1.1 This volunteer policy sets out the principles and practice by which the RVCBS involves volunteers and is relevant to shareholders, volunteers and the board of directors. It aims to create a common understanding and to clarify roles and responsibilities to ensure high standards are maintained in relation to the involvement of volunteers.
2. Our commitments
2.1 We recognise volunteers and volunteering as an integral part of the Society. These contributions support our aims and objectives, and enables practical tasks to be undertaken on behalf of the shareholders and the Board. We aim to encourage and support volunteer involvement to ensure that it benefits the Society and the volunteers themselves.
2.2. We are committed to offering a range of opportunities and to encouraging a diversity of people to volunteer with us.
2.3 We recognise our responsibility to organise volunteering efficiently and effectively so that the valuable gift of the volunteer’s time is best used to the mutual advantage of all concerned.
3. Who is a volunteer?
3.1 Volunteers are individuals who undertake activity on behalf of the Society, unpaid and of their own free choice. Volunteering is an activity which:
- is undertaken freely, by choice
- is undertaken to be of community benefit
- is not undertaken for financial gain
3.2 The RVCBS Board of Directors are volunteers with responsibility for governance of the Society.
3.3 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 practical tasks
- on our board as elected or co-opted members.
- in one off events and promotional activities
- in supporting the management and administration of the Society.
3.4 Volunteers are valued for:
- bringing additional skills and new perspectives to the Society
- enabling us to be more responsive and flexible in our approach
- championing our cause within the wider community
- enhancing the quality of our work
- enabling practical projects to take place.
4. Roles and Responsibilities
4.1 The Board of Directors have responsibility for the development and co-ordination of voluntary activity within the Society, including volunteering policies and procedures and the welfare of volunteers. All volunteer activity will be undertaken within a framework of support and supervision by the Board.
4.2 The volunteer role is based on trust. There is no enforceable obligation, contractual or otherwise, for the volunteer to attend or to undertake particular tasks.
4.3 However, there is a presumption of mutual support and reliability. Reciprocal expectations are acknowledged – both of what the Society expects of volunteers and what volunteers expect of the Society.
4.4 The Society expects volunteers:
- to be reliable and honest
- to comply with the Society’s policies
- to contribute positively to the aims and objectives of the organisation
- to carry out tasks within agreed guidelines
4.5 Volunteers can expect:
- to volunteer in a safe environment
- to be treated with respect and in a non-discriminatory manner
- to be appreciated
- to be able to say ‘no’ to anything which they consider to be unrealistic or unreasonable
- to know what to do if something goes wrong
5. Support and supervision
Volunteers will be offered support and supervision as appropriate.
6.1 Volunteers will be given the opportunity, where relevant, to share their views and opinions with the Society’s Board of Directors. Formal recognition of the contribution of volunteers is expressed through the Annual General Meeting, Chairman’s reports, website articles, social media, and other one-off presentations.
7. Dealing with Problems
7.1 The Society aims to treat all volunteers fairly, objectively and consistently. It seeks to ensure that volunteers’ views are heard, noted and acted upon promptly.
7.2 We will attempt to deal with any problems informally and at the earliest opportunity. All volunteers can approach any Director in the case of any difficulty. Inappropriate behaviour by volunteers will be addressed by the Society Board of Directors.
8. RVCBS policies relevant to volunteers include
Health and Safety, Safeguarding.
9. Date approved 25/02/2021
Date of next review 02/2023
Person responsible Chairman