Volunteering

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Guide to Employing and Insuring Volunteers

Volunteers play an important part in most charities but without the right practice in place things can go wrong. This article looks at what a charity should consider when employing volunteers.

Is there a guide for best practice and legal requirements?
Volunteering England have a 10 step quality standard. They are an independent charity and membership organisation, committed to supporting, enabling and celebrating volunteering in all its diversity. The NCVO (The National Council for Voluntary Organisations) also publish useful guidance on their website.

What should a volunteer agreement include?
Some organisations use volunteer agreements to ensure separation from employment contracts. These are helpful to define what you would like a volunteer to do and set boundaries of expectations, but avoiding terms implying contractual obligations.

Managing a volunteer’s enthusiasm and directing their energy in the desired way does require skillful oversight, either by an employee or an experienced volunteer with a demonstrable track record.

People do sometimes get carried away or make mistakes. When recruiting volunteers it is advisable to set out what the parameters of the role will be. This needs to be recorded in writing, agreed with the volunteer and preferably signed and dated.

Having this documented record will help your insurer defend your position should an incident arise where a volunteer is injured and it involved activity outside the agreement.

Do we have to get volunteers DBS checked?
In general, providers and managers of regulated health, child and adult social care services have to ensure that all staff (including volunteers) who come into contact with children or vulnerable adults, have a satisfactory DBS check. More information on DBS checks can be found on the gov.uk website.

Do we have to insure volunteers?
Legally speaking you don’t have to. However, doing so can offer the volunteer the same protection as one of your employees should a claim be made involving the volunteer, as well as protect you if the volunteer brings a claim against you.

Despite your best efforts to keep the distinction clear between employees and volunteers there can be situations where the law regards a volunteer as an employee. This can be complicated and lead to disputes with insurers so it is always best to have volunteers included within the policy definition of employees.

Most liability policies extend to protect employees against claims made against them whilst working for you (in the same way as you would be if the claim was made against you). Including volunteers within the policy definition of employee’ ensures that they have the benefit of your policy cover should they have the misfortune to have a claim made against them whilst volunteering for you.

The same applies where you arrange other covers for the protection of your employees, for example assault or personal accident cover, including volunteers within the definition ensures that they get the benefit of cover under the policy.

Check your policy wording, particularly if you have more than one insurer covering your liabilities, and to ensure that such covers dovetail together (a specialist charity insurer will usually be able to provide such cover within one comprehensive policy).

Source: Third Sector


Helpers Alert!! Arts Volunteers Needed for Events Throughout July, In Smethwick, Bearwood And Wolverhampton

If you could give us a hand on one or more days we would really enjoy your company, and you’ll get to see some exciting arts events and meet interesting people.

No specific skills are required; you will be shown exactly what you need to do. Jobs will include things like showing people to their seats and making sure artists and audiences have all they need to enjoy the event.

Dates are:
July 7, 8 and 9 for the fabulous play ‘Life’s a Beach’ in Wolverhampton
July 13, 14, 15 and 16 for ‘Life’s a Beach’ in Bearwood

There are shows all day, so we need volunteers from 9.30am to 7.30pm – but you can do just part of the day if that suits you better.

Get in touch with kim@creativehealthcic.co.ukto find out more.

Sent on behalf of Black Country Touring and Creative Black Country. More details at www.bctouring.co.uk


National Volunteer’s Week

On Tuesday 6 June, Volunteer Centre Sandwell in partnership with NHS The Recovery College, celebrated National Volunteer’s Week with two free drama productions. Midland Actors Theatre, performed their latest masterpiece, The Ward, to over 140 volunteers at West Bromwich Town Hall, written by the playwright David Calcutt.

The powerful, inspiring play gave the audience an insightful view of mental health, whilst exploring attitudes of how service users, professionals, and carers managed the condition.

Overall feedback from the audience of the performance was extremely positive. Many shared the view that they were better informed about mental health and a few shared their memories of real lived experiences.

Jean Taylor Chief Executive Officer said. ‘This year we took the opportunity to build upon on our working relationships with NHS Recovery College to raise the profile of mental health and the impact the condition can have on the lives of individuals.”

Mick Morrow, Recovery College Lead, supported the event with Joanne Newton, Chair of Black Country Partnership Mental Health Foundation Trust. Volunteer Centre Sandwell manages a 5 year Big Lottery funded Hands on Project, which supports individuals with a long term health condition into supported volunteering opportunities.

See photograph of Mick Morrow, Joanne Newton, Jean Taylor & Mayor Cllr Haque MBE, taken by Deva Singh Bhogal, Volunteer.

