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Volunteering - Frequently Asked Questions

How have you made volunteering Covid secure?
We have put in place a range of measures to help keep volunteers, employees and visitors safe at Castle Howard. These are regularly reviewed to ensure that they meet government guidelines and the changing circumstances during the pandemic. These measures include things like limiting the numbers of people in indoor public spaces, the provision of Personal Protective Equipment and hygiene stations (e.g. hand sanitiser, hand washing), regular cleaning, social distancing, and visitor notices.

We will give you details about the precautions we have taken and what this means for your role at your welcome training.
What Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is needed for volunteering?
We follow the government’s advice about PPE in public spaces and include this in our own guidelines, risk assessments and training. Currently, we ask that everyone in an indoor public space wears face protection, so if you volunteer indoors, we will provide you with a face mask or face shield. If you volunteer in a role where a face mask is not provided (e.g. outdoors), we ask that you bring your own face covering to wear for any times when you are in an indoor public space.

We will tell you about the PPE requirements and how we are ensuring our roles are Covid secure at your welcome training.
How can I get to Castle Howard?
Take a look at the finding us page to find out more about car, bus and train travel to Castle Howard.
Can I claim expenses?
Yes. You can claim reasonable travel expenses for public transport or car journeys between your home and Castle Howard so that you are not out-of-pocket as a result of your volunteering with us, subject to the guidelines set out in our Volunteer Expenses policy. Claims are capped at 40 miles per day for the round trip between your home and Castle Howard and are paid at the HMRC rate of £0.45 per mile for car travel.
Who volunteers with Castle Howard?
We welcome people with a wide range of backgrounds, skills and experiences. Meet some of our volunteers and find out what they say about volunteering with us here.
Can I claim benefits whilst I volunteer?
Yes. You are able to volunteer while you are receiving benefits as long as the work you do is unpaid, and you meet the rules of your benefit.
Are there any age limits for volunteering?
The minimum age for volunteering at Castle Howard is 18 and there is no upper age limit. We work with all our volunteers individually to ensure the role and tasks are suitable for them.
Can I volunteer in the UK if I am not a British National?
If you are from the UK, you are free to volunteer and so are most citizens from the European Union (EU). For those inside and outside the EU, you should check that your visa allows you to volunteer. If you are not sure, you can contact UK Visas and Immigration for advice.
Can I volunteer if I have an unspent criminal conviction?
Having a criminal conviction will not necessarily stop you from volunteering with us. We ask all volunteers to declare any unspent criminal convictions when they register with us and for some volunteer roles, you will be asked to have a Basic DBS check. A basic DBS check is a criminal record check that contains details of convictions and conditional cautions that are 'unspent' under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Suitable applicants will not be refused posts because of offences that are not relevant to the role they are applying for, provided that the offence(s) do not put them at risk – or make them a risk in – the role they are applying for. You can find out more about this in our Volunteer Recruitment policy.
How much time do I have to give?
Most of our volunteer opportunities are for a few hours a week and you can find out about when you can volunteer for each of our roles on the Ways to volunteer page.
What skills and experience do I need?
Most of our roles do not require any specific skills or experience. The qualities we are looking for are always outlined on the role descriptions, which you can find on the Ways to Volunteer page. We will provide training and support to help you fulfil your role.
What training and support will I be given?
You will have a full induction and training to prepare you for your role. We will also give you all the information you need to do your role, such as our volunteering policies and reference materials. You can also get help and support from your supervisor and employees in the team where you are volunteering.
Is there a trial period?
Yes, there is a 3-month trial period for most of our volunteer roles. During this time, you’ll have the chance to see whether the role is right for you. We will meet with you at the end of the trial period to review how it has gone before agreeing to continue the arrangement with you.
How do I contact Castle Howard?
You can contact us by email: volunteer@castlehoward.co.uk or by phone on 01653 648625. We will get back to you as soon as possible. Due to the high volume of enquiries this may take up to 10 working days.

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