Mearns Kirk Helping Hands: Volunteer Policy
This Policy outlines Mearns Kirk Helping Hands (MKHH) intent regarding volunteers and volunteering. It should be read in conjunction with other Policies/ Procedures where referenced. MKHH recognises that the volunteering role compliments but does not replace the role of paid staff.
Recruitment and Selection
MKHH welcomes the breadth of skills, experience and knowledge volunteers bring to our work. Our Recruitment Process involves an application, informal interview, trial period and two references. Some roles will also require a Disclosure Check. We base our selection of volunteers on the ability of those applying to carry out the role and associated tasks applied for. Those who are not selected will be offered an alternative role where appropriate, or signposted to Voluntary Action East Renfrewshire.
Equality and Diversity
MKHH is committed to creating an environment which promotes respect and values difference. We will not condone, tolerate or ignore any form of discrimination or unacceptable behaviour. We offer Equal Opportunities to anyone who wants to volunteer with us as outlined above. Please refer to our Equal Opportunities Policy.
Health and Safety
We expect volunteers to take reasonable care of their own Health and Safety, and that of others who may be affected by your actions or omissions. Volunteers must be aware of and compliant with our Health and Safety Policies. All accidents, incidents and near misses must be appropriately reported. Volunteers must also undertake any relevant training with regard to Health and Safety.
Training and Development
MKHH is committed to providing a quality volunteering experience. All volunteers will be provided with a comprehensive Induction Programme and ongoing training and development.
Support and Recognition
We offer ongoing support to our volunteers in the form of regular briefing meetings, volunteer team meetings, buddying and the offer of one to one meetings with either the relevant Group Leader or the Project Manager. The Project Manager also has an “open door” policy. Volunteer contributions to the shaping of the activities we provide are also welcomed at all times. We aim to recognise the invaluable contributions made by our volunteer with regular celebratory events.
Data Protection and Confidentiality
MKHH recognises that volunteers may come into contact with personal, sensitive information about people who use our services. We expect that all volunteers follow our Data Protection Policy.
Volunteers may claim expenses for any travel undertaken as part of their volunteering duties, and any other reasonable out of pocket expenses with prior agreement of the Group Leader/ Project Manager. Receipts should be provided wherever possible.
MKHH has Employers Liability and Public Liability Insurance. However this does not cover your personal belongings.
Use of Own Vehicle
Should you choose to use your own car during your volunteering activities, your own insurance will usually cover you under “social, domestic and pleasure”, but you should check with your company prior to using your own car. You can claim mileage at the standard rate. Please refer to our Use of Own Vehicle Policy.
Volunteering whilst under the influence of non- prescription drugs or alcohol will not be accepted. For further information please refer to our Policy on Substance Use.
Any media enquiries should be passed to the Project Manager in the first instance.
Concerns/ Settling Differences
MKHH will take any concerns seriously and will try to resolve any issues promptly, fairly, objectively and consistently, aiming for an amicable solution. We will endeavour to resolve such matters informally in the first instance; if this is not possible we will follow our wider Grievance or Complaints Policies and Procedures. We would prefer to use internal processes to report any concerns, but this does not prevent volunteers making reports or referrals to statutory agencies in their own right as private individuals. For further information see our Guidance On Raising An Issue.
It is vitally important to MKHH that volunteers feel confident and know that they will be listened when raising concerns about any member of staff or volunteer behaving in a way likely to bring the charity into disrepute or causes financial loss. See our Whistleblowing Policy for further information.
MKHH is committed to safeguarding and the wellbeing of all our volunteers, staff and group members. All volunteers are expected to behave appropriately at all times and take all reasonable steps to avoid unsupervised contact with members. All concerns should be reported as soon as reasonably practicable. Please refer to our Vulnerable Adults Policy and Incident Reporting Procedure for further guidance.
Updated: Vicky Attwood, 12/10/2018