Ironbridge gorge-museum-trust-volunteer-toolkit


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Ironbridge gorge-museum-trust-volunteer-toolkit

  1. 1. Be a part of yourA toolkit for developing a new volunteer initiativeThe IRONBRIDGE GORGE MUSEUM TRUST Limited
  2. 2. ContentsIntroduction 4Why do people want to volunteer? 5Why should your organisation involve volunteers? 7Who to consult about your new volunteer initiative 10Policy 12 Volunteer policy model 13Developing volunteer opportunities 20 Volunteer role description template 22Attracting volunteers 23 Marketing 23 Where to advertise 25The application process 25 Application form template 26 Reference request template 28The interview process 29 Interview checklist 30The induction process 31 Volunteer Agreement 34Engaging and maintaining your volunteers 35Supervising and monitoring your volunteers 36 Rewards and recognition 36Dealing with problems 37 Volunteer complaints 41Troubleshooting 42For more information or extra guidance concerning volunteering inmuseums, or this guide, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator atIronbridge Gorge Museum Trust Ltd on 01952 601044 or 01952 435900 3
  3. 3. Introduction If your organisation involves volunteers, or you are thinking of involving them, there are many points to consider before embarking on a new initiative. Volunteers are an extremely useful and valuable resource. By managing them correctly your organisation can tap into skills, knowledge and support otherwise out of reach. It is important however, to remember the To get your Volunteer Initiative started, needs of people wishing to volunteer their first you should consider the whys and time. Although volunteers will enhance hows of building a volunteer base: your organisation, there are lots of things to think about in relation to them. They need to be correctly managed, supervised, I Think about your reasons for involving equipped and trained. This document volunteers - are they legitimate? should help in putting you on the right I Try to understand why people want to track, however every organisation is volunteer - not just at your different and has specific needs, please organisation but in general treat this document only a starting point. I Consider who you need to consult about your plans, who will be affected? I Develop role descriptions which will benefit both your organisation and the volunteer. I Understand how to recruit volunteers, and how to select and engage them. I Creating a useful induction process. I Consider how you will maintain and supervise volunteers. How will they be supported and recognised?4
  4. 4. Understanding why people want to volunteer makes it easier for your organisation to find new and more suitable volunteers. It also makes it easier to provide them with roles, ensure they are fulfilled and to recognise their contribution. Not everyone is motivated by the same factors; people volunteer for a wide range of reasons. Some of these are: I Help the community and others. Helping others usually comes to mind first when people think of volunteers, however many people volunteer to help out their local area, to make it better for everyone and improve community spirit. I To increase self-esteem. Volunteering makes people feel better about themselves. Giving a few hours a week, or even a month, to an organisation gives people a good sense of wellbeing. I To gain skills and experience, orWhy do people qualifications if available.want to volunteer? I Help out friends. Friends are often the first people we turn to when we needThe classic stereotype of a help. Volunteering also can create a greatvolunteer is someone who has way to get together with friends on alots of time to spare and is regular basis, however people oftenlooking for something to do. volunteer to work with a particularAlthough this may have been group or sort of person.true in the past, there are now I Escapism. To get a break from work,many other reasons why people or forget about life problems. To getof all ages and backgrounds out of the house, to fill time or todecide to volunteer. change routine. 5
  5. 5. I Team building. Local companies often Keep this list in mind, and youll realise use volunteering as a team building that you dont have to focus your exercise. This gives ‘something back’ to recruitment efforts exclusively on retired their local community and also gives people or others who have a lot of leisure staff a chance to get the benefits from time. If you can provide an environment volunteering. in which volunteers can bring their friends, meet others who share their I Make new friends. Volunteering is interests, and learn new skills, you can usually a social activity and people often encourage even the busiest people into use this opportunity to meet new people helping. Remember that you have no who share their interests and values. reason to be apologetic about asking for I Unemployed or considering a different help: Volunteering benefits those people career. People considering a job out of who step forward to assist you. their comfort zone or totally different from their current role often find volunteering a good way to have a go and see if it suits them. I Improve the look of their CV. Adding volunteer experience to a CV shows a commitment to helping others or experience in working in a particular field. I Use skills which are redundant otherwise, or to keep skills up to date. I To keep active. I To be part of a group. I Just to try something new. I Enjoy something they love. Many volunteer jobs come with intrinsic benefits for their participants. A volunteer sees behind the scenes at a museum where the public cannot go, they may be able to handle objects, try out a completely new hobby, or get a break from their day job. They may just love the area or venue and want to be involved.6
  6. 6. Why should your Volunteers can also provide additional services, support your staff and allow theorganisation involve public a greater degree of access to your organisation simply by being available tovolunteers? help. However, volunteers do bring with them resource implications. VolunteersThere are many reasons why an take a lot of supervision, staff must receiveorganisation should involve training in order to manage themvolunteers. As well as bringing correctly, and the volunteers in turn needfresh ideas, skills and broadening to be trained, supervised, insured, givenknowledge base, engaging equipment and monitored. Volunteers arevolunteers gives a link to the local not a tool to replace paid staff members, and the decision to include them cannotcommunity, allowing them to be be taken lightly.directly involved with yourorganisation. The benefits of having volunteers in your organisation are plentiful, and although there is a great deal to think about when organising and managing them, the pros will by far outweigh the cons. 7
  7. 7. Reasons to involve volunteers: I To diversify your workforce I To bring fresh ideas and skills into your – Volunteering offers a chance for people organisation from all walks of life to join in with your organisation. Attracting people of – Bringing fresh outlooks from outside all ages and ethnicities, volunteering of an organisation is always extremely gets people involved where they may beneficial. When an organisation has not normally feel they belong. a small workforce, ideas can become stale and people uninspired; new I To allow more access to your service thoughts can often reignite I To allow access to additional possibilities and enthusiasm. services, where resources are not I To provide an outlet for specific or otherwise available specialist skills I To give a more personal approach to – Volunteers offer different skills to that customers of a paid workforce. They are offering – Volunteers can allow more access by these because they want to, not giving personalised tours, guiding or because they have to, or to get financial filling in the background of exhibits gain. Therefore a volunteer may have a which may otherwise be missed. personal interest in your organisation – Volunteers could provide an outreach and be willing to give their time service, a mobile museum or a presence because of this. Some volunteers may in a local town or shopping centre. have a skill which they used as a child I To give the community ownership and or at a different point in their life involvement with your organisation. which is now outdated or obsolete in their professional or personal capacity, I To build links with local groups, and which they do not wish to lose. schools and the wider community – By engaging your local community through volunteering, outreach or school visits you can encourage them to visit your organisation, or act as community ambassadors. Local people are least likely to visit a museum or cultural experience on their doorstep. By involving them in other ways, such as projects, giving local history talks or through special events, you will keep your organisation at the forefront of their minds.8
