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Frequently asked questions from our volunteers

We answer your questions about volunteering for RNIB.

I’m an existing RNIB volunteer and I received an invitation to create a customer account

Viewpoint is our new system for managing volunteering roles, receiving applications for advertised opportunities and recording the volunteering activities of existing volunteers like you.

One of the features of Viewpoint enables you to create a customer account via something called a customer portal. Existing volunteers received an email invitation in April 2023 to create an account on the customer portal.

Creating a customer account is voluntary and up to you to decide. The advantage of doing so is that it gives you access to the personal information that we hold about you, with the ability to make updates to your information should something change like your address, phone number or communication format preferences. You can also view any recent applications you have submitted and the details of your existing commitments.

For Tech for Life volunteers who need the ability to view and accept customer help requests, this is the same portal that enables you to do that.

If you have any questions about the customer portal, please contact [email protected].

Can I claim volunteering expenses?

We don’t want our volunteers to be out of pocket when they support us. Your time is all that we ask for. We encourage you to claim your volunteering expenses.

What can I claim volunteering expenses for?

You can claim volunteering expenses for:

  • Travel
  • Meals
  • Postage
  • Stationary
  • Overnight accommodation
  • Phone
  • Carers’ costs – with prior arrangement with your volunteer manager.

For more information, read: Volunteer expenses: what can I claim for?

How do I claim volunteering expenses?

Download our expense claims form and a step-by-step guide to claiming expenses:

Something’s come up and I can’t volunteer today, who do I contact?

If you can't volunteer today, you should contact your volunteer manager or the person who has arranged for you to volunteer.

I can’t reach my volunteer manager, who do I contact?

If you can’t reach your volunteer manager or you don’t have their contact details, please contact another team member (if these details have been provided during your induction).

You can also contact the volunteering team by emailing [email protected] or calling 0303 123 9999 (option 4 then option 2).

I’m not happy in my role, who do I contact?

If you’re unhappy about something in your role, please let us know as soon as possible. You can find more information by downloading our problem-solving procedure document.

You can also always contact the volunteering team with your questions or concerns, and if you need any further information, please email [email protected] or call 0303 123 9999 (option 4 then option 2).

Who do I contact about my ID badge?

If your role requires an ID badge please email [email protected] with your name, your role title and a photograph of yourself. Your photograph doesn’t have to meet passport picture specifications, it simply needs to be a clear image of your face, with no one else in the frame. Please also copy in your volunteer manager so they’re aware you’ve arranged this.

Your ID badge will be valid for three years, if your badge is due to be renewed please follow the process as before and copy your volunteer manager into the email.

I’d like to do more, can I volunteer in another role?

Of course! We know that a lot of our volunteers support us in more than one role, and we really appreciate the time that they offer us. Taking on another role can help broaden your understanding of the work our organisation does and it can help you to develop your skills and knowledge further.

To find out more, ask your volunteer manager to signpost you to local opportunities. You can also find information on other opportunities on our website or contact our volunteering team.

What role does volunteering play in RNIB?

"There’s more volunteers than we have people on the payroll. A lot of our critical operations, particularly supporting beneficiaries in their own homes as well as doing a lot of leg work to make things work, are done by our volunteers. They’re an often silent but massively significant part of our operation.” (Matt Stringer, CEO of RNIB)

Employee and Volunteer Assistance Programme (EVAP)

We’re delighted that the Employee and Volunteer Assistance Programme (EVAP) helpline is open to our volunteers.  This is a free, confidential service, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to all RNIB employees and volunteers, their immediate family members (living in the same household) and dependent children.  

It provides unlimited access to support, information, professional guidance and, where appropriate, short-term counselling on any issue which may be causing concern.  

Counselling is available over the telephone and in some cases on a face-to-face basis. Accessed by telephone or email, the EVAP is a confidential service run independently of RNIB by Health Assured Ltd. 

New Counselling Offer for Volunteers

At RNIB we offer a Counselling Service for staff and volunteers who need support. The service can provide access to eight one-hour sessions of confidential counselling almost on an immediate basis, delivered by externally contracted counsellors, all of whom have been trained in the sight loss counselling model and understand the work that the RNIB does. This service is in addition to the Employee Volunteer Assistance Programme.

To access this service please email: [email protected] or [email protected].

Contact the Helpline 

You can call any time day or night on 0800 028 0199 or +44 161 836 9498 from outside the UK.  

Alternatively, you can access support online at

The passwords for accessing this service are available in the Volunteer Welcome Pack from your Volunteer Manager, in the Volunteer News, and can be obtained from the volunteering mailbox [email protected] or by calling 0303 123 9999 (option 4 then option 2).

"Feedback received from the volunteers confirmed that being able to continue working with and supporting us throughout the pandemic was, without doubt for most, a lifeline in maintaining contact with others and reinforced their feeling of being valued and supported by us as a team and organisation.”

Volunteer manager