How to Apply for a Volunteer Role

How to apply for a volunteer role. A step-by-step guide.

This guide explains how our volunteering brokerage service works and the steps involved in finding a volunteering role after you register with Volunteer Centre Tower Hamlets.

What happens after you register online with Volunteer Centre Tower Hamlets?

  • You can search and apply for roles available with local charities, community groups, or public sector bodies using the volunteering opportunity search page.
  • You can filter opportunities based on your age, interests, skills and time availability.
  • You will automatically receive regular emails telling you about new volunteering roles.
  • You can check our website at any time to see what other roles are available – these are updated regularly.

It’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your junk mail. Please mark as a safe sender so that our emails don’t go into your junk folder.

How to express interest in a role

You should carefully read the role description. Only apply for a role when you meet the eligibility criteria and are available at the times required.

Click ‘Register interest’ on the role description page, which will direct you to our online database, Simply Connect login page. Use the email address and password you chose to register with us to login. At this stage, you are only expressing an interest in hearing more about a role that Volunteer Centre Tower Hamlets has advertised on behalf of another organisation.

You are welcome to register an interest in more than one role but we suggest a maximum of three.

What happens after you express interest in a role? Step-by-step.

  1. Volunteer Centre Tower Hamlets will pass on your contact details (name, email, phone number, postcode) to the recruiting organisation.
  2. We will also email you the contact details (name and email address) of the Volunteer Manager for the role you have selected.
  3. Please be proactive and email the organisation – you don’t have to wait for them to contact you.
  4. Please allow up to 2 weeks for the organisation to get in touch or respond. If you do not hear back within 2 weeks, send a follow up email to the Volunteer Manager. You can also contact us at to let us know if you haven’t heard back.

Please check your junk email as sometimes emails from organisations may go to your junk folder.

Some adverts for volunteer roles might only be visible for a short time. Once we receive enough expressions of interest, we close adverts. You may see a message that says; “This volunteering role is now closed”. If this happens, please be patient and wait for alerts about similar roles, or search our website for alternative roles.

What to expect as a volunteer

There will usually be some kind of selection process. You may be asked to complete an application form, provide references, have a friendly chat, or attend an informal interview.

For certain roles, especially those where you have substantial contact with vulnerable adults or children, you may be asked to have a DBS (police) Check. The organisation should pay for and help arrange this.

Depending on the role, the recruitment process may take between 1 and 6 weeks.

Successful applicants will be given a start date; hours/days will normally be agreed in advance.

You might be asked to take part in an induction and participate in training.

Many organisations reimburse volunteers for their out-of-pocket travel and food expenses. Please check this in advance, especially if this is important to you.

Please email to let us know if you start volunteering for the organisation.

We may contact you to check if you have started volunteering or need more help.

What if you don’t get a suitable volunteer role?

If you are not selected, or you don’t meet the criteria for the roles we have advertised so far, please don’t be discouraged. There are new roles advertised every week, so watch out for our email alerts and apply for something else.

Need Help?

If you have any questions or concerns about volunteering, or you need help to find the right volunteer role, speak to one of our Brokerage Advisors. You can discuss your interest in volunteering and they can suggest suitable roles, based on your interests and skills. They also speak community languages. Their contact details are:

Zahanar Begum, Administrator & Brokerage Advisor (Bengali speaker) – 07927 525744 /

Sign up for our Employment and Training alerts!

If you are looking for a new job, or are interested in free training opportunities, you can sign up for our monthly Employment Support and Training alerts. You can also access some great advice on how to make the most of your volunteering experience in your job applications and on your CV. If you would like to receive alerts about these opportunities, please email

Read more on our "Volunteering in Tower Hamlets" page.