which means you are able to complete your residential with us for your Gold Award. Please be aware that although the residential component requires a 5 night stay, our volunteering residential opportunities require a 7 night minimum stay.

It is your responsibility to make sure you meet the requirements of the residential element, for example not completing this component alongside your friends, so please do check with your group leader before booking. Let our centre staff know on your arrival that you are completing your Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award and we will be able to complete your necessary records for this.

We love welcoming back our volunteers. To make it easy for you to book your place we have a separate, short online form for returning volunteers to complete. We will be in touch if any of your references or DBS have expired, but there is no need to complete the original form every time you want to volunteer.

We welcome group placements from schools and colleges in the UK and abroad. If you would like to arrange for your students to volunteer with us, please email our Volunteer Team for more information about how to proceed.

Please note that group bookings for volunteers from outside the EEA will need to be organised through one of our agencies. Please see ‘I am not from the UK’ section.

We are also happy to welcome employee engagement groups for volunteer days at our centres. See our Corporate Partnerships page for team bookings information.

Yes! If you’d like to see what the centres are like and meet some of the team before deciding to volunteer or before you begin, that’s no problem. Please ring the centres and let them know you’d like to pop in and we can ensure we are free to show you around.

Important information about volunteering at Revitalise

We currently have two centres in the UK: Sandpipers in Southport and Jubilee Lodge in Chigwell, Essex. Each one is different with a unique range of facilities available.

Nothing! Volunteering with us is free. For our residential roles, our volunteers live at one of our centres for the duration of their placement. Accommodation and all meals are provided and the costs for excursions are also on us. You will just need to cover the costs of your transport to the centre.

Of course, if you wish, you can raise funds by sponsorship and donations to help cover these costs. This can make a big difference in keeping our costs down. Visit our Support Us page to learn more about ways you can fundraise.

You need to complete our online booking form as the first step. As part of this process you will need to let us know your availability, preferred location and provide two references.

For those living in the UK, Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) checks will be done. If you live outside of the UK, within the EEA, then we will require an official, original ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ from the national Police agency of your home country, giving details of any previous criminal convictions, including those considered spent. This must be translated into English.

Once you have completed our booking form, we will send you more details about how to complete these checks. Please allow 3-5 working days for us to get back to you.

Please note we are unable to accept direct bookings from volunteers outside the EEA. We have arrangements with a small number of partner agencies and can only accept applications made through these agencies. See ‘Volunteering for non-UK residents’ for further information.

Volunteers should aim to arrive at the times given, as this ensures the training and inductions can be carried out in one group. Please arrive anytime between 12-2pm on Sunday of your volunteering placement. If you are around at 1pm, you will be invited to join us for lunch.

You are welcome to leave anytime on the last day of your placement, but if you could stay in the morning to support, that would be a great help, as the last day of the holiday is our busiest day.

We understand that it might not be possible for all our volunteers to arrive/depart at these set times, especially those travelling from further afield. If you will be arriving outside the arrival slot, then please tell us by emailing beforehand so the centre knows when to expect you. Equally if you need to leave earlier than indicated, let the centre staff know.

Please allow 3-5 working days for us to get back to you following your booking. You will receive a confirmation email with the dates and location of your volunteering or an email with alternative dates if we don’t have availability.

UK volunteers will be sent instructions on how to complete their DBS check. Overseas volunteers will be sent instructions about acquiring and sending Certificates of Good Conduct and translations.

All volunteers will receive our volunteering guide and directions on how to get to the centres.

4 weeks before your placement you will receive a reminder with the volunteer guide and travel instructions again.

1 week before you will receive a reminder to bring your photographic ID with you to the centre.

Please check your Spam/Junk folder for these just in case and if you still haven’t got them, let us know and we can resend this information.

Background checks and obtaining your DBS

Our guests are deemed to be vulnerable adults. While we provide a fun holiday, we also are registered to provide care and nursing, which requires us to carry out such checks as it is our duty to protect our staff, guests and volunteers.

We are unable to accept volunteers who haven’t completed and received clearance through the required checks.

If you are seeing the ‘contact a verifier’ page on the application this means you have successfully completed the online part of your application. We unfortunately can’t change the information displayed on the screen, as the application is through another provider. You need to ignore the numbers here and pick which option you want to go with for verification of your chosen documents.

See ‘Step 5’ on our instructions which were sent to you when you first made your booking.

Once you have completed Step 5, your application will continue to be processed, so that’s all you need to do and we will let you know if there are any problems.