  8. 8. I To build a focus group, or panel, to In order to make your volunteering gain advice from the community initiative more streamlined, you should think which of these and any other reasons – A focus group, run by volunteers, can which apply to you. This will enable you to give your organisation an insight as to pinpoint the most suitable volunteers. how the community and public view you. It could also allow you to find Once you have decided why you want out how different age groups react to volunteers, think about what they will do. your services and if anything is This is one of the most important parts of missing - giving them a voice your initiative as it will ensure that you are prepared for new volunteers, can trainI To become more cost effective them sufficiently, and can engage paidI To support your paid staff, giving them staff with your ideas. more flexibility – By giving their time and skills for no More information about this on page 26. monetary cost to your organisation, volunteers can help you to run more smoothly, and with a greater level of service.I To allow an organisation to perform special projects - such as engaging different types of people. – Volunteers give an organisation freedom to work outside their usual remit, perhaps by running a special project to engage older people, people from BME communities, or young people, without the need for a huge funding injection. 9
  9. 9. Who should you consult about your new volunteer initiative? Having the full cooperation and Before going any further with your support of everyone connected to organisation’s volunteering strategy, your organisation will ensure that consider having a group forum to listen to existing staff and volunteer’s views. Being any new volunteers feel clear and open from the start will make accepted, valued and useful. It people feel included in the process and will also put paid members of more adaptable to change. staff and any existing volunteers at ease in the knowledge that Have your forum as an open event, in a relaxed setting-more of a chat than a they are not being replaced, and formal meeting. any new team members - such as the volunteers, are there to support them.10
  10. 10. Things to think about: Once the forum has taken place, continue to be open about what is going on, involveI Start by introducing the idea of staff and current volunteers in every part volunteers - you could invite a local of the process to ensure that they remain volunteer ambassador or someone who energised and positive. already volunteers on a regular basis within your organisation to give a brief When your volunteer initiative begins, talk about why they volunteer, what keep up this level of involvement. they gain from the experience and why Introduce new volunteers to everyone and they enjoy it. think about involving existing members of your team in the induction process.I Invite staff members to ask questions and truly understand why someone volunteers. More about the induction process appears onI Give examples of how volunteers are page 37. used in similar organisations to yours.I Ask the group to think of how a volunteer may be able to help them out, or how service could be improved with extra help.I Ask the group to think about issues surrounding a new volunteer, such as: – Supervision – Training – Monitoring – EquipmentI Discuss how these issues could be resolved and encourage people to offer solutions, not be negative.I Discuss the need for new policies and the possibility of special projects which could be performed with the use of volunteers, and to raise the profile of the organisation. 11
  11. 11. Policies which apply Data Protection legislation is easily located through libraries or on the to volunteering internet. These policies are again very specific to your organisation. The Your organisation, no matter how following websites may be of interest: small, has a responsibility to Health and Safety Policy: ensure that the rights of staff, volunteers and customers are Child Protection Policy: protected. Having a policy framework which involves documents/Child_Protection_Policy.pdf volunteers, and is regularly Confidentiality Policy: updated, means that everyone involved can refer to it, and know documents/181513acec592e4c6687c026b where they stand. 92b9fd9/4-confidentiality.pdf None of these documents need to be very Data Protection Policy: complicated, and your local Volunteer Centre may be able to help you write data_protection_guide.aspx them if they are not already in place. Equality and Diversity Policy: The legislation for Equality and Diversity Policies which you may like to is constantly changing, so careful research consider having are: must be done to ensure that your policy is up to date. However a good place to start I Volunteer Policy is looking at the legislation itself, the I Equality and Diversity Policy following explains it well: I Health and Safety Policy However, in order to start your volunteering I Child Protection Policy initiative, it is vital that you have in place at I Confidentiality Policy minimum a Volunteer Policy. Again, this can be researched through the usual I Data Protection Policy channels, and will need to be altered to fit in As an organisation, you may have some of with your organisation. A template for a these policies already in place, or they Volunteer Policy to get you started, along may not apply to you. Policies such as with some supporting information, is shown Health and Safety are very site specific, on the following pages. and Child Protection, Confidentiality and12
  12. 12. Volunteer policy A policy shows that you respect and appreciate the value which volunteers addmodel to your organisation, and that you have a professional approach to ‘best practice’.Developing a Volunteer Policy How to write your policy, andIf an organisation decides to involve things to considervolunteers, it should produce a written In preparing to write a Volunteer Policy yourecord of all aspects of the roles volunteers must bear in mind who your audience is.will play. By having a volunteer policy, an The document will be read by volunteers,organisation gives clear guidelines to staff, staff and anyone considering becoming amanagement committees and the volunteer volunteer. It needs to be easy to read andthemselves as to what is expected and what concise. The information it contains shouldthey can expect in return from the be useful to the reader, helping them toorganisation. understand the organisations views onA volunteer policy is a working document. volunteering, and what they can expect.Volunteers and staff should consult it in Your organisation needs to considerorder to answer questions and points carefully the information you give in yourwhich volunteering raises. The document policy, to ensure that it best reflects yourshould be easy to read and understand, own aims and objectives. However thiswith clear points and concise information. document should give the writer an outline of what your new policy needs to contain.Why have a volunteer policy? Having a Volunteer Policy shows that yourorganisation is committed to volunteersand promoting volunteering in general.It shows that you value volunteers and thecontributions which they make, and thatyour organisation takes volunteers seriously.A policy clarifies the role of volunteers, andgives clear outlines as to their roles andresponsibilities.A clear and professional document raisesthe credibility of organisations, and is veryattractive to potential funders, communitygroups, volunteering organisations andalso insurers. 13
