Volunteering opportunities

Why volunteer?

It is thanks to the hard work, enthusiasm and commitment of volunteers that we are able to support millions of people living with arthritis every year.

We have many exciting opportunities for people to get involved in, and are always willing to support new volunteers to share their time, skills and experiences. We have opportunities all over the UK.

Volunteering offers the chance to give something back to the community and to make a difference to the lives of people who need support. It isn’t always just about doing something good for other people – it’s also about doing something good for you. It is a sure fire way of developing new skills, and sharing existing experience and knowledge.

We support our volunteers to achieve whatever it is that motivates them to give up their time and skills.

Group Lead Volunteer - England

What is a Group Lead Volunteer?

Group Lead Volunteers are the main point of contact for Versus Arthritis groups. They are responsible for planning and organising group meetings and activities.

It is an exciting role and will give you the chance to work in your local community to share your experience of living with arthritis in a way that is informative, fun and so valuable to those also facing the condition.

What does this role involve?

These are some of the things our Group Lead Volunteers do:

  • Planning and organising Group meetings and activities.
  • Promoting the group in your local area with posters, local media opportunities and with local organisations (e.g. GP clinics, rheumatology departments, community noticeboards).
  • Engaging with group attendees and encouraging new people to get involved.
  • Sharing updates on Group activities with your National Office and the Volunteer Development team.

Why would I become a Group Support Volunteer?

Quite simply – to make a difference!

  • As a Lead Volunteer for your local group you will be providing support to people living with arthritis in your area and them a ‘voice’.
  • You will be part of creating a place for those with arthritis to go to for support, information and hopefully friendship too.

Practical Considerations

Versus Arthritis Groups meet on a regular basis, usually monthly or bimonthly. Being a Group Lead Volunteer is flexible and should fit around your existing commitments. So, you can give up as much or as little time depending on the other things happening in your life.

We cover out of pocket expenses for our volunteers. You will receive support to help you with your role and there will be opportunities for you to meet other volunteers

For more information please email volunteering@versusarthritis.org.

Living Well with Arthritis - England

About the Living Well with Arthritis Service in England

We aim to support people with arthritis in local areas through a range of activities, mainly focussed around sharing information. We do not offer medical advice however we can give general information, provide basic emotional support and signpost to further services from Versus Arthritis and other organisations.

What is a Service Volunteer?

Service Volunteers support people with arthritis through a range of activities, working closely with local Service Coordinators. Lived experience of arthritis or caring for someone with arthritis is helpful for this role however all volunteers will be trained and supported by local staff.

What does the role involve?

The role of Service Volunteer is flexible to suit local needs and the volunteer’s skills. Options could include:

  • Supporting the delivery of talks and workshops about arthritis to relevant groups.
  • Placing Versus Arthritis information leaflets or posters in relevant locations such as GP surgeries, libraries, community centres.
  • Working with other volunteers to provide Versus Arthritis information stands in locations such as hospital rheumatology waiting rooms and health expos.
  • One to one support sessions about arthritis, in person or over the telephone .

Why would I become a Service Volunteer?

As a Service Volunteer you will know that you are making a difference to people with arthritis in your local area by empathising, helping them to find accurate information and manage their condition effectively. You become a key part of the Versus Arthritis team, pushing back against the limits of arthritis on people’s lives.

Practical considerations

The role of Service Volunteer is flexible from a few hours a month to a few hours a week, depending on volunteer availability and local need. Volunteering is usually during the working day or daytime on weekends, however volunteering can involve some evenings if desired.

We cover out of pocket expenses in line with our Expense Policy.

We have local staff to support Service Volunteers. There will be opportunities to meet other volunteers, some you may be volunteering with regularly and others you will get chance to see at training and volunteer meetings.

For more information please contact volunteering@versusarthritis.org.

Volunteer Online Community Moderator - Home based

There are over 10 million people in the UK living with arthritis and the numbers are set to rise, yet arthritis is too often overlooked and underestimated. We want to change this so that arthritis gets the attention it deserves and more people know how Versus Arthritis can help them.

