Volunteering at Nant y Bedd
We are always very happy to welcome enthusiastic people to help us in the garden. As you’ll probably know it is mainly just the two of us, with one-day-a-week help from Caroline. So any extra assistance goes a long way. In return, Sue provides a wealth of knowledge about gardening and growing and you might also get the chance to be part of one of the many workshops we host. Below is a formal Policy on volunteering to ensure that both parties are aware of what is involved. We look forward to hearing from you!
This volunteer policy sets out the principles and practice by which we involve volunteers and is relevant to volunteers and trustees within the organisation. It aims to create a common understanding and to clarify roles and responsibilities to ensure the highest standards are maintained in relation to the management of volunteers.
We recognise volunteers as an integral part of the how we manage and maintain the garden here. Their contribution supports our mission and strategic aims and complements the role of the Garden Owners and our part-time paid gardener. We aim to encourage and support volunteer involvement to ensure that volunteering benefits the garden and the volunteers themselves.
Appropriate steps will be taken to ensure that our one paid gardener is clear about the role of volunteers and to foster good working relationships between our gardener and volunteers. Volunteers will not be used to replace staff.
We 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 ethnically diverse communities.
We recognise that there are costs associated with volunteer involvement and will seek to ensure adequate financial and mentoring resources are available for the development and support of volunteering.
We recognise that people have a right to participate in the life of their communities through volunteering and can contribute in many ways. We recognise our responsibility to organise volunteering efficiently and sensitively so that the valuable gift of the volunteer’s time is best used to the mutual advantage of all concerned.
What is a volunteer?
Volunteers are individuals who undertake activity on behalf of our garden, unpaid and of their own free choice.
The Welsh Government Volunteering Policy (2015) defines volunteering as activity which
- is undertaken freely, by choice
- is undertaken to be of public/ community benefit
- is not undertaken for financial gain
We believe that volunteering here can provide valuable work experience and learning new skills, as well as being an end in itself. Trustees are volunteers with responsibility for governance of the organisation.
Volunteers may be involved on a one – off, short term or on a longer term, regular basis. They may be involved:
- in the direct day-to-day maintenance and management of the garden
- on our board of management as trustees
- in one off events and promotional activities such as workshops and public open days
Volunteers are valued for:
- Bringing additional and diverse and new skills and perspectives
- Enabling us to be more responsive and flexible in our approach
- Championing sustainable gardening within the wider community
- Enhancing the quality of the garden for enjoyment by our visitors
- Promoting the wellbeing of our visitors, staff, local communities and themselves
olunteeringStandards of good practice
Our management practice is informed by the Investing in Volunteers Quality Standard for volunteer management.
Roles and responsibilities
A designated person (The Volunteer Co-ordinator) has responsibility for the development, management and co-ordination of voluntary activity within the organisation, including volunteering policies and procedures and the welfare of volunteers.
All volunteers will have a designated and named person for guidance, support and supervision. Staff responsibilities for volunteers will be explicitly referred to in their job/role description.
The volunteer role is based on trust and mutual understanding. There is no enforceable obligation, contractual or otherwise, for the volunteer to attend or to undertake particular tasks or for the organisation to provide continuing opportunities for voluntary involvement, provision of training or benefits.
However, there is a presumption of mutual support and reliability. Reciprocal expectations are acknowledged – both of what we expect of volunteers and what volunteers expect of us.
We expects volunteers:
- To be reliable and honest
- To uphold our values and comply with our policies
- To make the most of opportunities given, e.g. for training, mentoring etc.
- To contribute positively to our aims and avoid bringing the garden into disrepute
- To carry out tasks within agreed guidelines
Volunteers can expect
- To have clear information about what is and is not expected of them
- To receive adequate support and training relevant to role
- To be insured and to volunteer in a safe environment
- To be treated with respect and in a non-discriminatory manner
- To receive out of pocket expenses
- To have opportunities for personal development
- To be recognised and 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.
Recruitment and selection
Equal opportunities principles will be adhered to in recruiting volunteers. Opportunities will be widely promoted, in both English and in Welsh and in other languages as appropriate, so as to attract interest from different sectors of the community.
Positive action to target recruitment may be used where appropriate. Online application is encouraged but non-digital methods of application are also available.
Information will be made available to those enquiring about volunteering, including written role descriptions that set out the nature and purpose of the volunteering role, key tasks, skills required and benefits. A risk assessment will be undertaken on all volunteer roles and identified risks and steps to mitigate risks will be shared with the volunteer.
Recruitment will usually involve an informal interview, application form and the taking of references; the process will be defined and consistent for any given role – for example, the recruitment process for trustees, regular volunteers and for volunteers for one off events will be tailored in each case and may differ from one another.
Where applicants are not able to be placed in their preferred role, they will be provided with feedback and given the opportunity to discuss alternative volunteering roles, or signposted to the local volunteer centre or the http://www.volunteering-wales.net/ website.
Induction and training
Volunteers will be given induction and training appropriate to the specific tasks to be undertaken.
Support and supervision
Volunteers will be offered support and supervision as appropriate and this is discussed during induction. Arrangements vary according to the volunteer and the role undertaken, and may include telephone support, group meetings or one to one reviews.
Volunteers will be given the opportunity, where relevant, to share their views and opinions with us. Formal recognition of the contribution of volunteers is expressed through website articles, social media, and our newsletter.
Dealing with problems
The organisation aims to treat all volunteers fairly, objectively and consistently. It seeks to ensure that volunteers’ views are heard, noted and acted upon promptly.
We will attempt to deal with any problems informally and at the earliest opportunity. All volunteers will have a named person to whom they can turn in the case of any difficulty.
Where informal resolution is not possible, our Volunteer Complaints Policy
will be adhered to.
Volunteers will be made aware of the organisation’s complaints policy and how to use it. They will also be made aware of how inappropriate behaviour by volunteers will be addressed by us.
Volunteers will be given clear information about what expenses can be claimed and how to make a claim. Volunteers will receive all out of pocket expenses incurred by their volunteering activities.
When volunteers move on from volunteering with us, 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.
Volunteers who have remained with us for at least 3 months will have the right to request a reference. Volunteers will be supported to move on to other options.
|Date approved||18th February 2022|
|Date of next review||19th February 2023|
|Person Responsible||Sue Mabberley|