  13. 13. – This policy provides a basis for the expansion, if required, of volunteer involvement. – It sees volunteer involvement not as a replacement or alternative to paid staff, but as a way of extending our service as a [museum/gallery/ charitable organisation] and the voluntary sector in general. – This policy gives a framework for 1. Introduction recruiting and supporting volunteers. This section should introduce the policy, give your reasons for having one, and give 2. A background information about your organisation in Here give brief details about your general e.g.: organisation such as how long you have This document states the NAME OF been running, if you are a charity and the ORGANISATION policy on involving core aims of your organisation. volunteers in its work across all departments. It also defines how the I Highlight and acknowledge the value NAME OF ORGANISATION will recruit of volunteers within your organisation and manage volunteers, who are defined and what they add. as people who spend unpaid time I If any of your core aims are aimed at, working on defined activities for the or inclusive of volunteers, explain these benefit of NAME OF ORGANISATION. further. The purpose of developing a policy is to enable the NAME OF ORGANISATION I Give a clear outline for the reasons to think about the value of its volunteers, behind wanting to include volunteers and to achieve clear, workable principles in the running of your organisation. within which volunteers and their I Be extremely positive about the roles supervisors can operate. and responsibilities that volunteers can The policy also recognises the value which undertake as part of your organisation - volunteers add to the NAME OF this is a positive document aimed at ORGANISATION, and the commitment volunteers; inspire them with your they give to IT. The policy aims to support wording. volunteers to achieve their full potential, I Give examples of existing volunteer and work towards building a good and roles to acknowledge the current areas successful relationship between volunteers of volunteer involvement. and the people who engage with them.14
  14. 14. 3. Application process – References will be requested whereFor this section, describe the application this is necessary, at the discretion ofprocess a prospective volunteer will go NAME OF ORGANISATION.through. You should have an application Where a reference is deemedform, and the reason for necessity. It is to: necessary, two references may be obtained for each applicant before aI Gain personal information about the post commences. This can be reduced applicant such as address and contact to one referee in certain details circumstances, for example someoneI Ensure emergency contact details are who has just left school, or has been up to date retired for a long time. The referees should not be related to theI Find out when they are available, and applicant, and will be followed up what their skills are. before any post can commence.Outline what the procedure involves after State where volunteer requests or roles willthe application has commenced - do you be advertised.give an interview? Are roles specific and sowill many volunteers be interviewed for the Requests for volunteers will be advertised in asame role, before being selected, or will each variety of places, such as:volunteer be placed separately depending on – Press and news outletstheir skills? Is the interview process formalor informal? Answer as many questions as – NAME OF ORGANISATIONpossible, leaving potential applicants with website [if applicable]few or no grey areas. – Local volunteer centres and councils.Also, state that e.g.: Volunteer postings and contact information can also be obtained– In involving volunteers, we will be through various volunteer guided by the Volunteering Code of organisations. Practice. – Volunteer roles will be written as– NAME OF ORGANISATION Equal ‘Role Descriptions’ and will define Opportunities policy will be adhered to time commitment, necessary skills, when recruiting volunteers. supervisor and skills required.– People who wish to volunteer with – Once placed, volunteers will be NAME OF ORGANISATION will be expected to comply with existing dealt with as quickly as possible from policies and procedures. moment of first contact. If your organisation has a trial period– Volunteers will be required to fill in a (e.g. one month’s trial) before a volunteer volunteer application or registration form. becomes permanent also state this here. 15
  15. 15. 4. The volunteer’s role 5. Expectations The volunteer’s role must always be What sort of commitment do you ask of separate to that of a paid staff member. your volunteers? Do they need to attend Where a paid member of staff has a ‘Job weekly, monthly, or at certain times? State Description’ a volunteer works from a here what you expect from them. Remember ‘Role Description’. This is vital and must however, that a volunteer is giving their time not be confused. It is also important to for free. It is unacceptable to be too specify in this section that e.g.: demanding, and being more open minded about attendance is a huge bonus for a Volunteering opportunities will complement, prospective volunteer. You cannot expect a rather than replace, the work of paid staff at the volunteer to do anything, however you can NAME OF ORGANISATION. ask that they respect their position within the See page 26. organisation, and take it seriously. e.g.: Volunteers can give as much or as little time as they feel is appropriate for them. Whatever commitment the volunteer can give is a great asset for NAME OF ORGANISATION. However we would ask that Volunteers do consider this as ‘a commitment’ and if unable to attend for one reason or another, a supervisor, or the Volunteer Coordinator should be informed. In the same way, NAME OF ORGANISATION considers the management of volunteers to have equal importance to that of managing paid staff. Therefore this will be carried out with the same level of professionalism. You can expect to be treated fairly, professionally and above all, as an equal to members of paid staff working alongside you.16
  16. 16. 7. Rights and responsibilities of volunteers Being clear about the rights and responsibilities, and what you expect from your volunteers from the outset is important in attracting the right sort of volunteer. Similarly, a volunteer should know what to expect in return from their role. The best way of giving this information is in clear bullet points. Not all of the points outlined below will apply to your organisation and there are certainly more to add, however some6. Supervision and support examples of the sort of thing which shouldWho will be supervising the volunteer? be included are:If you are a voluntary organisation, is theresomeone who organises the rota, or assignsroles? If you have a volunteer coordinator Your rightsor manager, how does the volunteer – To know what is expected and to becontact them? eg: given clear information and instructionThe Volunteer Coordinator, supervisor – To have clearly specified lines ofand other volunteers will offer support to supervisionthe volunteer, and will conduct regular – To receive a level of supportmeetings with the volunteer to discuss appropriate to the roletheir role, and regular supervisorysessions will take place to provide a high – To receive appropriate induction andlevel of support. training – To be shown appreciationIf a volunteer feels they are not being – To know what to do if things go wrongadequately supervised, there is an issuewith their post, or if the volunteer has any – To be a part of NAME OFproblems, they are encouraged to discuss ORGANISATIONthis with their supervisor in the first – To have safe working conditionsinstance or with the Volunteer Coordinator – To be free of discriminationwhere this is not possible. Private – To have the right to say no, and to bemeeting facilities are available at all times, able to withdraw from voluntary workand volunteers can bring a friend if theyfeel they would like extra support. 17
