Volunteer Policy


This volunteer policy sets out the principles and practice by which we involve volunteers and is relevant to the management committee, freelancers/contractors, volunteers, and members within the organisation. It aims to create a common understanding and to clarify roles and responsibilities to ensure the highest standards are maintained in relation to the management of volunteers. The volunteer handbook gives further details about the support and procedures in place for volunteers.

Our commitments

We recognise volunteers as an integral part of the organisation. Their contribution supports our mission and strategic aims and complements the role of paid freelancers and contractors. We aim to encourage and support volunteer involvement to ensure that volunteering benefits the organisation, its clients, and the volunteers themselves.

Appropriate steps will be taken to ensure that paid  freelancers/contractors are clear about the role of volunteers and to foster good working relationships between paid freelancers/contractors and volunteers. Volunteers will not be used to replace paid positions.

We are committed to offering a flexible range of opportunities and to encouraging a diversity of people to volunteer with us including those from under-represented groups.

We recognise that there are costs associated with volunteer involvement and will seek to ensure adequate financial and staffing resources are available for the development and support of volunteering. 

We recognise that people have a right to participate in the life of their communities through volunteering and can contribute in many ways. We recognise our responsibility to organise volunteering efficiently and sensitively so that the valuable gift of the volunteer’s time is best used to the mutual advantage of all concerned.

What is a volunteer?

Volunteers are individuals who undertake activity on behalf of our organisation, unpaid and of their own free choice.

The Welsh Government Volunteering Policy (2015) defines volunteering as activity which

  • is undertaken freely, by choice
  • is undertaken to be of public/ community benefit
  • is not undertaken for financial gain

Work experience placements and internships are not the same as volunteering. Please refer to the Project Manager for further information about these. Trustees are volunteers with responsibility for governance of the organisation.

Volunteers may be involved on a one – off, short term or on a longer term, regular basis. They may be involved:

  • in the direct delivery of our services
  • on our board of management as trustees
  • in community engagement to raise awareness of our work
  • in one off events and promotional activities
  • in our offices or in community venues

Volunteers are valued for:

  • Bringing additional and diverse and new skills and perspectives to the organisations
  • Enabling us to be more responsive and flexible in our approach
  • Championing our cause within the wider community
  • Enhancing the quality of our work and of client experience
  • Promoting the wellbeing of users of services, staff, local communities and themselves

Standards of good practice

Our management practice is informed by the Investing in Volunteers Quality Standard for volunteer management.

Roles and responsibilities

A designated person in a paid position (The Volunteer Co-ordinator) has responsibility for the development, management and co-ordination of voluntary activity within the organisation, including volunteering policies and procedures and the welfare of volunteers. The responsibilities for volunteers will be explicitly referred to in their job/role description. All volunteers will have a designated and named person for guidance, support and supervision. 

The volunteer role is based on trust and mutual understanding. There is no enforceable obligation, contractual or otherwise, for the volunteer to attend or to undertake particular tasks, or for the organisation to provide continuing opportunities for voluntary involvement, provision of training, or benefits. However, there is a presumption of mutual support and reliability. Reciprocal expectations are acknowledged – both of what the organisation expects of volunteers and what volunteers expect of the organisation.

The organisation expects volunteers:

  • To be reliable and honest
  • To uphold the organisation’s values and comply with organisational policies
  • To make the most of opportunities given, e.g. for training, mentoring etc.
  • To contribute positively to the aims of the organisation and avoid bringing the organisation into disrepute
  • To carry out tasks within agreed guidelines

Volunteers can expect:

  • To have clear information about what is and is not expected of them
  • To receive adequate support and training relevant to role
  • To be insured and to volunteer in a safe environment
  • To be treated with respect and in a non-discriminatory manner
  • To receive out of pocket expenses
  • To have opportunities for personal development
  • To be recognised and appreciated
  • To be able to say ‘no’ to anything which they consider to be unrealistic or unreasonable
  • To know what to do if something goes wrong

Recruitment and selection

Equal opportunities principles will be adhered to in recruiting volunteers. Opportunities will be widely promoted, in both English and in Welsh, so as to attract interest from different sectors of the community. 

Positive action to target recruitment may be used where appropriate. Online application is encouraged but non-digital methods of application are also available. 

Information will be made available to those enquiring about volunteering, including written role descriptions which set out the nature and purpose of the volunteering role, key tasks, skills required and benefits. A risk assessment will be undertaken on all volunteer roles and identified risks and steps to mitigate risks will be shared with the volunteer.

Recruitment will usually involve an informal interview, application form and the taking of references; the process will be defined and consistent for any given role – for example, the recruitment process for the management committee, regular volunteers, and for volunteers for one off events will be tailored in each case and may differ from one another.

Where applicants are not able to be placed in their preferred role, they will be provided with feedback and given the opportunity to discuss alternative volunteering roles or signposted to the local volunteer centre. 

All volunteers will be required to have a full DBS disclosure check which will be arranged by the organisation. DBS disclosures are dealt with in the strictest confidence. A criminal record is not necessarily a bar to volunteering.

Induction and training

Volunteers will be given induction and training appropriate to the specific tasks to be undertaken.

Support and supervision

Volunteers will be offered support and supervision as appropriate and this is discussed during induction. Arrangements vary according to the volunteer and the role undertaken, and may include telephone support, group meetings or one to one review.


Volunteers will be given the opportunity, where relevant, to share their views and opinions with the organisation via Volunteer Coordinator, volunteer team meetings, the Annual General Meeting, planning events, focus groups and/or volunteering surveys. Formal recognition of the contribution of volunteers is expressed through annual reports, website articles, social media, and during Volunteers’ Week award celebrations.

Dealing with problems

The organisation aims to treat all volunteers fairly, objectively and consistently. It seeks to ensure that volunteers’ views are heard, noted, and acted upon promptly.

We will attempt to deal with any problems informally and at the earliest opportunity. All volunteers will have a named person to whom they can turn in the case of any difficulty. 

Where informal resolution is not possible, the organisations Volunteer Complaints Policy will be adhered to.

Volunteers will be made aware of the organisation’s complaints policy and how to use it. They will also be made aware of how inappropriate behaviour by volunteers will be addressed by the organisation.


Volunteers will be given clear information about what expenses can be claimed and how to make a claim. Volunteers will receive all out-of-pocket expenses incurred by their volunteering activities.

Moving on

When volunteers move on from volunteering with us, they will be asked to provide feedback on the volunteering experience by way of an exit questionnaire. They will also be given the opportunity to discuss their responses to the questionnaire more fully.

Volunteers who have remained with the organisation for at least 3 months will have the right to request a reference. Volunteers will be supported to move on to other options.

Other relevant documents

The Volunteer Handbook includes detailed, useful information for volunteers including template forms.

Organisational policies relevant to volunteers include; Health and Safety, Equal Opportunities, Confidentiality, Social Media, Safeguarding Adults, Complaints, Settling Differences.


Date approved: 27.07.2023

Date of next review 01/09/2023

Person Responsible: Georgina Biggs