This volunteer policy sets out the principles and practice for voluntary involvement with /in Tanio and is relevant to all within the organisation, including staff, volunteers, trustees and those elected or appointed to positions of responsibility.
It aims to create a common understanding and to clarify roles and responsibilities to ensure that best practice and the highest standards are maintained in relation to the recruitment, support, management and retention of volunteers.
The Volunteer Handbook gives further details about the support and procedures in place for volunteers.
Core Values and Principles
Tanio places great value on the involvement of volunteers and their contribution to its work. Volunteers make a vital contribution towards supporting Tanio’s aims and ambitions by giving their time, skills, knowledge or experience. They complement the role of paid staff, help to enhance the range and quality of activities and projects delivered by Tanio and contribute to a sense of local community ownership.
Tanio acknowledges that volunteering can benefit project participants, staff, the local community and the volunteers themselves and that volunteering provides access to new experiences and contributes to developing new skills, better career opportunities, improving mental health/ health and well-being. Volunteering is seen as a way of training and enabling volunteers to become self-sufficient through community peer led support, empowering individuals and strengthening the community.
Tanio is committed to involving volunteers in appropriate roles, in ways which are encouraging, supportive and which develop volunteering.
Volunteering roles can include :
- helping to prepare and /or deliver projects;
- providing new skills and perspectives;
- providing administrative support;
- helping to run events.
The role of volunteers complements but does not replace 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.
Tanio are committed to offering a flexible range of opportunities and to encouraging a diversity of people to volunteer with us, including those from under-represented groups such as youth, people with a disability, older people and people from disadvantaged and ethnically diverse backgrounds.
Tanio recognise that there are costs associated with volunteer involvement and will seek to ensure adequate financial and staffing resources are available for the development and support of volunteering.
Planning for Volunteer Involvement
Roles and responsibilities
Who is going to be responsible for recruiting, selecting, managing volunteers?
Is it the aim to employ a Volunteer Manager? Or another staff member to manage volunteer – will there be a designated person?
Recruitment and Selection
Tanio is committed to equal opportunities and believes that volunteering should be open to all regardless of race, gender, language, religion, sexual orientation, political beliefs or offending background and that volunteer involvement does not create a risk to children or vulnerable adults.
Volunteers will be recruited from all sections of the community and the acceptance of volunteer help will be made on merit and the individual’s ability to carry out agreed tasks.
Volunteering opportunities will be promoted widely both in English and Welsh through social media, the Tanio website, BAVO Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations and other local voluntary councils, the Arts Council of Wales website, Bridgend and Swansea Community Navigators team and other networks.
All volunteers will be asked to complete a simple form and provide the details of two appropriate references, who will be contacted before volunteering commences. Volunteers will be invited to an informal interview to discuss volunteering with Tanio in more detail.
An enhanced Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) check may be required for volunteers carrying out activities with vulnerable groups (children and/or adults). DBS disclosures are dealt with in the strictest confidence. A criminal record is not necessarily a bar to volunteering.
If a volunteer has a special need or disability that makes their involvement difficult every effort will be made to involve them or signpost them to a more suitable volunteering placement.
Training and Development
Tanio is committed to volunteer training and development to ensure that all volunteers have the necessary information, skills and support to carry out their tasks.
It will be the responsibility of the designated person to see that this training is provided. It is the responsibility of the volunteer to attend relevant training.
Volunteers will be given induction and training appropriate to the specific tasks to be undertaken.
All volunteers are required to attend the following training sessions:
- Safeguarding – Young People and Vulnerable Adults
- Autism Awareness
- Disability and Access
This is in the Business Plan – is this still a requirement you are able to deliver on or is it better to refer to the type of training sessions offered to volunteers which may vary according to the volunteer role/ tasks undertaken by the volunteer?
All volunteers will be made aware of and have access to all the organisation’s relevant policies, including those relating to volunteering, health & safety, safeguarding vulnerable groups and equal opportunities.
Training in the supervision of volunteers will be provided for all those who have direct responsibility for volunteers.
Support and supervision
Volunteers will be offered support and supervision as appropriate. Arrangements vary according to the volunteer and the role undertaken, and may include telephone support, group meetings or one to one reviews.
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/member of staff.
Tanio capacity to offer regular support and supervision with a designated member of staff?
Tanio values volunteer involvement and seeks to recognise volunteers’ achievements and contributions in a variety of ways, through information about project and volunteer achievements in the local press, on social media, on the Tanio website, through recognition and celebration of volunteers’ contributions during Volunteers’ Week and through other networks.
Tanio’s liability insurance policies include the activities of volunteers and liability towards them. Policies held include public and employer’s liability.
Tanio does not provide motor insurance for volunteers using their own vehicles.
Volunteers are advised to inform their insurer that they may use their vehicle for travel related to their volunteering.
The organisation does not insure the volunteer’s personal possessions against loss or damage.
Enhanced DBS checks will be required by volunteers in roles and activities which bring them into direct contact with children and vulnerable adults.
Have you got the resources for staff to be able to verify/ process DBS checks for volunteers online through WCVA’s Disclosure Application Manager?
Tanio is committed to confidentiality and being transparent about how it collects and uses personal data and will advise the volunteer on its confidentiality policy and procedures where relevant. The data protection policy sets out the organisation’s commitment to data protection, and individual rights and obligations in relation to personal data, including those relating to personal information held by Tanio relating to the volunteer.
Tanio values the contribution of volunteers and aims to ensure that there are no barriers for volunteer involvement. Tanio will reimburse volunteers for all agreed and reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred while volunteering for Tanio.
Volunteers travelling to Tanio – is this important?
The organisation 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. Tanio recognise that not having a car should not be a barrier to volunteering and are committed to ensuring that procedures are in place to make access to volunteering open to all.
What will volunteer roles be – will they need to use their cars?
Before the start of any activity likely to give rise to expenses, clear information will be given to volunteers regarding the procedure for claiming expenses. Volunteers are able to claim reasonable out of pocket expenses, subject to the production of receipts as evidence of the expenditure.
Tanio aims to treat all volunteers fairly, objectively and consistently and to ensure that volunteers’ views are heard, noted and acted upon promptly. Based on Tanio’s guidelines for resolving problems, positive and amicable solutions will be sought.
In the event of a problem, all relevant facts should be obtained as quickly as possible.
Volunteers are encouraged to raise any problems at the earliest possible opportunity, so that problems can be looked into and resolved promptly and informally if possible.
Support will be provided by the organisation to the volunteer while it endeavours to resolve the problem in an informal manner. If an informal resolution proves impossible, the organisation’s wider grievance or complaints policies and procedures (which include volunteers) will be referred to. If a volunteer’s behaviour is repeatedly or seriously unacceptable, they may be asked to change their role, or to leave the organisation.
Designated officer responsible for handling problems regarding volunteer complaints or conduct and these should be referred to him/her.
Volunteers may be involved on a one – off, short term or on a longer term, regular basis. They may be involved:
- in the direct delivery of our projects
- on our board of management as trustees
- in community engagement to raise awareness of our work
- in one off events and promotional activities
- in our office or in community venues
Volunteers are valued for:
- Bringing additional and diverse and new skills and perspectives to the organisation
- Enabling us to be more responsive and flexible in our approach
- Championing our cause within the wider community
- Enhancing the quality of our work and project participant experience
- Promoting the well-being of project participants, staff, the local community and the volunteers themselves
The implementation of this policy will be monitored by Lisa Davies and will be reviewed on an yearly basis by the Chief Exec and Board of Trustees to ensure that it remains appropriate for the needs of the organisation and its volunteers