 


Maker-Centric Taster Session

The University of Wolverhampton is looking for participants to get involved with their Maker-Centric Project, which examines the power of making and crafts in helping people to understand and play a part in their communities. Participants don’t need to have any prior experience of crafts as this opportunity is open to everyone regardless of their crafting ability or experience.

Want to find out more? Then why not come along to the taster session being held on:

Monday 19th June 2017, 2-4pm at University of Wolverhampton, Room MK204, George Wallis (MK) Building, Molineux Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1DT.

Alternatively for more details on the taster sessions or to confirm your attendance at the session please contact Kauser Husain via email at k.husain2@wlv.ac.uk or makercentricblog@gmail.com.

You can also visit their website at http://www.maker-centric.comto find out more information on this exciting new opportunity.


Maker-Centric Project – Participants Needed!

The University of Wolverhampton is looking for participants to get involved with their Maker-Centric Project, which examines the power of making and crafts in helping people to understand and play a part in their communities. Participants don’t need to have any prior experience of crafts as this opportunity is open to everyone regardless of their crafting ability or experience.

The University is working in collaboration with Craftspace (a charity that initiates artistic programmes which stimulate creative excellence and understanding of contemporary crafts in the widest social and cultural contexts) on the project and there will be an opportunity to network with other groups and discover what else is happening in the area.

Participants are being sought by The University who will be running a series of workshops in June 2017, in which people from the Black Country will be invited to create an object that responds to the unique industrial and social heritage of their area.

All workshops are entirely free for participants and include:

  • materials and travel,
  • free access to state of the art fabrication technology at FabLab, Sandwell,
  • guided tour of the Wolverhampton Art School exhibition,
  • specialist artist talks,
  • artist led walks,
  • photography sessions and much more.

You will also have the chance to showcase your creation at an event to be held in London.

Not sure if this is for you? Then why not come along to a taster session to find out more and see what will be involved. You’ll need to get in touch with Kauser Husain via email at k.husain2@wlv.ac.uk or makercentricblog@gmail.com for more details on the taster sessions or alternatively the University can come out to your organisation to explore and explain the project in more detail.

You can also visit their website at www.maker-centric.com for more details on this exciting new opportunity.


Calling ALL Volunteers & Volunteer involving Organisations

The 1 – 7 June is National Volunteers Week and North Smethwick Development Trust will be celebrating the impact and contribution of volunteers by organising a photography exhibition, from 2 – 30 June at Brasshouse.  The exhibition is in partnership with Brushstrokes, St Albans, Friends & Neighbours, Tipton Litter Watch and Smethwick Foodbank.

NSDT want as many volunteers as possible to get involved in the exhibition.

If you’re a volunteer and want to get involved, then please send us a video following the requirements. We would love to hear from as many of you as possible to be demonstrate the different reasons people have for volunteering, and how it has impacted on your life, or those you have helped.

Please see below video and instructions on how to take part. The deadline for submissions is on 22 May 2017. Yes, it is soon, but it is simple to take part and NSDT are able to help with support.

Click here for video link and instructions on how to take part on #iVolunteer exhibition.

In the recording, we ask the volunteer to simply answer the question: Why do you volunteer?

The requirements are:
1. You must start the video with the phrase “I volunteer because…”
2. Video should be no longer than 30 seconds (max.)
3. Behind a clear wall
4. Send it to the email BrasshouseEvents@nsdt.org.uk with the subject #IVolunteer
5. Deadline for submission will be 22 May 2017

There is no limit to the number of volunteers participating.

Disclosure – Videos will be used on social media, website and at the volunteer exhibition which will be running at Brasshouse from 2 – 30 June 2017. By sending NSDT a video recording you agree to the above terms.

To find out more information email BrasshouseEvents@nsdt.org.uk or call 0121 555 5672 to speak to Hanna or Esther.

For Social Media please use #BrasshouseEvents #iVolunteer #VolunteersWeek.


Volunteers wanted for Bearwood Street Festival

On Sunday 11 June 2017, We are Bearwood, will be hosting the first ever community lead music and arts festival on Bearwood High Street from 11.30 am to 5.30 pm.

Highly Sprung’s innovative blend of physical performance and animated storytelling is sure to excite audiences. There’ll also be cultural and audio feasts provided by the Community Stage.

Younger visitors will have plenty to keep them busy with futuristic themed crafts, games, and street art workshops. Live music on the main stage will reflect Bearwood’s eclectic musical heritage with something to suit all tastes. Headliners, The Electric Swing Circus, bring an explosive sound fusion that reverberates back through time.

There will be some of the best in regional street foods in the Food Parade, and a host of local entrepreneurs and crafters showcasing their goods in Bearwood Indoor Market.

