Volunteer Policy

‘Rough Edges’ project volunteering policy

 

Introduction

This policy sets out the broad principles for voluntary involvement in the Rough Edges (the project). It is of relevance to all within the project, including volunteers, staff, management, and trustees.

This policy is endorsed by the Trustees of Exousia Trust, (The Charity), who over see the project and will be reviewed on an annual basis, as the project develops, to ensure that it remains appropriate to the needs of Rough Edges and its volunteers.

 

Training & Development

  • All volunteers will be made aware of and have access to all the project’s relevant policies, including those relating to volunteering, health & safety, safeguarding vulnerable groups and equal opportunities.
  • The development of training and support for volunteers is a high priority for the project in order to equip them with the necessary information and skills to carry out their tasks. It will be the responsibility of the designated person referred to above to see that this training is provided. It is the responsibility of the volunteer to attend relevant training.
  • Training in the management of volunteers will be provided for those staff with direct responsibility for volunteers.

 

Support, Supervision and Recognition

  • Volunteers will have a named person to whom they can take their volunteering concerns and seek guidance and support.
  • Volunteers will have access to regular support and supervision. This will enable both the volunteer and the supervisor to identify, monitor and evaluate the volunteer’s involvement, recognise achievements and identify individual training needs, including that relevant to their particular volunteering role and to their wider personal development. The frequency, duration and format of these sessions will be negotiated between the volunteer and the designated officer referred to above.
  • Volunteers will be given the opportunity, where relevant, to share their views and opinions with the project’s wider staff, at staff meetings etc.
  • A process will be developed in order to give formal recognition of the contribution of the project’s volunteers (e.g. internal awards, articles in newspapers and newsletters, thank you letters etc.) or outline any existing process.
  • Rough Edges will implement an adequate health and safety practice

 

Expenses

Rough Edges recognises that the reimbursement of expenses incurred in traveling 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.

  • The project’s volunteers are able to claim reasonable out of pocket expenses, subject to prior arrangement and the production of receipts as evidence of the expenditure. What can be reclaimed from the project and the calculation of expenses will be explained to the volunteer before they start.
  • The project has a consistent approach to the reimbursement of expenses which are the same for volunteers, staff, etc. and are as approved by the Inland Revenue.
  • It is the responsibility of the designated person referred to above to make volunteers aware of the procedure for the reimbursement of expenses.

 

Insurance

  • The Charity’s liability insurance policies include the activities of volunteers and liability towards them.
  • The Charity does not insure the volunteer’s personal possessions against loss or damage

 

Confidentiality

  • The Charity will advise the volunteer on its confidentiality policy and procedures, where relevant. This would include those relating to personal information held by the Charity relating to the volunteer.

 

Settling Differences

  • The project aims to treat all volunteers fairly, objectively and consistently.
  • The project seeks to ensure that volunteers’ views are heard, noted and acted upon promptly and aim for a positive and amicable solution based on the project’s guidelines for settling differences.
  • The designated officer referred to above is responsible for handling problems regarding volunteer complaints or conduct and these should be referred to him/her.
  • In the event of a problem, all relevant facts should be obtained as quickly as possible.
  • Support will be provided by the project to the volunteer while it endeavours to resolve the problem in an informal manner.
  • If an informal resolution proves impossible, the project’s wider disciplinary, grievance or complaints policies and procedures (which include volunteers) will be referred to.

 

Rights and Responsibilities

 

We believe in mutual respect. Volunteers deserve to be treated with respect and they are expected to respect others.

