Genuine unpaid volunteering should not affect any state benefits you receive.

If you're on benefits, it is important that you don't accept any payments other than having your expenses repaid at the exact cost. For example, if your bus fare is £3.70 you can accept £3.70. It can lead to problems for you and the organisation if your reimbursement is rounded up to £4.00.

You can volunteer for as many hours as you like if you receive benefits, as long you continue to meet the conditions of the benefit you get, including being able to attend a job interview with two days’ notice or starting work within a week.

Volunteering is viewed as helpful in gaining paid employment and is also therapeutic when recovering from an illness or managing a long-term condition. It is always advisable to keep in touch with the Job Centre about your volunteering so that they know you are keeping to the rules and are aware of your situation.

For more information take a look at the official government guidance on volunteering.