Volunteer placements, rights and expenses

When you can volunteer

Age limits

There’s no upper age limit on volunteering but anyone over 70 will need to follow relevant public health advice on coronavirus (COVID-19).

Some organisations’ insurance policies do not cover you if you’re under 16 or over a certain age.

You cannot work for a profit-making organisation if you’re under 14, even if you’re not paid.

Your local council might have extra rules about the work you can do as a young person.

Volunteering and benefits

You can volunteer and claim benefits if:

  • the only money you get from volunteering is to cover expenses, like travel costs
  • you continue to meet the conditions of the benefit you get

Criminal records

If you have a criminal record you can still volunteer in most roles, depending on your offences. You might need a Disclosure and Barring Service check if you want to volunteer with children or vulnerable adults.