  17. 17. Your responsibilities Organisation responsibilities – To fill in an application form – Enquiries and volunteering offers will providing your details, and to let be dealt with quickly and efficiently, ORGANISATION NAME know of and volunteer placements will match any changes the volunteer’s skills and interests – To give two referees where applicable – Each volunteer will have a Volunteer – To give a reasonable and sustainable Agreement and receive a Volunteer level of commitment Application Pack – To be reliable and safe – Full training will be provided for every task allocated – To be honest if there are problems – Volunteers will be treated in line with – To comply with existing policies and the NAME OF ORGANISATION procedures (these available to view Equal Opportunities Policy upon request) – Each volunteer will be managed by a – To take responsibility for your own nominated member of staff within the Health and Safety department where they will be working18
  18. 18. 8. Expenses 10. MonitoringGive details of any expenses which your How will your volunteer be monitored?organisation will pay. These could be for Will they have an annual review, or aretravel, out of pocket, or meal costs. Be clear there rewards in place for long service orand keep it simple. Be aware that if great effort? Encourage volunteers to bevolunteers are paid more than their actual involved in the monitoring process, andout of pocket expenses (such as a sessional that they should raise any concerns withpayment or a lump sum) volunteers benefit their supervisor.payments can be affected if applicable.9. InsuranceYour organisation must ensure thatvolunteers are covered under theirinsurance. Here, just assure the volunteer ofthis, e.g: NAME OF ORGANISATIONwill insure volunteers to complete theirtasks within the organisation. 19
  19. 19. I Would I like to do this role, what could Developing attract me to it? Volunteer I What would I get out of it if I were the volunteer? Opportunities I What training would I need? I What sort of person/sort of skills When developing volunteer would be needed to fill this role? opportunities it is important to I How could I measure success? consider: Once you have considered these points a. How volunteers could benefit and can answer each one, construct a Role your organisation, and Description for each prospective post. A detailed volunteer role description is b. Why people want to volunteer. particularly useful if you are recruiting Meeting both of these criteria will ensure volunteers through a volunteer that everyone is kept happy, and that your development agency or other third party. organisation benefits from volunteer N.B. It is extremely important at this point to involvement. Having exciting and mention the use of language when dealing interesting opportunities will also ensure with volunteers. A volunteer role description that you have a wide range of people (also known as a volunteer task description) is applying to work with you. a document which details the specific activities Start by discussing with any current staff a particular volunteer is involved in. It is and volunteers any roles which immediately rather like a job description, although using come to mind. Also think about your separate terminology is recommended to avoid organisation’s aim and objectives, or implying a contract of employment for strategy. Consider how volunteers could volunteers. Volunteers do not and should not improve your service, or add depth to have a contract of employment and so dont exhibitions. Think about visitors to your have the rights of an ordinary employee or organisation - how could their experience worker. These include the right to a minimum be improved with the help of volunteers? wage, holiday and sick pay, and other statutory rights. However if you use words like Once you have identified some roles ‘Job Description’ and ‘staff’ in describing which you may like to develop, ask about volunteers or their roles you may leave yourself each one: open to employment tribunals in the future.20
  20. 20. Case StudyName: Justyna about the history and visiting the museumsAge: 21 - a great result all round!Justyna is from Poland, she has been in the Justyna is now working towards aUK for three years, and has been granted hundred and fifty hours of voluntarypermanent residency. Justyna came to the work, and hopes that this experience -UK for a better life for her and any children along with an excellent reference fromshe may have in the future. Justyna felt that Ironbridge - will see her gain the work shein Poland, the only work she could expect wants. As well as this, she has been anwas in a factory at low pay, and with excellent addition to the office, creatingunsociable hours. This was not what she spreadsheets, recording information,wanted in life, so came in search of a better answering phones and generally pitchingcareer here. in - a huge help for our Museum!After arriving, Justyna studied hard forseveral qualifications in businessmanagement, maths and IT to further herjob prospects, and registered with agenciesto find her work. However with limitedEnglish language skills, and no experienceshe found that it proved very difficult togain employment which she wanted - officebased. She found herself right back in thefactories which she left Poland to escape.Justyna got in touch though VInvolved - agovernment funded body who helpsvolunteers aged 16-25 find placements.Since starting as a volunteer in an adminpost, Justyna has been able to practice thethings she learnt at college - such as her ITskills and maths, plus improve her Englishand be part of a busy office - seeing what itis really like. Justyna had very little interestin history, so would not have usuallyapplied for a museum role; however thiswas an admin post so it fitted her criteria.As it happens, Justyna has adored learning 21
  21. 21. Writing a volunteer role description Below is a simple role description template. The description should be clear, to the point and informative. It does not need to be long; it is just there to give a brief outline of the volunteer’s role and responsibilities. See below: Volunteer role description Title: Volunteer [role title] Accountability: [who will be supervising the role on a day to day basis] Hours: [what hours is your organisation open, does the role have specific hours, or is this negotiable?] Location: [Give address of where the position is based] Purpose of role: [Give description of why the volunteer is needed, a brief description of the role and any special requirements/skills needed. Be friendly, and give the volunteer information about how their role will benefit your organisation - sell it to them!] Role and responsibilities: [list day to day tasks, training which must be taken etc] 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. To report any concern to the Volunteer Coordinator, or supervisor. 6. To take part in any relevant training. 7. To adhere to the Volunteer agreement, and Volunteer Policy. 8. To comply with, and implement, the Equal Opportunities Policy and procedure, together with all other agreed policies and procedures of the NAME OF ORGANISATION. [your name] [Date]22
