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Below are some frequently asked questions about volunteering with SANE. If the answer to your question isn’t included below, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: 0203 805 1790 or

Do I need to know anything about mental illness to volunteer?

No, all you need is an interest in mental health. We provide ongoing support for all roles, enabling you to learn about SANE and mental illness. Details of all roles can be found here.

Is training provided?

A four-day training course is provided for Services Volunteers. We also provide ongoing support which will help you develop your practice. For other roles, you will receive on-the-job training.

What commitment is involved?

As a Services Volunteer, you gain and give most if you remain with SANE for a year or more. This allows you to get experience and learn from our range of service users. In turn, our service users gain enormously from experience and committed volunteers.

For other volunteer roles, the organisation and individuals gain most from a commitment of at least three months – working at least one half-day per week.

What are the hours/shifts?

Services Volunteers work four-hour shifts and we ask volunteers to try their best to commit to one shift in four at a weekend.

You can choose from three shifts, starting at 4.30pm, 5.30pm or 6.30pm every evening, seven days a week.

Can I volunteer from home?

All volunteering takes place in our office in London. This is particularly important because of the nature of the work and the need to ensure your wellbeing, and that of our service users.

Is this the only branch, or does SANE have branches elsewhere?

We have only one location, which is our office in Islington, London. From here we provide services nationally.

Are travel expenses paid?

We offer reimbursement for travel expenses up to the value of a one-day travel card within the Greater London area.

Will this become a paid position?

Our volunteer roles are designed specifically as voluntary positions. Vacancies for paid positions at SANE are advertised internally, as well as externally, thus allowing volunteers to apply on an equal basis in an open recruitment process.

Do you provide references for volunteers?

Yes. The type of reference depends on the length of time you have been with us. References for those who have volunteered six months or more are more detailed than those who have volunteered for shorter periods of time.