Our online forum is a buzzing community of people supporting each other, sharing experiences and creating conversation around living with arthritis.

We are looking for volunteers to become moderators of the forum. Your role will be to oversee that the forum is used appropriately and that there is a safe and comfortable environment for people to chat.

Many people with arthritis feel isolated living with their condition and our forum offers people a place to communicate with each other through emotional and practical support, as well as a platform for sharing useful information.

How you will make a difference

Versus Arthritis’ online community supports people with arthritis and their family and friends so they can get support online from other people with arthritis and from Versus Arthritis. Our volunteer moderators provide a welcoming and supportive environment online for people with arthritis and make sure that everyone follows the guidelines and terms and conditions for the community.

Volunteer Position: Volunteer Online Community Moderator

Reports to: Digital Community Engagement Officer

Purpose of Role: To assist in enabling the online community to run smoothly and ensure the guidelines are adhered to. Providing help and support and signposting to Versus Arthritis’ heath information and other services:

Your activities will include:

  • Supporting the community alongside the Digital Engagement Officer.
  • Welcoming new members to the community.
  • Signposting people to Versus Arthritis information and resources.
  • Signposting people to other Versus Arthritis services.
  • Explaining basic technical tasks on the community where needed (e.g. posting a new thread or response to a member) and providing ad hoc technical support.
  • Ensuring the community is a supportive environment by reporting any issues of concern in line with our terms and conditions.
  • Editing and removing threads and accounts where users haven’t followed the community guidelines and terms and conditions.
  • Ensuring users follow the guidelines and terms and conditions for the community.
  • Providing technical support to users of the community.
  • Contributing to the moderator community and ensuring moderation activity is appropriately handed over.
  • Contributing to the development and improvement of the online community.

Responsibilities:

  • Moderation of the online community for a set number of hours over Saturday or Sunday.
  • Commitment to keep up-to-date with Versus Arthritis resources and services.
  • To attend support sessions and training events when possible.

Estimated hours:

  • 3 - 4 hours per week, on Saturday or Sunday.

Skills/Knowledge/Tools:

  • Commitment to / enthusiasm for fostering engaging online communities.
  • Ability to communicate sensitively and effectively.
  • Good comprehension and listening skills.
  • Good I.T and digital literacy skills.
  • Understanding the principles of self-management.
  • Sensitive to individual needs and the need for confidentiality.
  • An understanding of disability issues, especially issues affecting people with arthritis.
  • Broadband internet connection.

Location: Home based across the UK.

For more information please contact volunteering@versusarthritis.org.

Campaign Volunteer - Northern Ireland

Versus Arthritis has a number of opportunities for you to support our work. No matter how much or how little time you have to spare, there is an opportunity for you. You could even volunteer from the comfort of your own home.

All volunteers receive training and ongoing support, so you are not on your own, and out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed.

Help us get the voice of people with arthritis heard where it matters. Talk to MLAs, share your story of living with arthritis, take part in a focus group or support our campaigns on Twitter and Facebook.

Location: Across Northern Ireland.

For more information please contact northernireland@versusarthritis.org.

Office Volunteer - Northern Ireland

Versus Arthritis has a number of opportunities for you to support our work. No matter how much or how little time you have to spare, there is an opportunity for you. You could even volunteer from the comfort of your own home.

All volunteers receive training and ongoing support, so you are not on your own, and out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed.

Could you help us with our office administration? We have opportunities for people to help us with making up information or event packs, filing and so on.

Location: Northern Ireland Office based in Belfast

For more information please contact northernireland@versusarthritis.org.

Living Well with Arthritis Volunteers - Northern Ireland

Do you have 2 hours a month to spare to provide information and support to people living with arthritis?

'Living Well with Arthritis' Information Hubs are operated across Northern Ireland by volunteers (like you!) who want to ensure people access the services Versus Arthritis offer so they can best manage and live well with their condition.

This role is ideal if you feel you have limited time to spare but would like to make a real difference on a regular basis - please contact Anna Lyons on (Project Manager) on 07990542945 for information on this exciting opportunity!

