Volunteering FAQ’s

Volunteering can be extremely rewarding, so please find on this page some frequently asked questions (FAQs). If there is a question that you have but that isn’t present here, please don’t hesitate to contact us at staff@sarac.org.uk and we will happily answer any enquiries.

How do I become a volunteer with sarac?

An application form, role description and contact details have been provided, along with a full summary of how you can become a volunteer at sarac, in the ‘Recruitment and Process’ section.

Can anyone volunteer at sarac?

We welcome volunteers from all aspects of life. However, we are unable to offer volunteer opportunities to those under 21 years old due to the subject matter and emotional nature of the supporting role. While we greatly value the empathy and knowledge of somebody that has personal experience of the issues sarac deals with, for all potential volunteers who have experienced trauma or sexual/domestic abuse themselves, we ask that they apply after a reasonable amount of time has elapsed (at least 1–2 years). For further details, please refer to the link in the ‘Recruitment and Process’ section titled ‘Volunteer Recruitment Guidelines’.

I have no experience – will this matter?

Not at all. The most important things to us are that you are committed, reliable, and able to listen to and empathise with others.

Do you offer counselling placements?

We do offer student placements at sarac; the recruitment process does not differ across the various courses and the requirements are the same as for non-placements volunteers.

What is the time commitment that I need to offer sarac?

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with sarac, then the minimum commitment we require you to offer is 2 hours per week. In addition to this, on a monthly basis volunteers are required to attend a supervision and a case conference; these are compulsory as they promote well-being and ensure that volunteers are working ethically with clients. Apart from the above requirements, it is up to you to decide how many hours you are willing to kindly give.

What training is offered to volunteers?

Due to the nature of our work, all volunteers are required to undertake sarac specialised training, which consists of 7 training days (Wednesdays and Saturdays) spaced over a month. This extensive schedule covers all the vital material that is needed to enable volunteers to provide the best possible service to clients. Furthermore, it provides insight into what volunteering at sarac might be like for potential volunteers. Topics covered include confidentiality, safeguarding, data protection, rape, childhood sexual abuse, domestic abuse, female genital mutilation, support skills, self-harm, suicide, and reporting. For more information, please refer to the ‘Recruitment and Process’ section.

What will my role entail?

Being a volunteer at sarac will require you to provide emotional support to survivors of sexual abuse by taking client referrals and allocating them to a volunteer emotional support worker. sarac has two core services:

  • Emotional support calls – our helpline is available 24 hours a day, but we are not a crisis line. Core working hours are from 9am–7pm; voicemails that are left by existing/potential clients out of these hours are documented and the client is contacted within the core working hours. Scheduled support calls are then arranged, where the same volunteer will contact that client weekly to offer emotional support.
  • Face-to-face, emotional support sessions – eventually, clients can access, if they so wish, face-to-face emotional support, for which the client is allocated to a volunteer. The client then comes to the sarac center and can have up to 12 sessions on a weekly basis.

Do I get my expenses paid?

Volunteers are welcome to claim back the expenses that they incur whilst volunteering. This can include travel expenses and parking fees. Volunteers can also choose to kindly donate their expenses back to the charity.