Volunteer Policy

The purpose of this Volunteer Policy is to provide all staff and volunteers with clear guidelines, to prescribe limits of behaviour, assign responsibilities and explain Volunteer management systems and operating standards. It supplements other Event Volunteers policies & procedures. Click on any headline in the white to reveal more information on that topic.

The Volunteer Policy does not constitute a binding contract. We reserve the right to change the policy and to expect adherence to the changed policy. Volunteers and staff are expected to act in accordance with all event policies and procedures as outlined by this policy.

Section 1: Why We Involve Volunteers

The events we run for volunteer programmes for are exciting and we're hoping to make Fingal a more enjoyable place to spend some time in. Volunteers make a vital contribution to the effective running of the events, so whether you are young or old, a Dubliner or a visitor, performer or spectator, Event Volunteers has something exciting for you.

Volunteer Involvement

Event Volunteers aim to have a reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationship with our volunteers. In line with this mission, we seek to involve volunteers to:

* Deliver a professional and successful event programme
* Provide a helpful and efficient information and stewarding service to the public at the event
* Engage volunteers with the activities and ethos of the event
* Foster relationships between people from Ireland and overseas

Who Can Volunteer With Us

Event Volunteers is ideally suited to, but not confined to, people with knowledge of the locality who want to get involved in showcasing Fingal and are enthusiastic and reliable.  Event Volunteers will consider involving anyone over 16 years old as a volunteer. We will accept volunteers on a strictly equal opportunity basis, with the proviso that each volunteer is capable of fulfilling the tasks assigned to them in a way that does not compromise themselves, their colleagues or event visitors.

Definition of a ‘Volunteer’

“Volunteering is the commitment of time and energy, for the benefit of society, local communities, individuals outside the immediate family, the environment or other causes. Voluntary activities are undertaken of a person’s own free will, without payment.”

The White Paper Supporting Voluntary Activity (2000)

Volunteer Expectations

As a volunteer with Event Volunteers you can expect to:
* be involved and managed in accordance with equal opportunity laws and best practice
* be given accurate information about the organisation
* be given a role description and agreed working hours
* be offered training appropriate to tasks
* receive supervision and support
* have access to a grievance procedure
* work in a safe environment
* be adequately covered by insurance
* have your voluntary contribution recognised
* have your personal information dealt with in accordance with the Data Protection Acts

Section 2: Recruitment and Selection of Volunteers

There are a number of stages involved in the volunteer recruitment and selection process.
* The volunteer must complete the online volunteer application form which is then checked to ensure all details are present and correct
* The applications are screened and the volunteer is assigned to a team
* The volunteer is informed by email which team they are assigned to
* The volunteer is informed of their specific role and is sent the role description
* The volunteer must attend the induction, training and orientation sessions

Each volunteer position will have a ‘Role Description’ that lays out the specific tasks involved in the position, the qualities and skills required to fill the position and any other relevant details of the role. Volunteers are selected for roles based on the requirements of the Event and the volunteer’s experience, skills, availability and interest.

The selection decision will be communicated by email to the applicant. The decision will be recorded in writing on the volunteer database. Without meeting the above criteria, volunteers will be ineligible to volunteer at the event.

Induction, Orientation and Training

The volunteer induction is a planned programme to enable volunteers to learn about the organisation, their role and the organisation’s operations, policies and procedures. All volunteers are provided with and are required to attend an induction prior to the event. During induction volunteers will be provided with opportunities to ask and discuss any questions about the event. Volunteers will receive pre-event orientation briefing by their team leader where they will be made aware of all arrangements and contingency plans. Role-specific training will be provided to assist volunteers with their position and its tasks where applicable.

Section 3: Code of Conduct

Event Volunteers expects volunteers to abide by the following practices:

Attitude
Volunteers are expected to act in a professional and respectful manner at all times. Aggressive, domineering and oppressive behaviour are not tolerated and must be reported to the Volunteer Manager or your immediate supervisor immediately.

People under the influence of drugs (including alcohol) will not be permitted to volunteer and will immediately be asked to leave. Any suspicion of substance abuse should be immediately reported to the Volunteer Manager or team leader.

Attendance
Working times are negotiated between the Volunteer Manager, Team Leader and the volunteer and are as flexible as each role allows. On arrival at the Event each volunteer must immediately report to the Volunteer Manager to register their attendance. All absences must be notified as soon as possible to the Volunteer Manager so that alternative arrangements can be made.

Regular lateness or absence may result in ending your involvement as a volunteer with the event.

Teamwork
Co-operation and teamwork amongst the volunteers, staff and clients is required and encouraged.

Neat Dress & Personal Hygiene
All volunteers must wear the uniform provided to them when working at the event. You may wear clothes appropriate to your responsibilities, but they must be kept clean and tidy at all times. Dress warmly.

Copyright

All written material, whether held on paper, electronically or magnetically which was made or acquired by you during the course of your involvement with us is our property and our copyright. Copyright (c) 2012 - 2014 Fingal Volunteer Centre Limited | Events Volunteers.  All Rights Reserved.

Confidentiality

All information that is or has been obtained by you during, or in the course of your involvement, or has otherwise been acquired by you in confidence, that relates particularly to the event’s business, or that of others with whom we have dealings of any sort, that we have not made public, is confidential, and a volunteer shall not at any time, before or after the end of their involvement, disclose such information to any person without our written consent. Volunteers are expected to exercise care to keep safe any documents or other material containing confidential information, and at the end of your involvement with us, or at any other time upon demand, return any such material in your possession.