For more information please contact northernireland@versusarthritis.org.

Training Volunteer - Northern Ireland

This is an exciting role in which volunteers will deliver our hugely informative self-management courses. The role will require experience of living with arthritis and we will offer extensive training and support to volunteers to make this role successful.

As a Training Volunteer, your tasks may include:

  • Preparing for and delivering the Challenging Your Condition Courses and other self-management training.
  • Liaising with co-trainers ahead of and during the programme to ensure effective delivery.
  • Completing routine administration before, during and after the course.
  • Participating in the marketing and promotion of courses in the local area.
  • Identifying (and possibly booking) suitable venues for courses.

We are hoping to recruit someone who:

  • Has personal experience of living with and self-managing arthritis.
  • Might have some experience of delivering training to adults.
  • We would welcome someone who has a good awareness of disability issues and the practical application of the social model of disability.
  • Volunteers with good communication skills is key in making this role effective.

Throughout your experience you will be working with a great team! Our self-management trainers make an incredible difference to the lives of people who attend the courses.

For more information please contact northernireland@versusarthritis.org.

Volunteer Connector - Scotland

Staying Connected is a project which works with isolated older people living with arthritis and other long term health conditions, to help them learn different ways of managing their condition and support them to re-engage with community life. It also aims to help older carers to cope better with the demands of their caring role.

Versus Arthritis is looking for volunteers to become connectors. As a trained connector your skills, personality and location will be matched appropriately to an individual participant, and you will support them in gaining confidence and resilience to enable them to achieve their goals, which have been agreed in advance. Each participant’s action plan will be scheduled to last around eight weeks.

This role is perfect for anyone who is caring, empathetic and has the ability to build a good rapport with peers. For a full role description and more information please contact us and we will talk you through the next steps.

This role requires a commitment of approximately 1 hour a week (eight weeks at a time) for one year.

For more information please contact scotland@versusarthritis.org.

Volunteer trainer: Joint Activity - Scotland

This is a role in which volunteers will deliver Versus Arthritis workshops including self-management training, to people living with arthritis and other long term conditions.

We are looking for confident, engaging individuals whose responsibilities will be to:

  • Have a clear understanding of the aims and objectives of the Versus Arthritis designed workshops.
  • Support participants in reaching the aims and objectives of the workshop.
  • Preparation of workshop materials, including session plans and resources.
  • Provide clear instructions and demonstrations for workshop participants.
  • In conjunction with line manager ensure that that delivery standards are maintained and that the latest version of the training materials are being used.
  • Undertake administration duties in relation to delivery of workshop/training.

This is a really interesting role for anyone living with arthritis, or experience of other long term health conditions.

For more information please contact scotland@versusarthritis.org.

Presenter/facilitator: Argyll and Bute - Scotland

Versus Arthritis facilitators support our trainers to deliver workshops, including self-management training, to people living with arthritis and other long term conditions. Your role will be to engage with participants and to share knowledge and understanding of living with arthritis. Your responsibilities will be to:

  • Support the workshop leader with facilitation of the session and in reaching the aims and objectives of the session.
  • In conjunction with the trainer or Scotland Office ensure relevant materials used are ready to be distributed at workshops/event.
  • Assist the trainer/Scotland Office with processing of relevant paperwork throughout workshop delivery.
  • Assist the trainer with all preparations of the venue, setting up equipment and hand-outs; ensuring refreshments and environment is appropriate for session.

This role is perfect for individuals who want to share knowledge and build confidence at the same time. You will be supported by the trainer and Versus Arthritis staff to develop in the role. We are a friendly supportive team and learn from each other as we grow!

For more information please contact scotland@versusarthritis.org.

Young Volunteers - Wales

Versus Arthritis provides a range of services for young people with arthritis – including activity events, family events and workshops. We are looking for motivated and enthusiastic young people from across Wales to volunteer with us to further develop and increase our services.

If you are a young person with arthritis who would like to share your experiences or a young person with an interest in health and wellbeing, then please get in touch.

