Want to help our work? Come volunteer with us! We provide a supportive environment for volunteers to learn new skills, make friends and help their communities.

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

Two of our dedicated volunteers

Useful Documents

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?

In line with the National Standards, 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


1st Principle

Any volunteer activity is a freely made choice of the individual. If there is any compulsion, threat of sanctions or force, then any such activity is not volunteering.

2nd Principle

Volunteers should receive no financial reward for their time however out of pocket expenses should be covered; no one should be prevented from volunteering due to their income.

3rd Principle

Effective structures should be put in place to support, train and develop volunteers and their collaboration with paid workers.

4th Principle

Volunteers and paid workers should be able to carry out their duties in safe, secure and healthy environments that are free from harassment, intimidation, bullying, violence and discrimination.

5th Principle

Volunteers should not carry out duties formerly carried out by paid workers nor should they be used to disguise the effects of non-filled vacancies or cuts in services.

6th Principle

Volunteers should not be used instead of paid workers or undercut their pay and conditions of service nor undertake the work of paid workers during industrial disputes.

7th Principle

Volunteers should not be used to reduce contract costs nor be a replacement for paid workers in competitive tenders or procurement processes.

8th Principle

Volunteers should not be used to bypass minimum wage legislation nor generate profit for owners.

9th Principle

Volunteers and paid workers should be given the opportunity to contribute to the development and monitoring of volunteering policies and procedures, including the need for policies that resolve any issues or conflicts that may arise.

10th Principle

Volunteer roles should be designed and negotiated around the needs and interests of volunteers, involving organisations and wider stakeholders. Finding legitimacy and avoiding exploitation through consensus depends on mutual trust and respect.

10 Principles of Volunteering, outlined by View Link as part of the Scottish national framework.