We are Bearwood are in need of art and non-art volunteers.  If you would like to be a volunteer and be part of this exciting Street Festival, please click on the relevant link to register your interest.

Art volunteer

Non-art volunteer

Visit the We are Bearwood website

 


Building Blocks Charity seeks Trustees

Building Blocks is the charitable organisation of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.  It aims to provide support to children and young people in order to prevent crime, substance misuse and anti-social behaviour.  It also includes supporting children and young people into education and employment and promoting or supporting activities which allow children and young people to develop their personal and social skills to create confidence and independence.

The PCC is now relaunching Building Blocks to ensure it meets the needs of local young people and also, importantly, attracts further funding that can be used to support local activities.  The Charity is looking for Trustees who have skills in fund raising and bid writing, media and communications, youth services and youth provision.  You will also need to have an understanding of the issues affecting young people.

There are three positions to be filled:

–       Chairman

–       2 Independent Trustees

The Charity is looking for exceptional individuals with the skills and expertise to make a significant contribution, providing guidance, leadership and the skills that will support the Charity and ensure its continued development.  If you are passionate and proactive about ensuring that young people have the support they need to prevent them getting involved in crime, then the Police and Crime Commissioner would like to hear from you.

Please submit your curriculum vitae and a brief supporting statement that details your experience to Karen Dawes at wmpcc@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk.

Please state very clearly on your supporting statement which vacancy you wish to be considered for (either independent chairman or independent trustee).

Further information about the Building Blocks charity is available through the following link.

Closing date for applications is 12 noon Friday 5 May 2017.


The Stroke Association seeks Volunteer Office and Administration Support

The Stroke Association is looking for a volunteer to provide office and administration support at their Sandwell Information, Advice and Support Service based in West Bromwich. On average, the hours will be between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm Monday-Friday but details will be discussed and confirmed during the application process.

The volunteer will undertake general office duties such as answer the telephone, take messages, file, type and help to organise the office so that it runs efficiently. You will produce and prepare mailings, information packs and resources for services, events or meetings and carry out data input and other computer based administrative tasks. You will conduct internet based research as well as assist the Administrator with delivery information to Sandwell General Hospital.

The role might be for you if:
• You are able to use office equipment and relevant computer software.
• You are able to communicate effectively in writing, over the phone and in person.
• You have an ordered approach to administrative functions.
• You are thorough, with a good eye for detail.
• You are able to work without direct supervision.

If you are interested in the role please contact Karen Lethbridge on Tel: 01527 903903 or email Karen.lethbridge@stroke.org.uk.

Visit the Stroke Association’s website.


News Update from the BBC Academy’s New Talent Team

Who are BBC Academy’s New Talent Team?
Based at BBC Birmingham, we lead the BBC’s entry level talent schemes across the UK including; Apprenticeships aimed at school leavers and Traineeships aimed at graduates, working across the BBC’s Production, Technology, Business and Journalism Departments. These are paid contracts of employment with a salary, fully paid training fees and fantastic work placement opportunities.  Some are formally recognised Apprentice qualifications up to Degree level. We expect everyone who completes our programmes to be equipped with the skills and experience to take up a career in BBC or the wider media sector and we’re passionate about opening up our opportunities to all.

What opportunities are we currently offering?
On 13th March 2017 we open applications for our Production and Journalism Apprenticeship.  The schemes start in September and are based across the UK. They are open to anyone with the passion and raw talent to succeed.

Who are we looking for?
Applicants need to be bursting with ideas.  They need to be creative and able to bring a fresh, new perspective to our output. If you know someone who fits this profile, someone who dreams of a career in the media, then we want to hear from them.

But this doesn’t mean we just want people with bags of experience and confidence. Sometimes, applying for a job in the media can be daunting. If your organisation engages with young people who lack a bit of self belief – but nonetheless have the underlying potential – we’d love to hear from them – please tell them that potential not polish is what we’re looking for!

How do I find out more?
We are running a series of three hour open sessions where potential applicants can meet the Apprenticeship and Traineeship scheme managers and some of our current trainees and apprentices. Sign up here:  www.bbc.co.uk/getinevents.

More on the individuals schemes are available here:
www.bbc.co.uk/pas – production apprentices
www.bbc.co.uk/dja – journalism apprentices

Extend Hub
The BBC is keen to widen participation in its schemes so please direct candidates with a disability to www.bbc.co.uk/extend  to find out what support we offer.

Staying in touch
Remember please follow us on social media for latest updates and chats with the team @bbcgetin  www.bbc.co.uk/getin to find out what support we offer.


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