ACE – Action in Caerau and Ely
works with people who want to make a difference in their own communities, using their knowledge, skills and experience.
Overview of volunteering
Why volunteer? & volunteer stories
Volunteer process – apply to volunteer.
Frequently asked questions – FAQ’s.
Overview of volunteering
Volunteers are the life-blood of ACE.
ACE’s aim is ‘To create vibrant, equal and resilient communities for all, where people find fulfilment in themselves, each other, and the place where they live’.
We support a range of volunteers with different skills, ideas, personalities and dedication to help us achieve our aim.
We work on the following principles that:
- Local people know their community best
- Everyone has something unique to contribute
- Everyone’s contribution should be valued equally
- Poverty should not be accepted as a fact of life
- Social injustice should be challenged and changed
So come and join us and help us work from those principles.
Why volunteer? & volunteer stories
The benefits of volunteering are huge…
Please click here to read more and hear from volunteers already supporting ACE.
Here are just some of the reasons people volunteer in ACE:
- To make a difference to the lives of others
- To get out the house
- To meet new people and make new friends
- To gain new skills, knowledge and experience
- To give a sense of purpose, meaning and wellbeing
- To be involved in a safe, welcoming, friendly place
- To improve mental health.
- To gain confidence and self-esteem.
- To feel valued and part of a team
- To try something new
- To develop existing skills and knowledge
- To get to know the local community better
- To contribute to positive social change.
- To break down social barriers
- To help the environment
- To be a route to college / employment / add to a CV
Quotes from current volunteers:
- Thanks for all of your patience, kindness, acceptance and unselfish teaching’
- I had a brilliant day learning new information and looking forward to using my knowledge’
- ‘It’s helped me to make new friends and do some socialising’
- ‘Everybody is friendly and listens. We feel more confident talking to people’
- ‘I feel more optimistic about making lasting changes’
Volunteering also has the following benefits:
We offer time-credits as part of the volunteering experience.
This means that for every hour you volunteer you can earn one time-credit up to five per week, which can be used to go swimming, go to the cinema or theatre, pay towards Netflix or food from pizza hut and many other options. You can use these yourself, or give them away for others to enjoy.
Where appropriate and where there is funding available, we will seek to support you by offering training courses that are relevant to your role. E.g. Food Hygiene if working with food etc
We also run socials and events either within the project teams or with ACE as a whole, and we will invite you to those, along with an annual volunteer ‘thank you’ event.
We ask our volunteers to contribute to ideas and discussions for current and new projects and will update you with information on plans as we are able.
Out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed where agreed in advance and with appropriate receipts.
We would love you to be part of the team, but when we don’t have appropriate volunteering vacancies, we will signpost you to other organisations who do.
Investing in volunteers
As an organisation we are working towards the ‘Investing in Volunteers’ award. This is a best practice standard that will ensure that we recruit, support and manage volunteers to the best of our ability. Please be assured we are working hard to ensure that your volunteering experience will be a really positive one.
Our current volunteering opportunities are posted on the Volunteer Opportunities page .
And on social media:
Facebook – ACE – Action in Caerau and Ely
Opportunities to volunteer are many and varied, but aren’t always available due to capacity, but we will do our best to help you find a volunteering role that suits you.
- ACE Arts – Supporting creative and artistic activities in community
- ACE IT – Supporting digital troubleshooting and teaching basic IT skills
- ACE Kids – Helping with family and kid’s events, trips and activities.
- Admin / Funding – Helping with project administration and fundraising.
- Benthyg library of things– Supporting community members to borrow/ hire out items at an affordable cost, by helping with administration and maintenance.
- CAERhillfort – Helping with a range of activities around heritage, history and archaeology.
- CAER gardening – Supporting the development and maintenance of the CAER garden
- Cafe Barr – Kitchen and front of house support for the community cafe
- Coffee mornings– Supporting wellbeing ‘catch ups’ over coffee
- Community Fridge – Facilitating the sharing of surplus food to reduce food waste
- Compassionate communities– Making or delivering wellbeing boxes for those affected by cancer or bereavement
- Curiosity– Exciting youngsters about heritage through the lens of STEM subjects
- Diana Gardens- Supporting the development and maintenance of Diana gardens
- Dusty shop – Sorting items and serving community members in the Dusty shop
- Pantry – Serving community members with low cost food helping money go further. Also driving – collecting food to give out and delivering food to community members
- Repair Cafe – Using your skills to help repair broken or damaged items
- Retreat – Facilitating games, artistic activities and chatting with community
- Trustees – Giving guidance and direction and keeping the organisation accountable
- Walking group– Supporting health and wellbeing through walking
- Youth – Assisting the youth leaders with youth activities
Volunteer process - Apply to volunteer
To apply to volunteer with ACE is easy.
Please click here for the Volunteer Application Form.
Once we receive your volunteer application form we will try to match your skills with volunteer opportunities that are available, unless you have applied for a specific role.
We will then meet with you face to face, to have a chat and ensure that you fully understand the volunteer role that you are applying for.