  22. 22. target groups who have similar interest.Attracting This could be college courses offering similar activities or in certain sections ofvolunteers your local library. Consider the words and terminologyMarketing which you use carefully. AdvertisementsMarketing your volunteering which simply say “Volunteers Wanted”opportunities will be mostly a local affair, will probably not catch the eye of someonehowever there are a number of factors to who has never volunteered before. In orderconsider when devising methods of to draw someone in who is new topublicising your volunteer needs. volunteering, emphasise the benefits ofIf your opportunities could appeal to a volunteering to the individual. Highlightwide range of people, you could try print how interesting, exciting and important toadvertisements in the form of flyers, the organisation and the local communityposters, local press and internet. Post these the opportunity could be. Give details ofin community centres, libraries, local any benefits a volunteer will receive suchschool and college newsletters. If there are as free/discounted entry for friends andlocal groups who may be interested get in family, reimbursement of any expenses ortouch with their leaders and give specific training which will be given. Youinformation too. need to try and sell the opportunity, and encourage them to get in touch with you,Obviously your search can be streamlined be enthusiastic.if you are appealing to a certain group. Ifan opportunity is quite specific, you could 23
  23. 23. Word of mouth will also be very important benefits, they are very likely to know to your recruitment strategy. Many of your someone who may be interested. You could volunteers will be attracted to your also think about holding an open day to organisation depending on someone else’s allow local people to pop in and have a experience, whether it be as a visitor or a chat about volunteering. volunteer. Having a professional A wonderful way of showing the things application process will help with this. If which volunteers can do within your someone has a good experience they are organisation is to take photographs of much more likely to pass on the idea of current volunteers and your organisation. volunteering to friends and colleagues. This gives a personalised touch, and allows Think about giving a presentation to your people to put a face to the opportunities. current staff and volunteers explaining what roles are available, and discussing the24
  24. 24. Where to advertise I Your organisation’s website, if you haveYou may wish to consider the following: one. The internet is generally a usefulI Local press – print and radio tool for sourcing volunteers or at least getting your information out.I through your local Volunteering Centre - for this you must I Re-enactment organisations both local first register with the centre, however and national will often be pleased to they will then support you in lend their expertise. numerous ways.I Community notice boards (library, Application process community centres, local shops) and A basic application form is a necessity for a newsletters (parish magazines, local number of reasons other than just gaining schools). the volunteer’s contact information. ForI Local schools with a sixth form are Health and Safety and insurance purposes, often very keen due to the inclusion of all volunteers will need to provide Volunteering aspects involved in certain emergency contact information should awards that students are often trying to there be any problems. With an obtains such as the CoPe award and application form the information will be The Duke of Edinburgh award. easily accessible in an emergency. The reference form could also be included.I Specialist volunteering organisations such as Vinvolved who are aimed at This is merely an example of an encouraging young people aged 16-25 application form. You will most likely to volunteer. Some of these are linked to need to adapt and modify to suit your, but have many local and volunteer needs. However this will give regional offices. Depending on your you an idea of what to include. organisation’s emphasis BTCV may also apply - see what is around your area.I Organisation’s run by specific social groups that are generous with their time for example The Rotary Club, The Lions, Probus, The Cadet Force, W.I., Youth Organisation etcI Hold an open day.I Through your local Job Centre - back to work schemes or work experience for example. 25
  25. 25. Volunteer Application Form Please complete all sections of this form to help us with your application to become a volunteer at NAME OF ORGANISATION. All information will be held by NAME OF ORGANISATION and will remain confidential. to Name of Contact and Organisation Address Date: ___/___/_____ Your Details: Title Surname First name/names Home address Postcode: Home telephone number Mobile telephone number Email address Do you consider yourself Yes: No: (please tick) to have a disability? If yes, please give details. Details:26
  26. 26. Emergency Contact Details Relationship to you Name Home address Postcode: Home telephone number Mobile telephone number Email addressVolunteer Opportunities Type of role which interests you Please give details if you have seen a role advertised and where you saw the advertisement.Availability Are you currently: Full-time Student Part-time Student Employed Unemployed Retired (please tick)When would you like to volunteer? (if you aren’t sure, leave this section blank) Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday AM PMThank you for your time.If you have any questions regarding this form, or would like help filling it in, pleasecontact NAME of CONTACT, TELEPHONE, EMAIL. 27
  27. 27. Referees At the NAME OF ORGANISATION we want to provide volunteers, staff and the public with a safe, reliable and fun experience. The purpose of asking volunteers for a reference is just to make sure we know what to expect, and in the same way as references are asked for with staff, that people are genuine in their search for a role. Please provide details of two referees to support your application, bearing in mind that we will contact them soon after your application is received. Please don’t put relatives as your referees, as we cannot accept them, however, people such as ex-employers, people you may have volunteered for in the past, a social worker or anyone you have a professional relationship with are fine. One of your referees can be a friend, someone you have worked with, or a fellow volunteer. If you have any reservations about giving referees, please get in touch with NAME OF CONTACT/ORGANISATION, we are here to help, and will do in any way we can. REFEREE 1 Name Relationship to you Address Postcode: Telephone Email address REFEREE 2 Name Relationship to you Address Postcode: Telephone Email address Thank you, please return with your completed application form28
  28. 28. Selecting and engaging volunteersInterview You may wish to consider coveringIt may seem that an interview is conventional points, depending on whatunnecessarily formal for your organisation, information you need to give youror you may not find yourself in a position potential volunteer and what informationto select and reject potential volunteers, you need to collect. Also, having a checklistbut organising an informal meeting before will ensure that you do not miss outappointment can be highly beneficial for anything important, and you can relax.both parties. This gives both you and theprospective volunteer a chance to askquestions, see if the role is suitable and togenerally get to know each other. Howeverinformal you wish the meeting to be, itcan be beneficial to use traditionalinterview formalities to create a structure. 29
