Volunteering Policy

Introduction

Volunteers Network CIC aims to involve more people, more effectively in volunteering to help solve real problems and make communities stronger.

It does this by:

• Working with volunteer involving organisations to find them the volunteers they need.
• Providing potential volunteers with information regarding volunteering opportunities.
• Helping people who might otherwise have found themselves excluded to find a volunteer role within our own organisation.

Volunteers Network CIC is committed to involving volunteers directly within the organisation at every level to:

• Contribute to the delivery of our services
• Form our management committee
• Make sure we are responsive to the needs of our users.
• Provide different skills and perspectives.
• Offer opportunities for participation by people who might otherwise be excluded.

This volunteer policy sets out the principles and practice by which we involve volunteers.

Principles

Volunteers Network CIC:

• Recognises that voluntary work brings benefits to volunteers themselves, to service users and to paid staff.
• Will ensure that volunteers are properly integrated into the organisational structure and that mechanisms are in place for them to contribute to our project’s work.
• Will not introduce volunteers to replace paid staff or support other organisation’s that do.
• Will not support ‘forced’ volunteering.
• Recognises that volunteers require satisfying work and personal development and will seek to help volunteers meet these needs, as well as providing the training for them to do their work effectively.
• Will endeavour to identify and cover the costs of involving volunteers.
• Recognises that the management of volunteers requires designated responsibilities within specific posts.
• Will endeavour to involve volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds and abilities and ensure our volunteering opportunities are as accessible as possible.

Recruitment

Recruitment of volunteers will be from all sections of the community, and will be in line with the Volunteers Network CIC Equality and Diversity Policy. Positive action in recruitment may be used where appropriate.

People interested in becoming volunteers with Volunteers Network CIC will be invited for an informal talk with the Project Coordinator. They will be given information about the organisation and specific information on the volunteer post in which they are interested.

All volunteers will be asked to complete a simple application form appropriate to the role that they are applying for. Where applicants are not placed in the role applied for, they will be provided with feedback and given the opportunity to discuss alternative volunteering roles both with Volunteers Network CIC and other volunteer involving organisations.

Every volunteer role has undergone a risk assessment.

Volunteer Agreements and Role Descriptions

Volunteers will receive a role description and volunteer agreement containing full information about their chosen area of work and a clear idea of their responsibilities and Volunteers Network CIC’s responsibilities to them.

Induction and Training

Volunteers will be given induction and training appropriate to the specific tasks to be undertaken.

Support

Volunteers will be assigned a named contact person who will provide regular support. Support sessions will provide the opportunity for ongoing dialogue about the development of the volunteering role and any advice and guidance as needed.

The Volunteer’s Voice

Volunteers will be consulted in all decisions. Volunteers Network CIC is committed to developing consultation and representational procedures for volunteers.

Records

Minimum details will be kept on volunteers. This will include the application form (including emergency contact/s) any other relevant information in accordance with Volunteers Network CIC data protection policy. This information will be stored securely and only the Project Coordinator will have access to it. Directors will have access only as a business continuance measure.

Expenses

Volunteers Network CIC will ensure that there is a clear and accessible system to enable volunteers to claim out of pocket expenses.

Insurance

Volunteers will be covered by insurance while carrying out agreed duties.

Health and Safety

Volunteers Network CIC will take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the volunteers’ health, safety and welfare while at work in accordance with our project’s Health and Safety policy.

Equal Opportunities

Volunteers and staff will work in accordance with Volunteers Network CIC equal opportunities policy and will prevent discrimination on any grounds.

Problems

Volunteers Network CIC has a policy to help deal with grievances that volunteers may have. In line with this policy volunteers have the right to discuss any concerns they may have with the Project Coordinator at any time. Please see Complaints Procedure document.

Endings

When volunteers move on from their role at Volunteers Network CIC they will be asked to provide feedback on the volunteering experience by way of an exit questionnaire. They will also be given the opportunity to discuss their responses to the questionnaire more fully with a member of the management committee.

On the basis of their voluntary work, volunteers will have the right to request a reference. Volunteers will be supported to move on to other options.

Volunteers Network CIC has a policy on how it will deal with any disciplinary issue regarding a volunteer, see it’s Letting go of Volunteers Policy.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Eastbourne Volunteers will systematically monitor and evaluate its use of volunteers with reference to this Volunteer Policy.

Implementation and Quality Assurance

Implementation is immediate and this Policy shall stay in force until any alterations are formally agreed by Directors. This Policy will be reviewed annually by the Directors, sooner if legislation, best practice or other circumstances indicate this is necessary.

All aspects of this Policy shall be open to review at any time. If you have any comments or suggestions on the content of this policy please contact Helen Burton, Director on 01323 381811 or eastbournevolunteers@gmail.com

Latest version updated 05/04/18