Volunteer Policy

What YOU can expect:

1. You can expect support, supervision, training and advice when preparing to volunteer and when volunteering.

2. Students will be given a choice of quality volunteering opportunities.

3. You will be able to decide when you want to volunteer and how much time you would like to give.

4. You will know the nature and content of any volunteering before placement and what is expected of you.

5. You will be volunteering in a safe environment. Please refer to the College’s Health and Safety policies and Manual.

6. You can expect to have a fulfilling and enjoyable volunteering experience where you will develop self-confidence and learn new skills.

7. You are able to claim reasonable (pre-agreed) out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of your volunteering upon production of receipts.

8. Students will receive recognition for the effort you make through the College’s Sed Vos Programme. Staff will have their volunteering activities noted and discussed during annual appraisals.

9. You will be insured whilst volunteering and be informed of any legal issues, especially those relevant to your project, and especially if you will be dealing with children or vulnerable adults. Please refer to our Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection policies and procedures. You will be required to under a CRB check if you will be working with children or vulnerable adults. Students can have their CRB check processed through the University, and College staff will have their CRB check conducted through the College.  The government is changing the way its provides assurance, but the College will ensure that any new processes are followed.

10. The College will endeavour to resolve any problems you encounter appropriately and efficiently.

11. You should feel entirely able to say ‘no’ to any tasks you don’t feel comfortable with. You will never be expected to volunteer more time than you feel able to. Also, academic and work commitments will be taken into account when suggesting volunteer activities.

12. You will be treated fairly in accordance with Equal Opportunities policies. You will not be excluded on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, religious belief, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age or disability – an open access policy will be actively encouraged; and you will only be referred to organisations that are able to sign up to our Equal Opportunities Policy.

13. Should you ever be unhappy with a staff member, a co-ordinator or another volunteer, there is a College Grievance Procedure in place. These may be discussed with your project co-ordinator or a member of staff who will help you.

14. Similarly, in the unlikely event that formal action has to be taken against you due to misconduct, please refer to the Student Discipline policy in your Student Handbook or, in the case of staff, please refer to your Employee Handbook.

15. You may withdraw from volunteering or change projects with reasonable notice.

The College, through the Director of the Sed Vos Programme, strives continually to review the service provided based on your experiences and feedback

Your personal details will be treated as strictly confidential in line with relevant data protection legislation.

We expect YOU to:

1. We expect you to adhere to College policies at all times while you are volunteering.

2. You will act within the policies and regulations of the College if you are volunteering within the College, or of the external placement organisation with whom you volunteer.

3. We will ask you to be reliable and clear about the commitment you can give and to stick to it as far as possible. People rely on you and you are more valuable than you may ever realise.

4. We will ask you to attend appropriate training sessions and meetings and to assist us in arranging suitable times. In some cases, failure to attend training sessions may render you ineligible to continue as a volunteer (i.e., you could thereby fail to meet Health and Safety requirements). We will let you know of any training requirements before you begin.

5. You will act as a representative of the College and of the University, and so we ask you to be professional, mature and sensitive.

6. You will need to respect and understand the needs and wishes of other volunteers, College co-ordinators and staff. Please support your fellow volunteers to the best of your ability.

7. Inform the Director of the Sed Vos programme if you are experiencing any difficulties with your voluntary work or if you need any further support.

8. Inform the Director of the Sed Vos if you wish to withdraw from a project.

9. Do treat others fairly and in accordance with the College’s Equal Opportunities policies. Do not prefer or exclude anyone on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, religious belief, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age or disability.

10. Do speak up if you feel your rights are not being respected.

11. Health and Safety requirements direct you to speak up if you see potential danger. Never put yourself or others at risk.

12. You will respect the confidentiality of others, but you may not promise to keep a confidence unless you’re sure that it’s appropriate. Confidentiality of information will be adhered to at all times, unless directed otherwise by your organisations policies and procedures (this is especially true with regard to the protection of children and vulnerable adults, as you have some statutory duties to inform proper authorities if you suspect any abuse).

13. The College requires all organisations who work with under 18’s and vulnerable adults to obtain the appropriate clearances (subject to current legislation) designed to safeguard children and vulnerable adults.  All volunteers must abide by the College’s Child Protection policy and any other policies in force where volunteering takes place.

14. We expect you to keep the College informed of any changes to your contact details or your availability.

15. We ask you give the College feedback to improve the service it provides.

We will ask you to sign a Volunteer Agreement. The agreement is an agreement of honour and is not a binding legal contract. Nonetheless, the College takes volunteering seriously and honours your commitment.

St Chad’s College

Reviewed: 3 July 2013