  29. 29. Interview checklist I Confirm applicant’s personal details I Information provided to volunteer – Role Description – Personal Specification (what sort of person is needed, special skills etc) – Organisation information I Completed Application forms I Volunteer Policy/Handbook explained I Expectation of Volunteer – Time Commitment/availability – Training and support I Applicant’s aims and what they wish to gain or impart – Relevant skills, experience and training I Volunteer skills and location identified – Your organisation may be responsible for more than one property and the site of interest must also be identified. I Volunteer be made aware of reasons for selection/rejection (if applicable at this stage) I Equal Opportunities Policy observed I What will happen next – Volunteer and Organisation sign the Volunteer agreement regarding the conditions of their role – Start date agreed and induction/training in place If you can identify a role for the potential volunteer it is advised to have the following in place before they start their position: I References obtained and reviewed I Necessary checks such as CBR and Vetting and Barring. This applies specifically if the volunteer is working with vulnerable adults and/or children. I For more information: and
  30. 30. The inductionprocessThe way in which you welcomeany new volunteer is your firststep to a happy and sustainablevolunteer base.Once a volunteer has been recruited it is veryimportant to give them a sense of belonging,make them feel welcome and valued, and toorientate them into your organisation.Before they start ensure that everyone knowsthey are coming and are prepared for whatimplications it has for them.For example, if someone will need to taketime out of their schedule to show themthe fire exits, or will be sitting next to thenew volunteer, just show courtesy and let I The structure of your organisationthem know in advance. I Details about the history of yourA thorough induction will ensure that a organisationvolunteer understands their role and howit will benefit the organisation. It should I Important policies such as Childalso enable the volunteer to carry out their Protection and Health and Safety, andwork safely and effectively. your Volunteer PolicyThe induction should include a variety of I Introductions to their supervisor andinformation to bring the volunteer up to colleagues or other volunteersdate with policies and procedures at your I What to do in the event of anorganisation as well as to give them emergencyinformation about activities which takeplace within the organisation, and most I How to deal with problemsimportantly, where they fit in. I A breakdown of their daily tasksTo make your induction efficient and I A training schedulehelpful for the volunteer, include: 31
  31. 31. The induction is your time to make sure getting on, if they are doing well and to that every new volunteer has a named be given the opportunity to improve. person who they can ask if they are unsure Think about having a month long trial about anything, make sure that they know period, where at the end you can where to find things, how to work them if comment about how they have got on and necessary, and what their role will entail. iron out any problems. If the placement is not working, signpost them to other It is a good idea to walk new volunteers organisations who may be better suited to around the site of your organisation to help their needs and skills. them get their bearings. This could be performed by the volunteer coordinator, You may find a Volunteer Induction and member of staff, or another volunteer. Checklist useful when introducing a new It might also be extremely helpful for them volunteer to ensure that all aspects are to have a ‘buddy’ within the organisation covered. This can be used to make sure who is at their side for their first few that you are fully aware of where your new sessions or until they are settled in. This volunteer is with their induction, and to will make sure they feel welcomed, and make sure that nothing is missed out. that they have someone to turn to if they For new volunteers, you could also are unsure about anything. You don’t want consider producing a simple information your new volunteer to feel like they have pack that includes: been thrown in at the deep-end! I A copy of their role description - Before you set your new volunteer free, outline of what is expected of them. check they have appropriate skills, qualifications and experience. Also check I Their points of contact (such as that they have a clear and accurate supervisor, who to go to in emergency, understanding of their role and any first aiders, etc.) responsibilities which they will be taking on. I Contact numbers, e-mail and postal Don’t assume that a new volunteer will addresses of key people. know things about your organisation - I Details of what expenses can be they may be too shy to ask lots of claimed and how to do it. questions so giving as much relevant information as possible will be a bonus. I An overview of the organisation’s history, its management structure and Once inducted, take time early on to give how they will fit into it. new volunteers feedback on how they are doing. People like to know how they are32
  32. 32. Volunteer AgreementCase Study When your volunteer starts, you may wishName: Rebecca to discuss a Volunteer Agreement withAge: 24 them. Volunteer Agreements can be usedRebecca had just finished studying for an to set out both an organisationsMA in the hope of becoming an Archivist. commitment to its volunteers, and what itDespite being very highly qualified, hopes for from them. The agreement mayRebecca was finding it very difficult to get a act as a reference point for the volunteers,job. She hoped to volunteer as an archivist and a reminder to the organisation that itin order to gain experience. should meet the standards of good practice that it has set itself. The document is notIronbridge does not use volunteer in any way a contract, and is not legallyarchivists, as we have paid staff to help with binding; it is just to help boththis, however we did feel that we could organisation and volunteer to understandoffer different experiences to Rebecca, what is expected. For this reason, thewhich could further her career and give her document is not signed by either party.a taste of the museums world. A sample Volunteer Agreement is below,Rebecca started volunteering as a Guide however every organisation is veryon a weekly basis, and soon took on different, and you can find a lot of exampleseveral more posts due to enjoying the role agreements on Volunteering England’sso much. Rebecca now volunteers two or website ( andthree times a week, helping out with also from your local Volunteering Councilsguiding visitors and writing supporting or Centre.information. She also volunteers withBlists Hill Victorian Town’s curator,helping out with accessioning and on thelarge site in general.Rebecca therefore gets to do some of thethings she initially wanted to do, is gettinggreat experience and is volunteering in theenvironment where she hopes to work atsome point. From the Museums’ side, wehave a wonderful guide, who is alsoextremely useful and knowledgeable aboutother things around the museum, and agreat asset to us. 33
  33. 33. Volunteer Agreement We, [NAME OF ORGANISATION] will do our best: – To provide a thorough induction designed to introduce you to the work of the [NAME OF ORGANISATION], your volunteering role and the induction and/or training you need to meet the responsibilities of this role. – To provide regular meetings with the Volunteer Coordinator [if applicable], so that you can tell us if you are happy with how your tasks are organised and so that we can provide you with feedback. Your manager’s/supervisor’s name is _______________________________ – To respect your skills, dignity and individual wishes and to do our best to meet them. – To reimburse your meal costs up to our current maximum. – To consult with you and keep you informed of possible changes. – To insure you against any injury you may suffer or you may cause due to negligence. – To provide a safe workplace. – To apply our Equal Opportunities Policy. – To apply our complaints procedure if there is any problem. I, ______________________ agree to do my best: – To work reliably to the best of my ability, and to give as much warning as possible whenever I cannot work when expected. – To provide referees as agreed who may be contacted. – To follow rules and procedures of [NAME OF ORGANISATION] including Health and Safety, Equal Opportunities and Confidentiality. More details on these issues are provided in the volunteer pack, and in the various corresponding policies, which you are advised to read. This agreement is in honour only and is not intended to be a legally binding contract of employment.34
