Volunteer Policy

Date: 5th October 2021. Review date: 4th October 2022.

1.    Introduction

YES Outdoors is a registered charity that aims to empower disadvantaged young people to improve their life chances. Our volunteers play a vital part in the achievement of this mission. We greatly value the contribution made by our volunteers and we are committed to involving our volunteers in ways which are enriching, supportive and rewarding.

2. Principles:

This Policy is underpinned by the following fundamental principles for voluntary work with YES Outdoors:

·       YES Outdoors will ensure that all volunteers are properly integrated into the charity, and fully trained for their roles

·       YES Outdoors provides fulfilling roles for volunteers which enhance the work of the charity. Volunteering roles further (but do not substitute) the work of paid members of staff.

·       YES Outdoors recognises that it greatly benefits from the talents and dedication of volunteers; the charity is committed to ensuring that voluntary work is as mutually beneficial as possible and that volunteers are able to gain valuable personal experiences and skills from their voluntary work.


3.Rights and Responsibilities

YES Outdoors recognises the rights of volunteers to:

·       have a safe and supportive working environment

·       be properly insured

·       always be treated fairly, lawfully and be free from discrimination

·       know what is, and what is not, expected of them

·       receive full training and be properly inducted into their role

·       be fully supported in their role

·       receive appreciation and recognition

·       be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses

YES Outdoors expects volunteers to:

·       perform their voluntary roles to the best of their ability

·       act with honesty and integrity

·       be respectful

·       carry out tasks in a way that reflects the aims and values of YES Outdoors

·       respect the work of YES Outdoors and work within agreed guidelines

·       be reliable, and give ample notice if unable to fulfil agreed time commitments

Volunteers are unpaid and do not receive any material reward. Volunteers are required to comply with the charity’s policies and procedures, and not bring YES Outdoors into disrepute. Anyone who breaches the policies and procedures, may have their service terminated by YES Outdoors.

Although our volunteers offer time freely and willingly without binding obligation, it is important that there is a culture of mutual support and reliability.

YES Outdoors welcome creativity and innovation. When volunteers have new ideas these must be communicated to, and approved by, the Volunteer Manager before being implemented. This is to ensure the charity’s smooth running, free flow of information and business transparency.

4. Recruitment, Induction and Training

All YES Outdoors volunteers will go through a fair, open, non-discriminatory selection process to ensure candidate suitability. All information collected during the recruitment process will be treated confidentially.

Successful candidates will receive a thorough induction into YES Outdoors and full training for the voluntary role. An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check will also be provided.

5. Expenses

YES Outdoors’ volunteers are able to claim reasonable out of pocket expenses, subject to the production of receipts as evidence of the expenditure/purchases on behalf of the charity. We recognise that the reimbursement of travel expenses incurred in the course of volunteering is important to ensure equal opportunities. Further details, including method of claiming, can be found in the Volunteer Expenses Policy from the Volunteer Manager.


6. Insurance, Health & Safety

YES Outdoors is fully committed to ensuring the health and wellbeing of all staff; paid employees and volunteers. Our volunteers are fully protected by our Public Liability Insurance and will be given Health and Safety advice and training before strating their voluntary work with us. Our Health and Safety Policy is available from the Volunteer Manager. YES Outdoors does not insure the volunteer’s personal possessions against loss or damage.


7. Support

All volunteers are allocated a named member of staff as their Volunteer Manager who is responsible for supervising the volunteer. The Volunteer Manager will oversee the implementation of this policy and provide the volunteer with ongoing guidance and support.


8. Problem-solving

YES Outdoors is committed to treating all volunteers fairly, objectively and consistently. We seek to ensure that volunteers’ views are listened to and acted upon promptly and always strive to reach a positive and amicable solution at the earliest possible stage.

Volunteers should raise any concerns with their Volunteer Manager, who is responsible for handling problems regarding volunteer complaints or conduct. If an issue has arisen, the Volunteer Manager will obtain all pertinent facts as quickly as possible and implement the problem-solving procedure as covered in the induction. If the problem involves the Volunteer Manager, the problem should be referred to the CEO.

Support will be provided by YES Outdoors to the volunteer while it endeavours to resolve the issue.


9. Conflicts of Interest

YES Outdoors Volunteers have a duty to act in the best interests of the charity and its service users. Conflicts of interest occur when a volunteer’s personal or business interests conflict with the proper running and decision making process of YES Outdoors. All YES Outdoors volunteers must avoid all situations that could lead to a conflict of interest and have a legal duty to declare any potential conflicts of interest.


10. Recognition and Appreciation

YES Outdoors fully appreciates the importance of seeking volunteers’ feedback, ideas and opinions through regular and open dialogue. Appropriate further training opportunities may be offered to develop the skills of volunteers.