Preparing for Volunteering


This resource guides you through Module 2, Unit 1 Initial Volunteer Experience (Activities 1, 2 & 3)


On completion PSYV's will:

  • Plan for a volunteering opportunity

  • Learn about risk assessment

  • Contribute to preparing a group volunteering opportunity checklist


Group room or classroom


The whole unit requires a notional 10 hours.

It is anticipated that this will be made up on 3 x 2 hour inputs and four hours of self-study, preparation and follow-up.


PSYV Personal Development Plan - STAR Template

Health & Safety Presentation

Risk Assessment Blank Template

Risk assessment - online version

Risk Assessment - Example

Risk Assessment - online example

Activity 1: Plan for a volunteering opportunity

By this point YV's have been introduced to the STAR template. Here we will use that to plan a forthcoming volunteering opportunity. Choose a forthcoming event (or a previous one if nothing is planned) and work through the questions (see image below):

This gives YV's an opportunity to think about things from the perspective of adult organisers.

Activity 2: Risk Assessment

We're now going to think about what our responsibilities as volunteers when it comes to risk. As the group to shout out what they think volunteers should be responsible for when volunteering. Then, without answering show this film from the British Council 'Keep Calm and Volunteer'.

Ask the group what message the video is trying to convey? - Answer - that risks while volunteering are low, but through our own awareness and good practice they can be avoided through:

  • planning

  • discussion

  • demonstration

Activity 3: Presentation

Deliver the presentation, pausing to ask and answer questions along the way.

Activity 4: Risk Assessment Activity

Show them the 'Speak Up and Stay Safe' website to show where they can get help and advice. In particular this has a section on staying safe in volunteering.

YV's are required to complete a risk assessment. Using the blank template, work as a group (or in smaller groups) to go through each section and make sure YV's know what is expected.

Allow time for YV's to explore the site. Encourage them to make use of the games and watch the videos so that they can consider different aspects of risk. Don't forget to access the HSE Toolbox for information on controlling risks. Which risks are relevant to your planned event?

Come back as a large group and make a list of different aspects of risk that should be considered.

When the group are clear, complete an agreed risk assessment for the forthcoming volunteering event. Once complete each YV should upload a copy to the PSYV learning platform. Their Mentor will be notified.

Activity 5: Opportunity Checklist

At this point we are revisiting the learning above to create a checklist of all the things that need to be organised. Imagine this is a checklist for the person in charge of the event. It will tell that person what has been planned, who is responsible and what resources are needed. It will also describe the timescales. YV's are required to upload a copy to the PSYV learning platform.


The assessment for this unit is formative, as follows:

Unit 1 Activity 1: Plan for a volunteering opportunity To achieve this outcome YV’s are required to use the STAR template to prepare for a forthcoming volunteering opportunity.

Unit 1 Activity 2: Risk Assessment Following a presentation and video there is a requirement to carry out a basic risk assessment for a planned volunteering activity .

Unit 1 Activity 3: Volunteering Opportunity Checklist YV’s are required to work as part of their local group to create a ‘checklist’ of things they need to prepare for a forthcoming volunteering opportunity .


Once you have delivered these sessions, complete this review.

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