  34. 34. Engaging and however there are many organisations that can offer free training for volunteers.maintaining I Contact the Local Authority website, they offer support, training andyour volunteers seminars for volunteers and organisationsAfter induction, it may be I Contact your local Volunteeringcomforting to your volunteer and Centre, they often offer trainingto yourself to devise a Training themselves at a nominal sumSchedule. The schedule could I Volunteering websites andinclude the following: organisations have large amounts ofI Health and Safety information information on trainingI Expectations of volunteer and of the – specific role Job Specific Training for example Training your volunteers in phases may work better for your organisation. If you – Specific computer software training if have a fairly high volume of new starters relevant you may want to cover the more general – Historical and/or Organisation issues as a group and then provide specific specific training role training on their commencement. – Technical training should they be You may wish to consider asking an required to use any kind of existing and ‘well-versed’ volunteer to machinery (within Insurance and H assist in the training process. They could S regulations) offer volunteer-specific information to – Shown clearly how to do any tasks help the new volunteer assimilate into that are part of their role the organisation.Training will always be an on-going part of Creating some hand-outs and reminderany role. Make it clear to the volunteer instructions for new volunteers will helpthat if they believe they should have them settle into their role. It will helpspecific training, this should be them to feel more self-sufficient and avoidhighlighted to their supervisor. The them feeling awkward if they need to askorganisation should also take responsibility questions that may have been covered atfor specific training they identify for their some stage.volunteers. The most common andeconomical method of training that youwill provide will be on-the-job training, 35
  35. 35. Supervising Rewards and recognition There are many simple ways in which you could acknowledge the contribution of and monitoring your volunteers, such as: Providing a solid support system I Letters and emails of thanks after for your volunteers is a positive particularly busy periods, events and step in keeping your volunteers other times when the volunteer has put feeling useful and valued plus in more than they originally agreed. maximising their impact on your I Christmas and Birthday Cards organisation. I Coffee and Cake mornings where They should know who their supervisor is volunteers can socialise and discuss at all times they are volunteering or in their experiences. Some volunteers may their absence whom to approach should never actually cross paths except at they need assistance. social events You may wish to have regular meetings with I Group outing in the off season (if you your volunteers to find out how they are have one) or on a day when closed. getting on. As they are new they may have I Investigate helping a volunteer to attain some ideas for increasing and improving some form of accreditation for their current systems. This could also be an work. Volunteering England have opportunity to discuss training needs. masses of information regarding all types of volunteering: onlyres/E36207C6-982A-4D0E-9A3F- 11A787850B29/0/ISAccreditationofVo lunteering_VE09_.pdf I Regional and national awards: There are many Philanthropic and Organisation awards held every year that honour the work of volunteers.36
  36. 36. I Breach of Health and Safety regulationsDealing with I Failure to show respect to other staff,issues or volunteers or customers I Discriminationcomplaints In terms of actions to take, you should never dismiss a volunteer on the spot. YouComplaints about volunteers must ensure that you do not act rashly, asSerious issues with volunteers are generally there are two sides to every story. If thevery rare. However every so often you may complaint is very serious, call a meetingfind that an issue arises which needs a much immediately, and if necessary suspend themore proactive approach. With an influx of volunteer. However you must adhere to anew people joining your organisation, no formal system to ensure fairness. Your firstmatter how well prepared you are there may steps should be:be some issues along the way. It is thereforevery important to have a clear system in I Give warning. Notify volunteers (inplace which your organisation can follow if both verbal and written communication)such a problem arises. when they violate policies.In terms of problems, grievances so often I Investigate the alleged offence(s). Thisarise from misunderstandings and lack of includes documenting the volunteer’scommunication. You will usually find that side of the story and any proof of policytalking them through with everyone violation.involved in an informal manner is certainly I Action. Consider developing an actionthe best course of action and this should plan to correct the problem, dependingalways be your first option where on the seriousness of the offence(s). Eachvolunteers are concerned. However should item of the action plan will have specifica more serious, or regularly occurring issue dates for accomplishment. Develop thecome to your attention, you must have a plan with input from the volunteer.procedure in place to follow.Problems which may need your attention:I Misuse of facilities, or taking advantage of positionI Regular latenessI Offensive or inappropriate language or behaviourI Drugs or substance misuse 37
  37. 37. What to do If the volunteer has followed the plan successfully, extend it to a month, and so on. You will probably find that the Step one: volunteer did not mean any wrongdoing, Your initial approach to dealing with a and that increased supervision will help complaint or problem regarding a considerably. volunteer should always be to organise a meeting with the person or persons Step two: involved. This meeting, although fairly If after this initial meeting the problems informal should be carefully planned so do not ease, a second, more formal that you or whoever is taking it is sure of meeting needs to be arranged, and a what they wish to say, and are ready to written warning issued. This meeting listen. The meeting should also be should possibly involve a senior member minuted to ensure that details are of your organisations team, and the aim recorded and actions highlighted. of the meeting will be to give the If they wish, the volunteer should be able to volunteer a clear outline of what the issues bring a friend to the meeting for support. are, and what steps MUST be taken to Keep the meeting friendly and open and ensure they remain a volunteer within explain why their behaviour is your organisation. inappropriate - they may not realise they Present this information in a written are doing anything wrong at all. You may document, which you should go through find at this point that the volunteer would step by step with the volunteer ensuring prefer to take a different role within your that every point is clear and understood. organisation, and at this point you should try to accommodate this. Some problems Again, the volunteer should be encouraged may simply arise because a volunteer doesn’t to bring a friend or trusted colleague so feel their role is suitable for them, or they that they do not feel ‘ganged up on’. are perhaps bored or uninspired. Take time The meeting should address the previous to listen to their side of the story and be action plan, and a further plan should be ready to make changes to help them. produced, this time with a smaller time frame, and more instruction. If you need to, draw up an action plan with the volunteer to mark any changes they need This is a very serious step to take and the to make, and also what the organisation volunteer must understand that this is the needs to do. Give a clear time frame, for final step before the offer of volunteering example two weeks, in order to make these is withdrawn. You may find that at this changes, and stick to it. Organise a further point a volunteer may not wish to meeting to take place once this time has continue, and if so attempt to part elapsed to evaluate further.38
