Volunteers are important to us

Many adults with learning difficulties are eager to work and engage with their local community, but find there are few opportunities to do so. Brunswick was founded in 1992 to address this need. We took over a run down plant nursery and have transformed it over the years through hard work - much of it done by volunteers.

Volunteers, supporting staff and workers, have been absolutely crucial to transforming Brunswick into a successful enterprise offering sheltered work opportunities.

Volunteers support and volunteer alongside people with learning difficulties in all the different areas of work detailed in our 'What We Do' section.

"We need volunteers to work with us because they can have a laugh with us or socialize. If we need a hand with anything they can help us." - Tim

What do volunteers do?

  • Support and volunteer alongside small teams of adults with learning difficulties
  • Support an individual with a task, allowing staff to support the group
  • Help get jobs done around the site which may be too demanding for most workers
  • Contribute to the running of the Brunswick Community and Events team by helping organise activities and events and support individuals to attend these events
  • Help run stalls at local shows and help out at Brunswick’s fund raising events
  • Help run the Brunswick shop which is open seven days a week
  • Become a member of Brunswick's Board of Trustees.

Who can volunteer?

Our volunteers come from all walks of life, are aged from 14 years old to 88, and bring a variety of skills and experience. We offer opportunities for volunteer placements, for example, as placement for a school or college course, placements for women about to leave Askham Grange Prison or for awards such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award. 

We have the following specific requirements:

  • Our volunteers need to be a minimum of 14 years old, and some volunteering opportunities will be restricted to over 16s or over 18s.
  • Volunteers will be required to undertake a disclosure and barring (DBS) check so we can be satisfied that they do not have a conviction that would make it appropriate to work with adults with a learning difficulty

Why volunteer?

Volunteering has many benefits, some of these include:

  • Feel valued and a part of something meaningful
  • Build your self confidence
  • Share your skills and experience
  • Learn new skills
  • gain experiences to put on your CV
  • Get to know other enthusiastic and committed people

At a recent training day a group of people who attend Brunswick said the qualities they most appreciate in the volunteers who support them are: kindness, willingness to learn, supporting people at their pace, being interested in Brunswick, a good listener, understanding, being on time and positivity.

Frequently asked questions

What's it like volunteering at Brunswick?

You can read about the experiences of current and past volunteers here.

Can I choose what I do?

Yes. In discussion with you, we do our best to match your interests and skills.

How much time will I have to commit to?

We value any time you can give and will aim to match your availability with our need. We have opportunities for short and long term volunteering. Most volunteers come for a half or full day once a week. Ideally, you should be able to commit to volunteering for at least 6 months. For very flexible volunteering you might be interested in becoming an events volunteer.

Do I need any skills or qualifications?

Not necessarily. Many roles do not require any special skills or qualifications and we will give you any training that you need. We value commitment and enthusiasm in our volunteers.

Will my expenses be covered?

Yes, all reasonable expenses, agreed in advance, will be reimbursed.

Most usually this is travel to and from your volunteering session.

Will my benefits be affected?

No, as long as the only money you receive is to cover expenses.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering at Brunswick,  contact us to arrange a visit or have a chat.