The Parish of St Mary the Virgin, Ringmer
Volunteer Policy1. Purpose
3. Distinction between volunteering and employment
7. Induction, training and development
8. Equal opportunities and diversity
9. Responsibilities and expectations
10. Health and safety
11. Copyright, Intellectual Property and Photography
12. Media relations
13. Data protection and confidentiality
16. Using your own vehicle
17. Smoking and substance abuse
18. Resolving concerns
19. Audit and whistleblowing
20. Complaints handling policy
21. Construction and application of the policy
22. Policy review
The policy outlines the principles on which the relationship between
volunteers and the charity is based and provides basic information
about volunteering with Ringmer Church. Volunteers are vital to the
effective functioning of our local parish church. They are integral to
the structure and operations of the church as a charity, and contribute
strongly towards its aims and objectives.
2 Scope of the policy
The Parochial Church Council ( PCC) is composed mainly of unpaid
volunteers and relies on those people giving their time and effort to
make it an effective decision-making and governing body. Other
volunteers support the PCC by giving their time to carry out roles
which have been initiated by, or agreed with, the PCC. This policy is
intended for volunteers who have accepted an agreed role with the
church as a charity.
3 Distinction between volunteering and employment
The volunteering relationship is based on trust and does not involve
the obligations associated with employment. No payment, other than the
reimbursement of agreed expenses, is made by the PCC to people who give
their time as volunteers.
The PCC welcomes and respects the breadth of experience, skills,
dedication and goodwill that volunteers bring. Informal interviews may
be carried out to ensure that applicants are suitable for the role in
question. We will base our selection on the ability of each applicant
to fulfil the role concerned, taking into account any effect the
volunteer may have on the safety of all parties, our Church and
4.2 For certain roles a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be required.
In most cases you will need to be over 16 years of age to volunteer
independently, and under 18s will be asked for parental consent.
Younger people may get involved in some aspects of volunteering with us
if they are accompanied by a responsible adult. We do not have an upper
age limit for volunteers but there may be situations that require us to
ask someone to stop volunteering – for example when health issues are
considered a risk to the person concerned or others around them.
Your line manager will be the staff member, PCC member or senior
volunteer who is responsible for the area in which you volunteer.
(If in doubt about who has line manager responsibility, then
clarification should be sought from the Vicar or Churchwardens.)
7 Induction, Training and Development
7.1 If required you will be given access to training or information to help you successfully carry out your volunteering role.
You will be offered an appropriate induction as required, including
information about the volunteering environment and any equipment you
may be using in your role. If you choose to take on an additional or
alternative role or activity as a volunteer, your line manager will be
happy to help you widen or develop your skills and knowledge
7.3 Any concerns about inadequate training or induction arrangements should be promptly reported to the Vicar or Churchwardens.
8 Equal Opportunities and Diversity
You will be volunteering in an organisation that is committed to equal
opportunities and diversity. This commitment is reflected throughout
the PCC’s policies and practices.
9 Responsibilities and Expectations
We want you to enjoy volunteering with us and we take our
responsibilities towards you very seriously. As a volunteer, you will
also be a representative of the church and, as such, we ask that you
9.2 The PCC’s responsibilities to its volunteers:
offer opportunities to everyone who wants to volunteer without
discrimination, such that no-one is disadvantaged by conditions or
requirements that cannot be shown to be justifiable
match your skills and experiences with the right role for you wherever
possible, listening to your motivations and aspirations
- To offer appropriate training and support for your role
- To celebrate success and recognise loyalty and dedication
- To respect all our volunteers and listen to what you have to say, consistently encouraging two-way communication
- To provide information about the church’s work, policies and procedures
- To reimburse agreed out-of-pocket expenses
- To make necessary arrangements to ensure your health, safety and welfare as a volunteer
- To encourage a positive and friendly atmosphere
- To provide access to trained members, to support, guide and advise you.
9.3 Our expectations of you as a volunteer:
- To aim for high standards of efficiency, reliability and quality in your volunteering
- To work in partnership with other volunteers, staff and the general public
support, respect and adhere to our organisational policies, guidelines
and management decisions – including all aspects of equal
opportunities, health and safety, data protection and use of our name
- Always to consider and protect the Church’s good reputation in your actions and conduct
- To act responsibly and within the law
- To let your staff contact know first if you have any problems so that we can find a solution together
- To let your line manager know if there are changes in your personal circumstances that may affect your volunteering
- To have the best possible experience by getting involved and enjoying your volunteering.