 

The project recognises the rights of volunteers to:

  • know what is (and what is not) expected of them
  • have adequate support in their volunteering
  • receive appreciation
  • have safe working conditions
  • be insured
  • know their rights and responsibilities if something goes wrong
  • receive relevant out-of-pocket expenses
  • receive appropriate training
  • be free from discrimination
  • be offered the opportunity for personal development

 

The project expects volunteers to:

  • be reliable
  • be honest
  • respect confidentiality
  • make the most of training and support opportunities
  • carry out tasks in a way that reflects the aims and values of the Charity
  • work within agreed guidelines
  • respect the work of the Charity and not bring it into disrepute
  • comply with the project’s policies

 

 

Commitment

The Rough Edges project recognises

  • the right that people have to participate in the life of their communities through volunteering
  • volunteers contribute in many ways
  • the contribution of volunteers is unique
  • volunteering can benefit users of services, staff, local communities and the volunteers themselves.
  • values the contribution made by volunteers and is committed to involving volunteers in appropriate positions and in ways which are encouraging, supportive and which develop volunteering.
  • its responsibility to arrange its volunteering efficiently and sensitively so that the valuable gift of the volunteer’s time is best used to the mutual advantage of all concerned.

 

Definition

Volunteering is one of the ways people express citizenship. Volunteers are people who, unpaid and of their own free will, contribute their time, energy and skills to benefit someone other than themselves or benefit the community.

 

Statement of values and principles

  • Volunteering is a legitimate and crucial activity that is supported and encouraged by Rough Edges 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.
  • Appropriate steps will be taken to ensure that paid staff are clear about the role of volunteers, and to foster good working relationships between paid staff and volunteers.
  • Volunteers will not be used during times of industrial action to do the work of paid staff.
  • The volunteer role is a gift relationship, binding only in honour, trust and mutual understanding. No enforceable obligation, contractual or otherwise, can be imposed on volunteers to attend, give or be set a minimum amount of time to carry out the tasks involved in their voluntary activity. Likewise the project cannot be compelled to provide either regular work or payment or other benefit for any activity undertaken by the volunteer.
  • 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 the project expects of volunteers and what volunteers expect of the project.

 

Volunteer Co-ordination

  • All volunteers will have a nominated member of staff or experienced volunteer to offer guidance and advice to help the volunteer carry out tasks effectively. Volunteers will be informed of who to contact to receive support and supervision.
  • ‘Volunteer co-ordination’ will be explicitly referred to in all relevant job descriptions within the project.
  • The nominated post holder with overall responsibility for the development of voluntary activities within the project is Mike Berkeley. This person is responsible for the management and welfare of the Rough Edges’ volunteers.

 

Recruitment & Selection

  • Rough Edges is committed to equal opportunities and believes that volunteering should be open to all regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, political beliefs or offending background. We recognize the possibilities of transformation in people’s lives and the chance of new beginnings. We are committed to assisting those with a history of criminal activity who wish to change their pattern of behaviour, but we reserve the right to reject anybody either at selection or afterwards, where their involvement makes it impossible for us to meet our own high standards for assuring the welfare of others including the vulnerable.
  • The acceptance of volunteer assistance for a particular role is made on merit, the sole selection criterion being the individual’s suitability to carry out agreed tasks. Information about the volunteer not relevant to the performance of the volunteering tasks concerned will be disregarded by the project in terms of recruitment and selection.
  • Volunteering opportunities will be widely promoted in ways that makes them accessible to all members of the community.
  • Volunteers who are considered unsuitable for a particular task will either be offered alternative voluntary involvement with the project or referred to the nearest Volunteer Centre.
  • All volunteers will be asked to produce two references and will be invited to attend an informal interview. If the volunteer will be working with vulnerable groups (children and/or adults) there may be other safer recruitment procedures carried out including asking a volunteer to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) check. More detailed information will be made available specific to legislative requirements and to the particular volunteer position.
  • Volunteers will have a clear and concise task description, which will be subsequently reviewed every month for the first three months and then every three months. The task description will be prepared in conjunction with the volunteer and the designated person referred to above.
  • New volunteers will be properly inducted into the project.
  • Volunteers will be properly briefed about the activities to be undertaken and given all the necessary information to enable them to perform with confidence.

 

 

 

Contact information

 

Rough Edges is an initiative of EXOUSIA TRUST

Registered Charity: 1002581

 

www.Rough-Edges.org.uk

Rough Edges is located at:

63 Heol Y Gors, Townhill, SWANSEA, SA1 6RY

Correspondence Address:

Exousia Trust, Zac’s Place, George Street, Swansea, SA1 4HH

Document Last Updated: 19 May 2014