Volunteering as a Fosterer - Questions and Answers

What skills and experience do I need to have to be a volunteer

You don’t need specific skills to volunteer with us.  It may be beneficial to have a working knowledge in some areas – in photography and video roles, for example – but we welcome applications from everyone.  Any particular experience or skills required will be listed on the role description.  Volunteering can be a fantastic way to develop new skills and gain further experience and we’d love for you to be able to do that with us

How do I become a volunteer?

Before you join us as a volunteer, you will be asked to complete a volunteer application form, attend an informal interview and provide referees for us to contact (depending upon the role you are applying for). When you start as a volunteer you will be provided with an induction programme and any training you may need to carry out the role.

Simply contact us via email (IsleofWight.vtl@cats.org.uk) or phone (t: 03000 120 251) and ask for a Volunteer Application Form  and then send the completed form back to us at our Ryde address (or drop it off at Reception). Once we have received your application form, we will give you a call or email you for an informal interview at our Centre, to chat more about the type of roles that you’re interested in. We will need to see photographic evidence of your identity, such as a passport or driver’s licence and a current proof of address. You can bring these along to the informal interview stage, just so we can verify your identity.  

How much time do I need to commit?

The actual time commitment will vary from role to role (see the description for each volunteer role for further information)

Is there a minimum or maximum age?

The minimum age we can take on volunteers is 14, in line with the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. We frequently take on students between 14 and 18 years of age to support their school/college education and to give them work experience in an animal care environment. Provided you are fit enough to do the volunteer role you apply for, there is no maximum age. 

I’ve never owned a cat before.  Will this affect my chance of volunteering?

No!  We know that not everyone will have had the opportunity to own a cat before.  Not all of our volunteer roles involve direct contact with the cats, but for those that do, if you’re willing to learn and get stuck in and experience the joys of engaging with our cats, then that’s all that is required.

Do you offer any training?

Yes, absolutely.  It’s important that all of our volunteers are comfortable and confident in the volunteering roles we offer.  For this reason, we offer a comprehensive induction to our volunteers. Where additional role-specific training is required this will be provided and suitable to the role being undertaken. At Cats Protection we believe our volunteers should be happy and confident in their roles.  To make sure this is the case, we provide ongoing support and guidance. We also offer varied online and face to face training and have wide-ranging policies covering all aspects of volunteering.  We hope the support we provide will ensure our volunteers have a great experience with Cats Protection

Do you pay any expenses?

Yes, we will pay all relevent travel expenses, providing you check with us first.

What do you do with my personal information?

If you apply to volunteer with us, we’ll need to collect the personal information you provide too process your application. We may undertake monitoring of recruitment statistics, but we won’t disclose information to a third party without your consent, unless the disclosure is required by law, such as taking up a reference, or obtaining ‘disclosure’ from the Disclosure and Barring Service.  We’ll only hold information relating to the nature of your voluntary work and we’ll delete it in accordance with our retention policies

If you have any other questions, just let us know.  We look forward to welcoming you to our team!