Why volunteer Volunteering is an important activity that is supported and encouraged by Bipolar UK and is not intended to be a substitute for paid employment. The role of volunteers complements, but does not replace, the role of paid staff. Bipolar UK acknowledges that volunteers contribute in many ways, that their contribution is unique and that volunteering can benefit our service users, staff team, local communities and our volunteers themselves. Bipolar UK values the contribution made by volunteers and is committed to involving volunteers in appropriate roles and in ways which are encouraging, supportive and support individuals’ development. Bipolar UK recognises its responsibility to coordinate its volunteering efficiently and sensitively so that the valuable gift of volunteer’s time is best used to the advantage of all concerned. Although volunteers offer time freely and willingly without binding obligation, there is a presumption of mutual support and reliability. Reciprocal expectations are acknowledged – both of what Bipolar UK expects of volunteers and what volunteers expect of us. Bipolar UK recognises that the reimbursement of expenses incurred in travelling to and from the place of volunteering or in the course of volunteering is important from an equal opportunities point of view. This is necessary to ensure that all individuals have access to voluntary opportunities. Update on volunteering with Bipolar UK during Covid-19 During the outbreak of Covid-19 we have seen wonderful support our volunteers have given us and their communities and have been exceptionally helpful in moving our online support groups forward and supporting the charity through events and fundraising online. We have not been able to process all applications during this period and appreciate your patience whilst we adapt to the new services we offer and increase our capacity again to process volunteer applications.