North Warwickshire’s Community Hubs rely heavily on volunteers to help run them and assist the public who use the hubs as information points. Some hubs are led by volunteers, others may have a paid coordinator in place, depending where the hub is located. Whoever is responsible for volunteers, it is important to have the correct policies and procedures in place.
All hubs are supported by the Volunteer Centre North Warwickshire to make sure they have all the information they need when working with volunteers. This page is here to guide you and help you to work with volunteers effectively.
Before Working With Volunteers
- All hubs or the organisation / group overseeing the hub should be registered with the Volunteer Centre . Click here and then ask for some support.
- There should be a volunteer policy – check out our template policy.
- Check you are insured to work with volunteers, more information can be found here.
- Draft a volunteer agreement and role description so volunteers are aware of their role at the hub.
- Register the opportunity with the Volunteer Centre by clicking here.
- Think about how you can promote your volunteering opportunities. For more information you can give Michelle a call at the centre on 01827 717073.
- Your volunteer policy should contain information on your volunteer recruitment process. Make sure you follow it so that every volunteer has the same experience.
- Ideally you should ask volunteers to fill in a short application form (Volunteer Registration Form), then you should ask them to come in for a one to one chat about the role. Make them feel welcome and show them around the facilities. Explain about the benefits of volunteering and what the person can get out of giving up their time to help the hub.
- After the intial chat its down to your volunteer policy on what you do next but you really should be asking for two references.
- The induction process has a very simple aim, to let volunteers know about the building, the hub, other volunteers, staff and the processes that you use on a daily basis to keep the hub running.
- Ideally you should have a little leaflet with the hub’s contact details on, opening times, information on fire safety, health and safety etc.
- Explain about training opportunities.
- Although we cover confidentiality in the volunteer agreement you might also require volunteers to sign a separate confidentiality agreement if you hold or process personal information about others. We’ve prepared a template form here.
Training and Supporting Volunteers
- Ongoing training and support is vital to get the most benefit from working with volunteers.
- All hub volunteers are entitled to complete on line training sessions in Health and Safety, Diversity and Customer service provided by North Warwickshire Borough Council.
- It might also be useful to get volunteers to go through the UK Online courses, so they have had first hand experience when they are explaining them to members of the public. You can find out more by going to www.learnmyway.com and registering using the centre number 3
- Supporting volunteers within a hub is vital. Some organisations hold one to one meetings with their volunteers every couple of months, others hold monthly or quarterly team meetings. Some Hubs send a weekly email update to their volunteers with the latest news and updates from the centre, this helps keep volunteers informed and makes them feel more involved in the hub.
- Finally you might want to consider a noticeboard or folder where you keep information and training posters so volunteers know where to look when they come in to the hub.
This is a very basic overview of working with volunteers in North Warwickshire’s Community Hubs. The Volunteer Centre can offer ‘Volunteer Health Checks’ to any organisation looking to improve how they work with volunteers. For more information contact Michelle on 01827 717073 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.