Volunteering with Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Last updated 04 January 2023
Volunteering is one of the most rewarding things you can do and as a BFRS volunteer you’ll be part of a great team making a difference to your local community.
For more information on volunteering as any of the below roles, please take a look at the volunteering handbook, or contact us by filling out the form below.
- Fuel and Home Heating Support Advocate
Providing information and support to vulnerable people to access help that’s available including benefits and grants.
- Home Fire Safety Visits Support
Supporting the team undertaking home safety assessments and wellbeing checks in people’s homes, and giving information on personal lifestyle.
- Community Safety Advocates
Promoting the availability of fire safety and prevention information and support services to community members of all cultures and faiths.
- Diversity and Inclusion Support
Enabling more people from minority communities to access home safety and fire prevention information and support.
- Community Events Advocate
Attending events and supporting BFRS staff with community engagement as well as set up prior to event and packing up afterwards.
Recording, tracking movements of, and issuing resources for events.
Helping to recruit firefighters at job fairs and local events.
Supporting staff at Dunstable Fire Station, setting up meeting rooms and providing reception cover.
- How long do I have to volunteer for?
As a volunteer you choose how long you volunteer for. We hope you enjoy your volunteering so much that you’ll stay with us at least 18 months but we understand people’s circumstances and other commitments change over time.
- How much time do I have to volunteer for?
As a volunteer there is no ‘have to’. There is no minimum time commitment as such. The time we hope volunteers give varies depending on the role. How much time you give to volunteering is by mutual agreement. As a guide, we hope that you will be able to volunteer for an average of four hours a week?
- I’m retired and go away on holiday and visiting friends abroad sometimes, can I still be a volunteer?
Yes, certainly. Just let us know when you won’t be available in advance and your volunteering can be arranged around that.
- I work full-time Monday to Friday, can I volunteer outside these times?
Yes. We need volunteers to help at events and speaking opportunities at weekend and evening times, and more!
- I work shifts, they vary week to week; can I still volunteer?
Yes. Many roles are flexible on time and allow you to volunteer around your work and family commitments.
Yes. All BFRS volunteers receive a tailored induction and any training required for their role. Volunteers are also supported by our Volunteer Manager as well as other BFRS colleagues.
- Can I volunteer if I have a criminal record?
Having a criminal record in itself, isn’t a barrier to volunteering with BFRS. We consider each offence individually, looking at issues such as risk, how long ago the offence/s took place, the type of offence/s and circumstances, and whether relevant to the particular volunteer role being applied for.
- How long before I start volunteering?
It varies and due to the nature of some roles, the checks and training necessary to keep volunteers and clients safe do take weeks and sometimes a couple of months. We will keep you informed and believe that you will find any delay worthwhile when you do start volunteering with BFRS.
- Will I get a paid job from volunteering?
Volunteering does not automatically lead to employment. However, Volunteering is a very good way to boost your chances of being successful in gaining paid employment. The skills and experience you gain and the commitment you show as a volunteer will be sure to impress prospective employers!
- Can I leave if I don’t like it?
Yes, as a volunteer you can leave at any time. But if you’re not happy any time during your volunteering, please speak to our Volunteer Manager. We may be able to adjust the role or offer you another role; or at least learn why you’re not happy and what we can do so volunteers in the future don’t feel the same.
Yes, reasonable travel and out-of-pocket expenses can be claimed. Expenses do need to be pre-approved; more information and details of how to claim are in our Volunteer Handbook.
- Will volunteering affect my benefits?
Volunteering should not affect your right to benefits. You can volunteer while receiving benefits as long as you continue to meet all the conditions of receiving the benefit. Tell your work coach/JC adviser that you are volunteering. Volunteering is viewed as helpful towards gaining paid employment and is therapeutic in many cases.
- Can I volunteer from home?
Yes, we have roles that include tasks that can be done from home. However, most of our volunteer roles involve getting out and about in the community.
- How old do I need to be to volunteer with BFRS?
Volunteers in most roles need to be 18 years or older. However, young people aged 13-18 years old can join the Fire Cadets where they’ll gain an excellent knowledge of the Fire and Rescue Service and learn the skills that our Firefighters use in a safe and welcoming environment.
- Can I volunteer together with my friend?
Yes, we have volunteer opportunities such as helping at events or in the community that can be done with a friend or partner.