Although you are not paid, it is still very important for you to understand the rights and responsibilities you have whilst working as a Volunteer.

All volunteers have the responsibility to:
• Be clear about how much commitment they can give and stick to it
• Attend relevant training events
• Support other volunteers and their project coordinator
• Ask questions if they are unsure
• Be sensitive to users’ wants and needs
• Speak up if they feel their rights aren’t being respected
• Inform project co-coordinators of any serious incidents or potential dangers
• Treat others fairly and respect the confidentiality and independence of service users

All volunteers have the right to:
• Get information about volunteering.
• Stop volunteering if they wish.
• Have information about them handled and stored appropriately and sensitively.
• Be treated fairly in whatever volunteering they do.
• Not be discriminated against.
• Receive training that is appropriate and effective.
• If you have any comment to make about the scope of work or any other thing you’ll be dealing with, please contact your coordinator.

Volunteer Expectations:

It is important that you enjoy your voluntary work. The Volunteer Charter will give you some idea of your expectations as a volunteer:

• When you become a volunteer you should expect that your personal motivation for doing voluntary work is achieved. You had a goal when you applied to become a volunteer and it is up to you to make sure that goal is successful.
• Volunteers should be aware of a named contact to speak with and know who they are responsible to. Expect to receive regular support and supervision, this is a part of the cumulative process of building confidence and sorting out any problems or difficulties before molehills become mountains.
• A volunteer should never be forced or feel obliged to do something that he or she isn’t comfortable with.
• A volunteer should expect induction training and on-going training to establish and maintain the skills required to do the job. Voluntary roles are often a key in the running of the organization.
• The volunteer should be valued and appreciated and should not be made to feel guilty if their availability is limited, be clear on the time you want to invest in your voluntary role. You have the right to take time off or holidays (make sure you have notified the person responsible for recording time off).
• Volunteers should be insured by the organization with which they work. They should receive out of pocket expenses.
• Volunteers, just like paid workers, have the right to information and preparation time relevant to their voluntary role.
• Volunteers are entitled to information about the group or organization with which they work.
• Volunteers are entitled to access and play a part in influencing the work / decision making of the group or organization with which they work.

Volunteer Responsibilities

Volunteers are valuable assets to any organization and it is therefore important that the voluntary worker is happy in his/her role. However, the organization with which the volunteer enrolls will also have expectations of their volunteer workforce.

• Whether you are a paid worker or unpaid worker you will want to be a good worker, efficient and effective.
• All volunteers will be expected to keep activities safe and in-line with policies on legislation. You will be expected to know the confidentiality policy, health and safety policy and general guidelines of the organization with which you work.
• As a volunteer worker in the care field you will be expected to play a supportive role to those you work with and those you work for.
• There will be an expectation that you are reliable, carrying out your agreed role and attending on time.
• You will be expected to attend regular training and support sessions, and maybe team meetings depending on the set up of your organization.
• Like paid workers you will be expected to give proper notice when you need time off or if you intend to withdraw your services and move on. Provide proper notice of your intentions as this will contribute to a good reference.
• Don’t discuss private or confidential information with your client(s), particularly any problems you may have.
• Don’t lend your client money or give your personal contact details out (unless in circumstances agreed through your Line Manager). Do not accept gifts from your clients unless you have cleared this with the person you are responsible to.
• Personal relationships with your client group should be avoided and can cause major problems for you, your client and the organization with which you work.
• You will be expected to contribute to a supportive environment and maintain discipline.