Twilight Community Group is committed to promoting and supporting volunteering through providing a quality, accessible and friendly service that links individuals and organisations to achieve meaningful volunteering experiences.It is also essential that we present a model of good practice in volunteer engagement and management.We regard volunteers as a valuable resource and are committed to getting them involved at all levels of the organisation and within all appropriate activities. We recognise that engaging volunteers in our own work will enhance our ability to achieve our core objectives, expand our knowledge and add to the quality of our services. To meet this commitment we will: Consider involving anyone who wishes to volunteer with the organisation who is able to demonstrate a commitment to our aims and if their needs as volunteers match the needs of the organisation.Engage volunteers to enhance the work of paid staff not as a substitute for them. Treat volunteers as an integral part of the team, in the same manner as paid employees and include them in decision making procedures whenever possible.Aim to recruit volunteers from a variety of backgrounds, age groups, races, abilities and nationalities in line with our equality and diversity policy. Train, support and supervise our volunteers to the best of our abilities, and to act quickly and fairly if difficulties arise.Provide volunteers with appropriate resources to carry out their role effectively and efficiently including expenses.
To provide clear guidelines on all aspects of involving volunteers in the activities of the organisation. It supplements other policies and procedures. It does not constitute a binding contract and is subject to change.
Overall responsibility for implementing, monitoring and reviewing the policy and procedures lies with the manager. All staff and volunteers including voluntary Board/Steering Committee members are required to facilitate this process.
To ensure that the organisation engages the best possible volunteers and that those appointed are appropriately skilled, qualified and experienced.
Board/Steering Committee, Manager, Staff
2.1.1 Selection Once a volunteer opportunity has been identified a role description must be completed which includes:Title of the Role.Time commitment.Place of work.Task(s) the volunteer will be involved in.Supervisor’s name.Person specification, if appropriate. Note: The role description may be amended on agreement between the volunteer and supervisor. Volunteer positions are advertised on the website, I-Vol, various social media platforms and appropriate volunteer recruitment channels. The advertisement should state: Where applications are sent.The need for an application form and/or a CV, cover letter. Applicants for volunteer positions will be required to complete a registration form and provide 2 references (1 professional and 1 personal).Applicants are then shortlisted (if required) and asked to attend an informal interview with 1 or 2 members of staff. For certain roles, group interviews may be conducted. Volunteers are selected based on requirements of the role, experience, skills, availability and interest. 2.1.2 Appointment and Probation References are required and depending on the role, volunteers may be required to complete Garda Vetting. Following reference checks the successful volunteer(s) will be notified via phone and/or email. All placements are subject to an initial agreed trial period. The volunteer’s trial or probation period is dependent on the nature and hours of the volunteer role, and is communicated via the volunteer agreement. Most trial periods are 6 weeks and can be extended. At the end of this time, the supervisor will meet with the volunteer to discuss their suitability for their role. At this point, volunteers may continue in their current role, be reassigned to a more suitable role, or be asked to leave.
Role Description, Volunteer Agreement, Record of Meetings, Emails, Application Form, CVs and Cover Letters, Copy of Role Advertisement, references, Applicant Shortlist
To ensure that our volunteer development and support needs are identified and addressed.
Board/Steering Committee, Manager, Supervisor
2.2.1 Induction On a volunteer’s first day, they can expect to receive a planned induction with their supervisor. This induction involves, but is not limited to:An introduction to all staff/volunteers.General housekeeping.Volunteer policy and agreement overview.Terms and nature of the role.Organisation operations.Organisations services.Additional relevant policies and procedures. In addition during induction, all new volunteers will: Identify a number of measurable learning objectives. These can include technical and or behaviour competencies and work activities that can provide the individual with an opportunity to practice and develop within their role. Be informed of any arrangement regarding expenses in line with the organisations expenses policy.Be made aware that insurance is provided to cover all volunteers while working on behalf of and at the direction of the organisation. (Drivers using their own cars in connection with their voluntary work must inform their own insurance company to ensure adequate and continued cover). Be informed that all their personal information is dealt with in accordance with our data protection policy and the data protection acts. 2.2.2 Training On the job role specific training will be provided to assist volunteers with their position and its tasks where applicable. All volunteers are actively encouraged to identify and avail of training opportunities internally and externally. Approval to undertake external training must be agreed in advance with the supervisor.Must be approved by the manger (if not the supervisor or the Board/Steering Committee on request from the manager)Approval is dependent on resources. Volunteers are required to submit a short report outlining the content and usefulness of the training or meeting attended and disseminated to relevant staff/volunteers. Note: If external training is paid for by the organisation, any course or other materials remain the property of the organisation.
