Download the Volunteers Policy
It is the intention of Samuel Lithgow Youth Centre (SLYC) to make the experience of volunteering with us beneficial to both parties. We appreciate the generosity of volunteers in offering us their time, and, in return hope that the work will be interesting, and, if possible, fun.
Our aims are as follows:
1. To create a youth centre that offers a suitable and protected environment for young people aged 0 – 25, prioritising 8 – 19 year olds. The youth centre will have modern facilities, meeting current educational as well as health and safety standards. It should also be self-sustaining so that it is able to constantly adjust and improve itself to meet the current standard recognised by the authorities.
2. To develop and provide activities for the wider community (especially those people living in or near the London Borough of Camden) in a range of areas, including (but not limited to) leisure, sport, health, and training in specific skills such as information technology and assertiveness.
3. We see our volunteers as falling into two types, both as valued as each other:
- ‘Occasional’ ad hoc volunteers – those who help us with a specific task once or twice.
- Project-related or long term volunteer.
Volunteers may include members of the Board of Directors or relatives of Centre users.
4. The following are the rights, which we offer to all our volunteers:
- We will provide a clear description and definition of the work and what needs to be done – in writing for anything substantial.
- Our equal opportunity, Health & Safety (and other employee policies as they develop, e.g. grievance) will apply to all volunteers; recruit and selection for project-related volunteers will mirror that for staff.
- Volunteers may join a trade union if they wish.
- We will pay travel (up to a one-day travel card) and out of the pocket expenses, and pay expenses to cover meals (£5 lunch or dinner).
- Volunteers will be supervised by the Centre Manager or other nominated person, who will provide proper induction, support, and training.
- Volunteers have the same status as paid staff, and the same rights to discuss views about the work they do and how it may be improved.
- Volunteers will be covered by employers’ liability insurance.
- We will provide a reference if asked to do so by a volunteer.
5. When we recruit project-related volunteers, we will seek two references, and may need to undertake police record checks where the work involves:
- Access to young people under 18.
- Access to people connected with the provision of social services such as the young, people over 65, people with mental illness, the chronic sick and disable people.
6. Supporting volunteers –
- We will provide an induction session for volunteers.
- Training needs will be identified through discussion between the volunteer and his/her supervisor. Where we can afford it we will offer training.
7. Where the volunteer experiences a problem, this should initially be raised with his/her supervisor. If the problem cannot be resolved informally in this way, the volunteer can ask to have a meeting together with the Chair of the Board of Directors. If agreement cannot be reached, the volunteer can formally appeal to the Board of Directors in writing. They will meet and make a final decision. The volunteer is entitled to be accompanied by a friend or trade union representative in the meetings with the Board of Directors.
8. Where the supervisor has a problem with the volunteer, this should initially be raised with the volunteer. If the matter cannot be resolved informally in this way, the supervisor can ask to have a meeting together with the Chair of the Board of Directors and volunteer. If agreement cannot be reached, the Board of Directors will meet and make a final decision. The volunteer is entitled to be accompanied by a friend or trade union representative in the meetings with the Chair or Board of Directors.
9. Volunteers are as essential to our work as our paid staff, and we need to know if there is a problem, such as illness, which means that you cannot attend on a day when we are expecting you. Please let the Centre Manager or your supervisor know of any problems as soon as you can, and certainly, by 10 a.m. on the morning you are expected.
10. Longer-term or project volunteers will be asked to sign a contract agreeing to the terms on offer by us. It would help us to plan our work if you could give us as much notice as possible if you plan to leave, normally at least a month.
This policy is under constant review.