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Frequently asked questions

Do I need specific skills? Will I learn new ones?

You don’t need any specific skills – just a desire to help raise awareness about meningitis. Volunteering can:

Help you meet new people.
Boost self-confidence and self-esteem.
Help develop knowledge and experience, as well as skills like organisation and planning. Provide the satisfaction of working as part of a team to make a difference to the lives of others.

How old do I need to be?

Our minimum age to register as a volunteer with us is 16. There is no maximum age! 

Do I need to have a personal connection to meningitis?

No. Many of our volunteers have a personal experience of meningitis but others volunteer because they realise it is a disease that needs to be more widely recognised.

What will the volunteering tasks be?

Our volunteers undertake a wide range of tasks. You could give out our awareness materials, run awareness stands, help us with our campaigns, talk to community groups, attend local university health fairs or share our social media information. You can choose what activities you feel comfortable with and will never be pressurised to do more.

Will I have to do all these things, or can I opt out of some?

You can do as much or as little as you are comfortable with.

Will I have to handle money?

Not usually. Most of our volunteering is focused on raising awareness and not funds. On occasion we ask for volunteers to help us with bucket collections, but you can choose whether you want to get involved.

Will I have to talk about my own experience of meningitis?

Only if you want to. Some volunteers never mention their own meningitis experience to anyone. Others find it an important part of why they want to volunteer. It is entirely your choice.

How much time will I have to commit?

As much or as little as you want. We would like our registered volunteers to do something for us once or twice a year, but many volunteers choose to be active for us every month.

Will I just be working close to home or travelling further afield?

You will usually be volunteering close to home, helping us reach your local community. There is no need to travel, unless you want to join us supporting our big fundraising events such as the London Marathon or Great North Run.

If I need to travel, will my expenses be covered?

If you get specific agreement from the volunteer team in advance, we can cover expenses such as travel.

Will I be working on my own or with other volunteers/staff?

Mostly alone, with phone and email support from the volunteer team. If you would prefer to volunteer with others, we can try to put you with other volunteers from your local area.

Are there other volunteers near me?

It depends. We are a UK-wide charity. Some of our bigger towns have several volunteers. Some of our volunteers live in more isolated areas.

Do all the volunteers meet up regularly?

Our volunteers sometimes meet up at awareness-raising events, like local university open days, where they run stands together. Or at our larger fundraising events.

Is there any training?

When you register as a volunteer, our volunteer team will be in contact to give you as much information, support and encouragement as you like so you feel confident to undertake your role.

Who do I turn to for help if I need it?

The volunteer team are here to help. You can either phone us on 01453 769025 / 01453 769043 or email volunteering@meningitisnow.org

If I volunteer with Meningitis Now, what will I get out of it?

When your volunteering application has been accepted, you will get a free Meningitis Now t-shirt, an ID card and access to our dedicated volunteer Facebook page. You will receive regular volunteer newsletters to keep you informed and find yourself part of a friendly and supportive team.

I have a criminal conviction – can I still volunteer?

Usually, yes. It is something to discuss confidentially with the Volunteer Manager.