For more information place contact the Wales office: cymru@versusarthritis.org

Change Maker Volunteers - Wales

Our 'Change Maker Volunteers' raise awareness and understanding of arthritis and its impact. They engage with service providers and decision makes and campaign for improved services and rights for people living with arthritis.

Arthritis is often an overlooked and underestimated condition. Services and support for people with arthritis are not always a priority and are often under-resourced, patchy or non-existent. Versus Arthritis wants to change this situation.

Versus Arthritis campaigns to raise awareness and understanding of arthritis and its impact on individuals, their families and our communities. We want to burst the many myths about arthritis and to make sure policy makers in Wales understand that much can be done to limit the impact of arthritis - through access to the right services, treatments, information and support.

We are stepping up our campaigns work and are recruiting a team of 'Change Maker Volunteers' to help us push arthritis up the agenda in Wales.

For more information place contact the Wales office: cymru@versusarthritis.org

Get Active for Arthritis Volunteers - Wales

Versus Arthritis has launched Get Active for Arthritis, a new Big Lottery Fund financed project to support people living with arthritis to better self-manage their condition and to overcome barriers to exercise so that become more active.

We are looking for people living with arthritis or a long-term condition to volunteer with us to offer peer support and deliver activities across North and Mid Wales.

For more information place contact the Wales office: cymru@versusarthritis.org

Living well with Arthritis Champions - Wales

Living well with Arthritis Champions are trained volunteers who provide information and mentor people as they learn to live well with their condition at monthly drop-ins.

All of our Champion volunteers go through training to assist them live well with a long term condition and are then trained to mentor others through the same process. Most of our Champions volunteers live with their own long term condition. However if you are someone who can understand the impact this would have on a person’s life, then you are more than welcome to become part of the team.

For more information place contact the Wales office: cymru@versusarthritis.org

Living Well with Arthritis Speakers - Wales

Living Well with Arthritis Speakers provide talks and information to clubs and societies, health professionals and people affected by long term conditions. Some give one talk a week, some give one a month – the time commitment is up to you.

You will be trained to live well with a long term condition, how to tailor make Versus Arthritis information for others and how to present a talk.

Most of our speakers live with a long term condition, and some choose to talk about their personal experiences, others choose to use case studies. Whatever your style your training will equip you with the skills to present an interesting talk, take questions and how to signpost people to information fitting their individual circumstance.

For more information place contact the Wales office: cymru@versusarthritis.org

Living Well With Arthritis Volunteers - Wales

Welsh Living Well With Arthritis Volunteers provide information and mentoring. They can choose to deliver talks, organise groups or share self-management techniques.

The volunteer roles are varied and fun.

Our drop ins and information points are staffed by Living Well with Arthritis Champion volunteers who offer information and self-management mentoring.

Our groups have volunteers who welcome new people, maybe organise refreshments or for a speaker to visit.

Our talks on Living Well with Arthritis are given by people who have put our self management training into practice.

With many opportunities for training, meeting new people and to gain new skills to live well with your own condition, why not become a Living Well with Arthritis Champion?

For more information place contact the Wales office: cymru@versusarthritis.org

Contact us about becoming a volunteer

To find out more about the above volunteer opportunities, please contact us.

Frequently asked questions

Will I receive out of pocket expenses?

Where possible we will repay reasonable expenses such as travel costs or lunch from your volunteer work. If you receive benefits you can volunteer for as many hours as you like without any impact on your allowance so long as you still meet the terms for receiving the benefits.

How much time do I need to give?

As much time as you feel you can offer. Some of our roles require volunteers to commit to a set period of time. For example One2One champion volunteers will support people over six meetings. However, some of our roles are more flexible and we will always do our best to make sure the time you spend volunteering complements your existing work, or social and personal commitments.

Will I receive a reference?

If you have volunteered with us for 12 weeks or more, we can provide a reference upon request.

I have a criminal record – can I still volunteer?

We run criminal records checks on our volunteers where necessary and, unless you have a criminal conviction which prohibits you from working with vulnerable members of society, volunteering with Versus Arthritis may still be open to you.