Representation of an Event or Event Volunteers

Volunteers will not represent the event in any circumstance unless otherwise agreed. This includes, but is not limited to, statements to the media, joint initiatives with other organisations and agreements involving contractual or financial obligations.

Relationships with Paid Staff

Volunteers are a core part of our team and enhance the capacity of and community involvement in the event with a distinctive but complementary role alongside paid staff.  Clear roles are established to differentiate between paid staff and volunteers to foster mutually beneficial relationships.

Section 4: Management of Volunteers

We are committed to managing volunteers in a manner that meets the needs of both the event and the Volunteer.  The Volunteer Manager (Fingal Volunteer Centre) is responsible for the management of volunteers, including answering questions regarding policies, dealing with any complaints and grievances involving volunteers, delivering induction and arranging training.

Support and Supervision

The Volunteer Manager will advise the volunteer of their designated supervisor whose role it is to provide day-to-day advice and guidance relating to the voluntary work, provide support and supervision, and identify training needs for consideration by the Volunteer Manager.

All volunteers are allocated a designated supervisor when volunteering with the event.

It is the role of the designated supervisor to provide advice and guidance relating to the voluntary work, provide support and supervision for the duration of the event. The purpose and benefits of supervision are to:

* Clarify priorities
* Share information, answer questions
* Discuss any issues the volunteer may have
* Identify and meet support needs
* Recognise and deal with existing and potential problems
* Monitor and evaluate performance

Personal Information and Confidentiality

All information is dealt with in accordance with Data Protection Policy and Data Protection Acts. A folder and database is maintained on all volunteers, to include their initial application, role description along with any relevant information on scheduling and notes. Volunteers are able to access their personal information freely upon request. Responsibility for ensuring that the volunteer receives such information will rest with the Volunteer Manager.

Arrangements for Resolving 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 volunteers are not satisfied that issues in relation to their volunteering are being handled appropriately, they are entitled to have their concerns reviewed in accordance with the organisation’s Grievance Policy.

Ending the Volunteer Relationship

Volunteers who do not adhere to the event’s 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 volunteer 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 misconduct
* Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
* Theft
* Misuse of equipment and materials
* Abuse of clients and co-workers
* Breaches of confidentiality
* Failure to abide by policies and procedures
* Failure to complete duties to a satisfactory standard

When a volunteer is asked to leave this will be communicated both in person and in writing. If a volunteer is deemed to have behaved with extreme detriment to the event and its reputation and to the health and safety of others involved in the event, the event reserves the right to end its relationship with the volunteer immediately.

Personal Property

We strongly advise that volunteers do not bring any valuables to the event. We do not accept responsibility for any personal property belonging to volunteers.

Section 5: Health and Safety

All volunteers must abide event Health & Safety Guidelines as presented on the volunteer training days.

* Assist the Security & Gardaí when necessary
* Facilitate immediate access for emergency services when necessary
* Advise your supervisor immediately if your area is becoming congested
* Assist in the direction of patrons both entering and leaving the venue
* Inform your supervisor if you note anything likely to cause injury or danger to persons

Child Protection Statement & policy

All our events are family orientated event and the protection of children is a priority of the highest order. Adopting principles of good practice in relation to child protection will ensure that the event is a success and that all families attending will be kept safe. In this sense volunteers will not have direct access to children and they are requested to contact the Volunteer Manager if they suspect inappropriate behavior is carried out.

It is the policy to
* Acknowledge the rights of children to be protected, treated with respect, listened to, and have their own views taken into consideration.
* Recognise the welfare of children must always come first, regardless of other considerations.
* Adopt the safest possible practices to minimise the possibility of harm or accidents happening to children and protect workers from the necessity to take risks and leave themselves open to accusations of abuse or neglect.
* Develop procedures for responding to accidents and complaints. Volunteers and Staff are expected to
* Always be polite and courteous around children
* Follow procedures in relation to lost children
* Do not touch or carry any child even if they are by themselves. It may be required to hold a child’s hand to bring them to safety but this should be the only contact necessary.
* Report any incidences or accidents to your supervisor
* Never be left alone with a child – always have a fellow volunteer or staff member with you

Volunteer Feedback Survey

After the event the Volunteer Manager will distribute an online survey to evaluate both the experience of all individual volunteers and also to evaluate the organisation’s experience with those volunteers. All volunteers are asked to respond to this survey.

Insurance

Insurance is provided by Fingal Volunteer Centre to cover all volunteers working on behalf and at the direction of the event. However drivers using their cars in connection with their voluntary work must inform their own insurance company to ensure adequate and continued cover.

Reimbursement of expenses

Reimbursement of expenses is not provided. Unfortunately Event Volunteers is not in a position to cover out-of-pocket expenses. The organisers will, though, provide snacks and refreshments for all volunteers.

Evaluation & Feedback

Constructive feedback on this policy document is always welcome. It must be given in writing to the Volunteer Manager who will ensure that it is considered fully.

Keep up to date

Check out our web site www.eventvolunteers.ie, follow us on Twitter @EventVolsIE and like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/EventVolsIE

Copyright 2013 - 2014 © ® All Rights Reserved Fingal Volunteer Centre Ltd & Event Volunteers