10 Health and Safety
We are committed to ensuring your wellbeing and safety whilst you are
volunteering and, in turn, we expect our volunteers to contribute to
maintaining a safe environment, and in particular to:
- Take reasonable care for the health and safety of yourself and other persons who may be affected by your actions or omissions
- Co-operate with staff by assisting them to fulfil their statutory duties
the health and safety policy, procedures and measures put in place by
the PCC or any other organisation whose premises you may be working on
accidents/incidents or dangerous circumstances promptly to the Vicar or
a Churchwarden, whether or not any person has been injured
- Be aware of actions to take when an emergency situation arises and who, from the PCC, to contact for support.
11 Copyright, Intellectual Property and Photography
rights to any original works that you may produce in the course of
volunteering will belong to the PCC, unless otherwise agreed in writing
and approved by the PCC. Examples include photography, artwork, graphic
design and written work, including the results of research. We may use
photographs of volunteers carrying out their roles for promotional
purposes, such as in a leaflet or online. You may, of course, request
that an image is withdrawn.
12 Media Relations
comments or stories should be given directly to the media, unless your
volunteer role specifically includes talking to the press or other
local media. Diocesan media relations are handled by trained
specialists who can give advice. Any requests from the press, etc.
should be referred to the incumbent, PCC or communications
13 Data Protection and Confidentiality
take great care to protect your information as part of our data
protection responsibilities. As a volunteer, we expect you to protect
any personal or confidential information to which you may have access.
may request reimbursement of reasonable out-of-pocket expenses, such as
travel costs. Payment of reasonable expenses must be approved and
authorised by the Finance working group or treasurer in advance, and
receipts or tickets will be required.
The PCC has appropriate types of insurance in place to cover its
volunteers. These include employers’ liability insurance and public
liability insurance in the event of a volunteer being harmed due to the
negligence of the charity or a third party being injured as a result of
the actions of a volunteer whilst performing church duties. However,
our insurance does not cover your personal belongings.
16 Using Your Own Vehicle
The PCC does not provide motor insurance for you as a volunteer.
Driving in connection with charitable volunteering is normally
classified by insurers as “social, domestic and pleasure” which is part
of your standard cover. We recommend that you check with your insurer
but there should not be any additional cost. If we have agreed to
reimburse your expenses for travelling in your own vehicle, we use the
government HMRC approved standard mileage rates, which include an
allowance for insurance as well as fuel, maintenance, tax etc.
17 Smoking and Substance Abuse
All PCC premises and events are smoke free. No smoking is allowed in or
near our sites. Volunteers are asked not to smoke when wearing a badge,
branded clothing or anything that would identify you with the church.
Volunteering whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be
accepted. We regard this as a disciplinary issue and you will be
subject to instant dismissal.
18 Resolving Concerns
If you have any problems or complaints about your volunteering, please
talk to your line manager immediately. The church takes the concerns of
its volunteers very seriously and will make every reasonable effort to
resolve any difficulties.
19 Audit and Whistle Blowing
The PCC is accountable to the Charity Commission and to the public. We
have a responsibility to monitor our activities to maintain our
reputation as a trustworthy charity that manages it affairs honestly
and efficiently. If you believe any member of staff or volunteer is
behaving in a way that is likely to bring the church into disrepute or
cause financial loss, you should let your line manager know
immediately. If, for any reason, you would rather not talk to him or
her, you should speak to the Vicar, Churchwarden or Treasurer. If
this is not possible you are entitled to go directly to the Charity
20 Complaints Handling Policy
A copy of our complaints policy is available from the PCC Secretary.
Our policy is to try to resolve all complaints informally, although a
formal procedure is available where appropriate.
21 Construction and application of the policy
21.1 Queries on the construction and application of the policy should be directed in the first instance to the PCC Secretary.
22 Policy review – this Volunteer policy statement will be reviewed every three years to ensure continuing appropriateness
Agreed by the PCC - 18th July 2016