The application process

Understand the journey to becoming a volunteer, and read our Frequently Asked Questions.

Our application process is the first step to becoming a volunteer with us, and involves three main steps that ensures you are suited to the role you have chosen, then providing all the training and support you need to confidently undertake you new role. 

If you require support to complete an application, or would like speak to us about an existing application to volunteer, please contact the Volunteer Experience team on our Talk to Us page.


The Application Process

1. Search for a role and apply

Search for a volunteer role by using the postcode search, or, if based overseas, looking on our overseas volunteering page, and complete an application. You will be asked to provide contact details of two people who could provide a reference for you. Depending on the role, the Volunteering team may email you asking for further information.

Our available roles change frequently, so do check back if you can’t find the right role for you this time. 

2. Speak with the team

Next, you will be invited to speak to one of the SSAFA team for an informal interview. This is an opportunity for you to learn more about what we do, and the role you’re interested in.

We will have some questions for you that will help us understand your background and skills, what you’re looking for in a volunteer role, and how we could best support you - allowing us both to work out if the role you’ve chosen is the right role for you.

3. Training and checks

To prepare for your new volunteer role you will likely need to complete some online mandatory training modules, as well as any training appropriate for the role. Training for your role may involve online training courses or a combination of online modules and face-to-face courses, with some of our roles require more training than others. You will have the support of the whole way.

If your chosen role requires a background check to be carried out, it will be initiated at this stage of the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who can volunteer?

    At SSAFA we champion diversity and inclusion.  Our volunteer roles are open to people from all backgrounds, interests, skills and abilities.  Having experience in, or links to, the Armed Forces community is not required.  Please check role descriptions for minimum age requirements.

  • How much time do I need to give?

    We have a variety of roles that require different time commitments.  We all have different life commitments and routines, whether it’s work, family or social responsibilities.  It’s important that you read the role descriptions and talk to us about the time you have to offer, so that we can help you find a role that’s the right fit for you.  If the time you can commit to a role changes after you have applied, all we ask is that you inform us of these changes so that we make adjustments where necessary.

    If you are only looking to give a small amount of time, why not consider volunteering for SSAFA at one of our one day events.  More information can be found here.

  • How soon would I start?

    Depending on the role you choose, it could take a few weeks to a few months to complete the application process and become fully active in your role.  The level of training and checks required to be undertaken varies between roles, which will impact how long it takes to complete become an active volunteer.  We value everyone who is interested in volunteering with us, and endeavour to keep you informed of your application progress.

  • Can I claim expenses for volunteering?

    Volunteering shouldn’t leave you out of pocket. You can claim back from SSAFA any reasonable out of pocket expenses that you may have incurred through volunteering for us, such as mileage and any other legitimate expenses.

  • Can I take a break from volunteering?

    We hope that volunteering becomes an important and enjoyable part of your life, but everybody needs to take a break at times. Whether you have a holiday planned or your circumstances change and you need a break from volunteering, all you have to do is let us know. You can take a break for up to 18 months before you would need to reapply.

  • What is the process for returning volunteers?

    It is great to hear that you wish to return to SSAFA as a volunteer. To do this you will need to complete a new application and start the process as a new volunteer.

  • What other ways can I support SSAFA if I don't have time for volunteering?

    If you are unable to volunteer with us at this time but still want to support the work we do, then check out our Support Us page.  Here you’ll find lots of other ways to make a difference, and can keep updated on SSAFA news by signing up to our newsletter.