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Contributed by
Age UK


Age UK and their network of partners involve tens of thousands of volunteers each day to support the delivery of services for and with older people.

Some Age UK volunteer roles require volunteers to prove identity at the point of application. Many roles offer volunteers an identification card they can use throughout their role.

Prior to the pandemic, Age UK began working in partnership with Yoti to reduce volunteer admin requirements and to improve the process of identity verification of telephone friendship volunteers.

At the outset of the pandemic, Age UK’s network of organisations faced the need to remotely offer digital ID cards for volunteers who needed proof of their role when leaving their homes during lockdown to fulfil volunteer duties.

Yoti’s technology allows Age UK to both safeguard the older people who use their services and to ensure volunteers have access to current identification to support them in their roles.

Recipe status

This recipe has been in use since April 2020.

We are not sharing this recipe as the perfect solution to a problem, but we believe Age UK’s learnings could be very useful to other organisations.

Users and needs served

  • As a volunteer, I need to be able to prove I’m carrying out volunteering activities to service users and businesses or organisations
  • As a service user, I want to be sure a person is an approved volunteer with the charity
  • As a member of staff, I need to be able to remotely issue identification to active volunteers
  • As a member of staff, I need to be able to discontinue volunteer identification rapidly once the volunteer leaves the organisation

Software and tools used


Yoti is an app that enables users to put their ID onto their phone. It’s designed to give individuals a safe way to share personal details with businesses and individuals. Yoti has expanded their offering to a suite of business solutions that have helped charities verify volunteer identities.


Yoti is available through a tiered subscription model. Pricing varies depending on your organisation’s need, but you can refer to their website to get transparent pricing.

Yoti offers 50–100% discounts for eligible charities. Details are available here.


It is operationally useful to be able to remotely deploy digital IDs to volunteers.

This solution is useful if you can’t see people in person to hand out identification.

Volunteers aren’t able to have multiple IDs. For example, a volunteer might have an ID for a different purpose and will have to delete it to take part in different work.

Recipe steps

1. Get consent from volunteers

Ask permission from your volunteers to use and share their data with a third-party. Send out a template text for volunteers to explain the process and why you need their data (and why it’s worth doing).

Set up a third-party data agreement.

2. Make it easy for volunteers

Have a step-by-step guide for volunteers to try and install new technology, as not all volunteers will feel comfortable trying to navigate around a new app. Yoti can provide a simple guide for volunteers.

3. Understand how ID issuing may change

Some volunteers may come on board but then leave the service not too long afterwards. Be prepared to issue changes and discontinue IDs in these circumstances.

Consolidate ID changes weekly and submit these to Yoti in a single file format.

Make sure you have an administrator who is assigned to keep track of changes.

4. Notify your users

For volunteers who are working in more vulnerable settings, make sure that the beneficiaries are informed and empowered to ask for the volunteer IDs.

Send beneficiaries information about what the ID will look like and that it will be on a tablet/phone instead of on a lanyard around their neck.


Consider what is going to be involved in maintaining, evolving, and supporting this process.

Make sure that you have enough dedicated members of your team to incorporate this into their day-to-day work or part of their roles and responsibilities.


There might not be enough resources within your charity to help with digital inclusion.

Be aware that not all volunteers will have access to smartphones/tablets or may not have great knowledge of how to navigate this technology.


Many thanks to Age UK for contributing this recipe.


This recipe is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.

That means you are free to copy, redistribute, and build on the text of this recipe, but only for non-commercial purposes (if you want to use it for commercial purposes, get in touch with us at [email protected]). You must give credit to both Catalyst and Age UK and link back to this page. If you build on this recipe then you must share your version under this same licence.

Recipe published on April 30th, 2021. Last updated August 6th, 2021