FAQ for volunteers

Q. Why do you need volunteers?

LEAH is one of the main charities supporting Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic  groups in Kingston, Richmond and Hounslow who do not have English as a first language. Many people living here are unable to communicate in everyday situations which often leads to extreme isolation, low confidence, health issues and marginalisation. Not only can this have a devastating impact on the individual but also on their whole family.

We help to improve their English language skills and enable them to access local services, education, volunteering and employment. To reach our aims and objectives we require volunteer tutors to teach our clients on a 1:1 basis and in a class. During the pandemic all LEAH services are being delivered remotely.

Q. What do volunteers do?

Volunteers are paired with a client to teach them English on a 1:1 basis. The focus is on the English language skills that the client will need in their everyday life. Our co-ordinators support volunteers and teaching resources are provided. Volunteers support their client on a weekly basis up to an hour.

Q. What will I get out of volunteering?

Volunteering at LEAH is extremely rewarding. Our volunteers receive comprehensive training which has had very positive feedback. Volunteers comment on feeling extremely happy that they can make a huge difference on not just one person’s life but on a whole family. Enhanced confidence, new friends and job opportunities are other benefits volunteers attribute to LEAH.

Q. Who can volunteer?

Anyone over the age of 18 can volunteer who is interested in helping others to learn, are non-judgemental, flexible and enjoy finding out about different cultures.

Q. What is the application process?

We ask you to fill our online application form. Once we have received your form we will invite you in for an online interview. If you are successful you will be sent information about the forthcoming course. During the course we ask you to fill in a DBS form and we request your references.

Q. What level of English do I need to be a volunteer?

We expect our volunteers to have a high level of written and spoken English. We can gauge this during the interview and ask all applicants to do a short written task.

Q. Do I have to volunteer as a tutor?

No. we do have some other opportunities including volunteering in our office. Please contact us directly about these.

Q. Will training be provided?

Yes. We offer a 5 week online training course. The course is 1 day a week from around 9.30am – 2.30pm. We also have an introduction session and induction session. You will also be expected to complete an online Safeguarding  course. This takes around 3 hours to complete. See blog for week by week details on volunteer training.

Q. Do I require a DBS?

Yes. We ask you to complete a DBS check .

Q. How much time do I need to give?

We expect you to volunteer on a weekly basis, once a week.

We ask for a commitment of 1 year.

Q. When/ what times can I volunteer?

Our training dates are set and we will give you this information once you have applied. Once you are paired with a client you can volunteer anytime during the week and we recommend you support your client during school hours.

Q. What support will I receive?

You are very well supported during your journey with LEAH. You are supported on the course by the facilitator and teaching assistants. You are also supported by the Training Co-ordinator. From then on a Co-ordinator, who pairs you with a client, will support you during the whole relationship. Support is given by email, phone and we are running volunteer zoom coffee mornings.

All tutor-client pairs have a 6 monthly review and an end of year review. We also offer a peer mentor, quarterly Tutor Network Meetings and social events throughout the year.

Q. Can I claim travel expenses?