Record of Meetings, Training Plan, Induction Checklist,
To ensure the organisation runs effectively and efficiently.
Board/Steering Committee, Manager, Supervisor
2.3.1 Support and Supervision All volunteers are allocated a supervisor who has the skills and experience in a particular role, and has responsibility for implementing the core objectives of a particular area.All staff members may receive training and guidance on how to involve volunteers effectively in their work.It is the role of the supervisor to provide advice and guidance relating to the work including:Answering questions regarding relevant policies and procedures.Delivering induction.Encouraging the volunteer(s) to attend training and arranging training if required.Dealing with any complaints or grievances involving volunteers. Providing the volunteer(s) with access to all information they need relevant to their role.Consulting with the volunteer(s) on any decisions that would substantially effect their role.Meeting time and duty commitments for volunteers on a day to day basis. Providing volunteers with notice regarding upcoming scheduled events or training where their attendance is required.The supervisor must inform the volunteer(s) of the code of conduct including their responsibility to:Present a positive image of the organisation.Seek prior approval before undertaking any representation on behalf of the organisation. This includes, but is not limited to, statements to the media, joint initiatives with other organisations and agreements involving contractual or financial obligations.Ensure that they do not disclose any information without written consent as all written material, whether held on paper, electronically or magnetically which was made or acquired by volunteers during the course of their involvement with us, is our property and our copyright. Exercise caution and care with any documents or other material containing confidential information and at the end of their involvement with the organisation, return any such material in their possession. Formal supervision sessions should take place between the volunteer and the supervisor every month depending on the role. During these sessions the supervisor should:Provide the volunteer with feedback on their work.Suggest any changes in activities.Plan further tasks.Ascertain if the volunteer is happy in the role.Provide the volunteer with an opportunity to highlight any issues they may have.Convey appreciation to the volunteer and thank them for their contribution to the organisation.Find out if the need any more support. If appropriate, corrective action may be taken following support and supervision sessions. Examples include extending a probation period, additional training and/or reassignment. 2.3.2 Grievance and Disciplinary Difficulties All volunteers have access to a process to address any issues or difficulties about any aspect of their work or how they are managed. If a volunteer is unhappy in their role or have a grievance they wish to discuss they may approach their supervisor or escalate to the board/Steering Committee. The matter will be dealt with in a private and confidential manner in line with HR policies and procedures. Volunteers who do not adhere to policies and procedures or who fail to perform their volunteer tasks satisfactorily may be asked to leave. Volunteer involvement will not be ended until the individual has an opportunity to discuss the reasons for being asked to leave with the supervisor. Grounds for being asked to leave include, but are not limited to, the following: Gross misconductBeing under the influence of drugs (including alcohol)TheftMisuse of equipment and materials Abuse of clients and co-workersBreaches of confidentialityFailure to abide by policies and proceduresFailure to complete duties to a satisfactory standardWhen a volunteer is asked to leave this will be communicated both in person and in writing to the individual. Note: If a volunteer is deemed to have behaved with extreme detriment to the organisation and its reputation and to the health and safety of others involved in the organisation, we reserve the right to end the relationship with immediate effect. 2.3.3 Conclusion of Volunteer’s Role Conduct an exit interview to capture feedback on their role, experience within the organisation and future learning opportunities. Provide a reference if requested and appropriate.Ensure the volunteer is recognised for their valuable contribution. 2.3.4 Volunteer Records A folder and database is to be maintained on all volunteers, to include their initial application, role description along with any relevant information on scheduling and notes. (Records are to maintained in line with the data protection policy and procedures).
Record of Meetings, Annual Work Plan, Complaints Form, Emails,
Volunteers will have the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience during regularly scheduled support and supervision meetings with their supervisor and when they complete their activities. This information will be complied and disseminated at the next scheduled staff meeting. The Board/Steering Committee and manager will be provided with relevant information and regularly scheduled meetings and any action delegated as appropriate. This policy will be reviewed every three years or sooner if required. The supporting procedures will be reviewed annually or sooner if required. Feedback is welcome at any time.
Record of Meetings, Manager’s Report, Document Control Matrix