Once we have met with you, we will write out for your reference to the person you named on the application.
Once the reference has been received we will invite you to a volunteer induction session and will complete further forms to do with data and confidentiality, a volunteer code of conduct, safeguarding, and a photo and story consent form. Each volunteer will receive a copy of these forms once they are completed and signed.
You will then be given a date and time to be introduced to the staff member or lead volunteer of the project you will be supporting, who will introduce you to the team, give you any initial training necessary and sign you up for time credits.
Where a DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) check is required, we will ensure it is done before you start volunteering with us.
Any further training, development or support will be given by your project lead.
Timeline for responding to enquiries:
Week 1: Enquiry received
Week 1: We contact the applicant (unless on leave) to arrange to meet to discuss appropriate volunteer opportunities.
Weeks 2-3: We meet with the applicant and send a reference form to the referee.
Weeks 3-4: Once a successful reference is returned; we meet with the volunteer again to go through policies and procedures and get sign-off.
Where a reference suggests that a volunteer may not be suitable for a particular role, we will meet to discuss in as positive a way as possible. We will chat through other roles or options that may be more appropriate to the applicant and / or signpost on to the Volunteer Centre or other organisations if opportunities are not available within ACE.
Week 4: Or as soon as possible afterwards, we will introduce new volunteers to the appropriate team for ‘on the job’ training and volunteering. Where further training is required this will be explained when the applicant meets with the Volunteer Development Officer.
Volunteer induction training takes place (approximately) every six weeks. The volunteer will be invited to attend the next available session.
Where a DBS check is required, the volunteer will be asked to complete the application and we then wait for the DBS to do the checks and return the certificate. This usually takes a few weeks, depending how busy the service is. Once again if this suggests that the applicant is not suitable for that role, we will meet to discuss in as positive a way as possible. We will chat through other roles or options that may be more appropriate to the applicant and / or signpost on to the Volunteer Centre or other organisations if opportunities are not available within ACE.
All appropriate risk assessments are carried out to ensure that we keep staff, volunteers and community members as safe as possible. Sanitising stations are available in the Dusty Forge and the CAER Heritage Centre, and masks are available for community members to wear masks if they would like to do so.
Please read the latest Welsh Government guidance here:
Please see the ‘Volunteering opportunities’ section on the website or click here.
We will invite you in to have a chat and talk about your skills and interests, and work together to ensure you are able to volunteer in a role that suits you. If you are unable to come to the Dusty Forge, we will endeavour to meet with you on-line.
ACE accepts volunteer applications from anyone over the age of 18. Some projects may be able to support volunteers 16-18 years of age, dependent on receipt of references and a consent form from an appropriate adult. Risk assessments and safeguarding practices would be put in place.
Please let us know if you have additional needs or health conditions that may impact your volunteering, in order for us to work with you, and support you to carry out your role. There is a ‘health details’ section in the application form where you can share information, or you can chat to the Volunteer Development Officer when you meet for an informal chat.
Yes, we ask for one reference.
All volunteer applications will be considered; however, any convictions should be disclosed on the application form or in discussion with the Volunteer Development Officer.
Yes, providing we have the opportunities in the project applied for, and both applications are successful.
No experience is necessary for most volunteer roles, as all training and support will be provided.
Yes, where appropriate and agreed in advance, we reimburse travel expenses, and any expenses agreed in advance, e.g. if you are purchasing something for a project.
ACE values any time that volunteers are able to give and, dependent on the role, it may be anything from one hour to multiple hours or one-off events.
Yes, we will take you through the volunteer process anyway, and then let you know when we need support for events and one-off activities.
You will be invited to attend the project on a certain day and time, and the project leader or lead volunteer will introduce you to the rest of the group and give you any training and support necessary.
It is fine to change your mind. Please do let us know if you change your mind, so that we can update our systems, and tell the project leader.
It is more than reasonable to go on holiday. If you are able to give us as much notice as possible for holidays, that will ensure that we can get further support, whilst you are away.
Yes, if you find that the project is not what you expected and / or you hear of a different project that interests you more, we will endeavour to place you as opportunities allow.
Volunteering for ACE will not affect your Job Seekers Allowance as long as you are still actively seeking and are available to work. You should inform your work coach that you’re volunteering with us and discuss with them why you’re volunteering and what you hope to achieve from it.
Volunteering does not usually affect you receiving Employment and Support Allowance, but you should inform the Department of Work and Pensions.
ACE relies on grant funding and donations to keep the charity running. If you would like to support us, you can give a one off donation or set up a monthly standing order through local giving, https://localgiving.org/charity/ace-action-in-caerau-ely/ or via our bank – please contact us for details, and or by cheque sent to:
ACE – Action In Caerau & Ely,
Our Place: Dusty Forge,
460 Cowbridge Road West,
If you have further questions that are not answered on these pages, please contact the main ACE telephone number on Tel: 029 2000 3132 and ask to speak to the Volunteer Development Officer.