Corporate support makes a big difference to the work we’re able to do at CHAI.  It can also make a positive and lasting impact on your business and your employees. Knowing that you are making a real difference to peoples’ lives is great for staff morale

Volunteering at CHAI


As an organisation CHAI aims to support people and communities across the city of Edinburgh through the provision of social welfare assistance, advice, information and support, practical help, and a genuine desire to relieve poverty. CHAI recognizes that many individuals in our society will wish to assist us to carry out this work through the volunteering of their services. If you think you want to join the cause, we would like to meet you. 


With our small team of experienced workers, we can provide personal and mutually beneficial volunteer experiences. Our volunteer coordinator will assist you through your experience. You will receive regular support sessions and a plan for your development.


As a close-knit team we can provide the personal touch. We will assign you a person to go to when you need that extra support as we aim to enhance the wellbeing of our staff and volunteers. Your initial induction and extra support needs will be met by our volunteer coordinator. When you are assigned to a project you will have a project manager and lots of experienced staff to work with.


Through your training and practice you can enhance your knowledge and build on your current abilities. We will consider your learning needs and assist where possible. We recognise that everyone has something to give, and we promote diversity and inclusion. We appreciate your life experience and believe that everyone has a unique contribution regardless of work experience.

Volunteers Quotes

Admin support would be great and a good way to understand the organization and the type of work we do. I feel that a good way to start people off is obviously shadowing but also achieving tasks. For example, doing grant applications, calling the DWP with queries for people. I feel that this would be great support for the CHAI staff as it is time consuming. But it is informative and means someone is achieving something as a volunteer while helping staff out


Former Volunteer (now Deputy Manager)

My experience of working with volunteers at CHAI has been indirect mostly but the work that they did was of great use to CHAI, often bringing many years of experience and if they didn’t have the experience, they certainly came with fresh ideas and eyes


Former Volunteer (then Housing Advice Worker)

I guess everybody has a different starting point, I mean some people who volunteer have all the skills and are just looking to do something useful with their time and others like me have rusty skills and confidence and use volunteering to build skills and knowledge. When I started volunteering at CHAI I started answering the phones, this gave me good idea of who did what and how the organization worked, it also provided the opportunity for me to decide what areas of the organizations work I enjoyed and suited my abilities. Very positive experiences working with volunteers at CHAI, people are there because they want to be so it makes for a very pleasant atmosphere.


Former Volunteer (then Advice Worker)

Two of our dedicated volunteers

What values you will need to volunteer at CHAI?

Valuing and respecting people is part of our core values at CHAI so this will be a quality you must share. You will need to respect people, especially from different cultures and backgrounds to your own. You will want to work in a person-centred and holistic manner. You should have a desire to improve communities and people’s lives. You will require some tenacity and want to commit to actively solve problems as part of a team.

How many hours do I volunteer for?

We recommend around 5 hours a week which supports a mutually beneficial relationship to occur but ultimately the amount of time you give is up to you. You will need to complete initial training before commencing, this will vary depending on what role you decide to apply for. We will discuss and record your availability; a volunteer works at their own pace after completing necessary training. Volunteering is your choice and should be an enjoyable experience


We will supply comprehensive training with personal assistance, it will take place in the form of informative online learning and a practical placement to the volunteer role. You will get the opportunity to shadow and ask questions before you take on further responsibilities. The aim is to supply you with the abilities to feel confident and competent in your volunteering role. We wish for you to enjoy your experience at CHAI and with our positive working environment and experienced staff we have full confidence you will get the most out of your volunteering experience.


CHAI will always cover expenses that incur from volunteering. We will reimburse should you have to spend e.g.: travel, communication, and food costs while volunteering will always be covered in a timely manner.

Volunteering from home

Working from home has become part of life for a lot of people. You may want to volunteer in this capacity, we can discuss this possibility. An example of working from home could be administration duties like filling forms and following up casework and in some cases, advice.

Contact Us

If you are interested in volunteering and would like more information, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Anita Barron who will be happy to help with your enquiry.
Phone: 0131 442 2100

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