We unfortunately cannot accept any volunteers who have not completed the necessary background checks. To avoid disappointment, we recommend booking your place 6-8 weeks in advance to allow enough time to complete the checks. Mistakes or errors in DBS applications and not providing the correct documentation for this check or the Certificate of Good Conduct as required can lead to delays, so please do follow the instructions we send carefully.

Please keep this in mind when booking your travel to our centre, as it will be at your own risk if you wish to book this before your checks are complete.

Preparing for your volunteering experience at Revitalise

  • Suitable and comfortable clothes – You will be accompanying guests on excursions so please be prepared for all weathers
  • Comfortable and covered shoes – So you will be protected while supporting guests with wheelchairs
  • Toiletries, including a towel
  • Photographic ID
  • Spending money as you wish

We have designated volunteer blocks at our centres for you to stay in. Most rooms have bunk beds and accommodate 2-4 people per room. There are shared bathroom facilities and we ensure you share rooms with the same gender.

Unfortunately there are very limited single rooms available, but if you feel strongly that you need a single room then let us know at the time of registering. We will do our best to accommodate you, but please be mindful that we can’t guarantee it.

Bed linen is provided, but please bring your own towels. There is also internet access at the centre.

By volunteering with us you can have fun, make friends and boost your confidence. It is also a great way to gain relevant and transferable skills to help your studies or future career prospects. You will also be making a difference by helping our guests have a truly revitalising break!

All volunteers receive certificates on their departure and we can provide references on request and accreditation if required by your course.

All our volunteers receive a thorough induction and training on their first day at our centres. This covers a tour of the building, health and safety procedures, information about Revitalise, how the centre runs and your volunteering role. All volunteers are trained in moving and handling of wheelchairs and have an induction with one of our centre managers, nurses and drivers.

Upon your arrival, volunteers undergo an induction process to familiarise yourself with our facilities and procedures. Additionally, we highly encourage all volunteers to complete our e-learning modules before their placement begins. Each module takes about 30 minutes to complete, and you’ll get a certificate on completion. Full details of how to access these modules will be provided in advance of your stay.

Social Volunteer
All our volunteers start as social volunteers. In this role you will be providing companionship and conversation to our guests. You would also help at mealtimes, on organised excursions, assist with activities and entertainment within the centres and support other volunteers as part of the team. You will learn all you need to know about this role on your arrival.

Care Support Volunteers
As well as the social elements of the role as above, longer term volunteers can choose to receive training in elements of health care. Volunteers can progress to a level that suits them and there is no time limit to complete any elements. Volunteers will not be taking on the role of staff members or be helping with intimate care. This training takes place on a 1:1 basis with our staff. Volunteers will always be supervised.

Please rest assured you won’t be asked to undertake any task you feel uncomfortable with.

Questions about other volunteering opportunities

There are plenty of ways you can help and get involved, even if you haven’t been able to volunteer yet.

If you can — volunteer more than once! We are always grateful for all the hard work our volunteers put in and the extra spark they add to our guests’ holiday.

Spread the word about Revitalise. Encourage other potential volunteers and guests to give us a try or simply promote us on social media (we are always grateful for the occasional tweet or shout out on Facebook and Instagram!)

Donate — your time, energy or money. This could be a simple donation, or you might want to organise a fundraising event, run a marathon, even skydive for us. Or you could help with projects such as refurbishing the centres, painting or gardening. We will be very grateful whatever you choose to do.

Our Revitalise shops are in the South of England. Please visit our Charity Shops page for more information and our shop locations. Once you’ve found the shop nearest to you, please contact them directly using the details provided.

We have a fantastic corporate volunteering programme, offering tangible benefits for you and your organisation. As an alternative to residential volunteering, we encourage companies to take part in team projects lasting for one or two days.

If you are interested in this programme then take a look at our Corporate Partnerships and Challenge Events pages for more information.

Every individual is unique, and it’s important to understand whether a volunteering placement at Revitalise, aligns with your interests and capabilities. Whether you personally have a disability or not, we strive to accommodate everyone, ensuring all are welcome.

We encourage applications from individuals with disabilities and carefully assess each application to determine if our volunteer centres can meet your requirements and what adjustments we can make where needed.  In some cases this might involve inviting you to consider a different role to that which first attracted you.  For example, if you have a physical disability that would make it challenging for you to directly support our guests in a residential placement in our holiday centres, you may want to support our social media work, send thank you letters to donors or support our community fundraising.