  38. 38. company in the best possible way. Remain Appealscalm and collected at all times, no matter Finally, you must allow the volunteer towhat the situation is and if you need it, appeal. They may feel that they have beenask for peer support. unfairly treated. Remember that if a volunteer leaves feeling that they haveStep three: been badly treated, they are much moreIf again, no improvement is made, or if likely to tell others about the terriblethe complaint regarding the volunteer is treatment they received. This can damageof a serious nature, you may find that the reputation of both future volunteeringasking the volunteer to leave the projects and your organisation in general.programme is the only option. A serious An appeal should have clear guidelinescomplaint could be: which are made clear to the volunteer.I Assault Appoint someone, such as a senior manager, the chair of the trustees or aI Harassment nominated trustee to be the main contactI Racism for such an appeal.I Gross misconduct I Illegal, violent or unsafe behaviourIn the event that a volunteer has to bedismissed, invite the volunteer to an ExitInterview. This should be done personallyby the Volunteer Coordinator or personwho supervises volunteers directly.I Be quick, direct, and absolute.I Announce, don’t argue. There has already been time for the issue to be investigated and rectified.I Do not attempt to counsel. If counselling were an alternative, it would have been done earlier in the process.I Confirm withdrawal of the offer of volunteering with a written letter, and settle any unfinished business needed to end the volunteer’s relationship with you. 39
  39. 39. The volunteer should be informed about OR their right to appeal from the moment the complaint is brought to the surface. In Volunteers dismissed from their volunteer your first written correspondence outline position may appeal the decision. Such clearly what the procedure is, giving a appeal must be in writing to the named contact and also a set timeframe. [NOMINATED PERSON] and received within 10 working days of receiving notice This could be written as follows: of their dismissal. The written appeal is to outline why the volunteer feels he should The volunteer has the right to appeal not be dismissed and any other pertinent against any disciplinary decision to the information that may prove helpful in [NOMINATED PERSON]. The reviewing the dismissal. employee / volunteer should inform [NAME OF ORGANISATION] in The [NOMINATED PERSON] will writing of their wish to appeal within five determine steps necessary to review the working days of the date of the decision decision to dismiss (for example to which forms the subject of the appeal. convene a special committee, gather information from the dismissing Any appeal hearing will be held as soon as supervisor or personally interview the possible when the volunteer will be given volunteer, dismissing supervisor or others an opportunity to state their case. The as appropriate or other means to consider volunteer may be accompanied by a work all information), and will determine if the colleague or representative. The decision decision to dismiss will stand or be of the appeal will be notified to the overturned. Such decision will be reported employee in writing and will be final and to the volunteer. binding under this procedure.40
  40. 40. Volunteer If the complaint is about their role, you may find something simple like giving them an option to change will ease theircomplaints worries. Solving the issue quickly andNo matter how well you try to efficiently should be your main concern.look after your volunteers or how If the complaint cannot be solved so easily,many policies and procedures are arrange a meeting at the volunteer’sin place, you may find that a convenience to discuss it. You should dealvolunteer wishes to make a with the complaint within 14 days, socomplaint. within that time, arrange the meeting and set up an action plan.If a volunteer has a complaint about theirrole, your organisation, a member of staff If the issue is still not resolved then itor another volunteer it must be recorded should be put in writing to theand handled in the same way as a staff appropriate senior manager or member ofcomplaint. If you have a complaints the board of trustees. The matter shouldprocedure already make sure that this again be dealt with within 14 days, andwould apply to volunteers as well as staff. the matter resolved.If not, think about producing one. Goodplaces to look for information aboutdealing with complaints can be found short however, think about thefollowing:Most problems should be able to be solvedinformally. Ensure that the volunteerknows who to approach. A volunteercoordinator should be the designatedperson, however if you do not have one, asenior member of staff or volunteer shouldbe the appointed person. However youshould give the volunteer a few options toensure they are able to report any concern-for example if the problem involves thevolunteer coordinator then the volunteershould have someone else to talk to. 41
  41. 41. Troubleshooting Once you begin to meet, give roles to and induct prospective volunteers, various issues may arise. The following table may help you to develop opportunities which can be inclusive to as many people as possible, and also to have answers to any problems before they arise. Obstacle Possible remedies – the volunteers don’t drive or have their own – are there other volunteers nearby who could transport offer a lift? – it’s not easy to get to your base by public – develop a rota to share transport transport – arrange to pick up volunteers – there is no parking or public transport close to – provide a taxi the volunteering opportunity – develop group/family volunteering activities – develop home-working opportunities – your opening times don’t match the volunteers’ – consider changing/extending your opening availability hours – your volunteering only takes place in the day- – develop new opportunities that can be carried time, and therefore not available to people with out at other times such as projects or outreach full-time work – develop home working opportunities – the work is boring – be prepared to build opportunities around – there is too much to do volunteers’ abilities and interests – rotate volunteering tasks – have lots of social opportunities – there are hidden costs not covered by expenses – make a commitment to pay expenses and raise – out-of-pocket expenses are not paid, or are funds to achieve this difficult to claim – have accessible, easy to understand expenses procedures – be clear from the start about what can and cannot be claimed for – your organisation is unpopular, or not very – improve your marketing and promotional well known activities – hold an open day – visit local community groups or schools to get your service out and about – existing volunteer clique – join the volunteer group for a few sessions until the new volunteer feels comfortable – ask an existing volunteer to ‘buddy’ newcomers – new volunteers are frightened of the activities, and – provide training unsure if they would be able to complete tasks – hold open days and taster sessions so that new volunteers can get a taste of what you do – volunteer feels that they do not have the correct – provide additional training skills or confidence to perform tasks – ‘buddy’ volunteer for support42
  42. 42. Notes 43
  43. 43. Notes44
  44. 44. Notes 45
  45. 45. Notes46
  46. 46. The IRONBRIDGE GORGE MUSEUM TRUST Limited Coalbrookdale Telford Shropshire TF8 7DQ Charity Reg No. 503717-R