FAQ about Volunteering

What type of volunteers are you looking for?    
We are looking for enthusiastic and bright young people aged 18-25! This is a fantastic opportunity to mentor primary and secondary students who need a boost in numeracy, literacy or confidence, so that they make a successful transition to secondary school. We are also looking for volunteers to support secondary students taking their SATS, KS3 and GCSE in English, Maths and Science.   Adult Training 3 (2)


Your support and as a good role model will:


1.raise young people‘s achievement in literacy, numeracy and ICT.
2.raise young people‘s achievements and their aspirations for the future.
3.encourage their motivation, confidence, independent learning; develop self-esteem and confidence and develop new skills and to help them learn about and prepare for the world of work.

All of our programmes rely on the contributions from college and university students who act as a learning mentor and who play a valuable role in inspiring, supporting and opening doors for Tower Hamlets young people, helping to give them access to a world of choices and opportunities that may otherwise have remained out of reach.

High School Students



How do I apply to become a volunteer? 

Please contact the Volunteer Co-ordinator Olga Education & Training Project (OETP)  T: 020 8981 6069

email admin@oetp.co/uk, who will send you an application form and a job description.

Once the application form is completed, this cane matched to possible opportunities. If we have anything suitable, we will ask you to come in for an informal interview, which will help you to find out more about the role, and for us to find out more about you. References will be taken; DRB forms must be completed.

What does your Volunteer Learning Mentor  do?

A volunteer mentor offers their 1 to 1 professional friendship based upon trust, confidentiality and mutual involvement. The relationship is non-judgemental, mutual, and there is a commitment over time. A volunteer mentor can provide support to clients to build up their confidence, self esteem and support with thier work.

How much time will volunteering take up?

Volunteers will need to be committed for at least 4-6 months, 2 hours per

Who volunteers with OETP?

  • Our volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds, different age groups and a variety of cultural backgrounds..
  • OETP is committed to achieving a diverse pool of volunteers. Our decision to work with you is based entirely on your ability to carry out the role


What are the benefits for me?

People who have volunteered in the past have found that the relationship has:

  • helped enhance their career and professional development
  • provided them with advice and support to take on new responsibilities, a promotion or when changing jobs
  • helped them to develop new skills, knowledge and perspectives
  • helped them overcome obstacles and guided them round pitfalls
  • provided them with a greater understanding of their organisation
  • helped to broader their network of contacts
  • made them challenge their assumptions
  • helped to improve their self-confidence
  • significantly influenced their attitudes and outlook



  1. Do I get expenses?

If our charity does have funding, then we will reimburse travel expenses in accordance with the expenses policy. It is important to note that reimbursement will only occur when the expense has been incurred and not before.


Types of Expenses that can be claimed:


Appropriate travel to/from and carrying out work on behalf of OETP will be reimbursed.  At the minimum/maximum, this would be a return journey on public transport (bus only) from the home address


How can the OETP support me as a Volunteer?

You will be supported in your role of volunteer through regular supervisions with the volunteer co-ordinator which will:


  • Explain the standards we expect for our services and encourage and support you to achieve and maintain them;
  • The volunteer co-ordinator will meet with you regularly on a monthly basis to discuss your volunteering and any successes and problems;
  • Ascertain your development needs and draw up a training profile, in order to help you develop you’re volunteering role with us.

What do I do if I’m unhappy with any aspect of volunteering?

We want all our volunteers to be happy in their role.  Therefore, if you are unhappy with your role or any aspect of volunteering work with OETP, we advise you to discuss this in confidence with your Volunteer Co-ordinator.  If, however, you are still unhappy, and would like to make a formal complaint, please contact our project leader.

  Will volunteering affect my benefits?

Volunteering will not affect your Incapacity Benefit, Disability Living Allowance, Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance. If you receive Job Seekers Allowance, you have to actively look for paid work as well as volunteering, but the Job Centre should give you a bit more notice if they call you for an interview.

Any expenses you receive from OETP will not affect your benefits, as they are a refund of payments you have had to make.

Do you take up references or ask for other checks?

All suucessful volunteers are asked to provide two refrences before taking up of a post. We also undertake a criminal records beruau (CRB) disclosure chec


Will I be interviewed?

We arrange to have an informal chat or interview. This is a two-way process so that we can find out some more about you and you can find out more about the role you are interested in. It is also a chance to see the office and meet some of the other staff and volunteers.

The questions you may be asked will vary from role to role and you will get an opportunity to ask us questions during the meeting

What training will I get?

You will receive training in Child Protection, Volunteer Befriending, and Personal Safety at Work.

Can I leave if I don’t like it?

Of course you can. If you are unhappy about your role, or your availability or ability to volunteer has changed, then you can stop volunteering.

However, it is always worth talking to your volunteer co-ordinator. You can discuss with them why you want to leave and suggest changes and improvements so that future volunteers enjoy their time with OETP


Equal Opportunity and Diversity

We are an equal opportunities organisation.  It is therefore organisational policy to actively promote equal opportunities in all aspects. Please refer to the Equal Opportunities policy and Volunteer Handbook. The full policy can be obtained from the Human Resources Department.