Volunteering

Walsall Council values the contribution that volunteers make to its work. There are a range of reasons why you may want to volunteer for the council, for example, it can improve your employment prospects and help you to gain new skills, knowledge and experience. Volunteering can also increase your self-esteem, give you a chance to meet new people and help you to get to know your local community. Volunteering is an opportunity to make a difference to the lives of others and the community you live in.

The Council offers a huge variety of volunteer opportunities across its services, including:

If you are interested in volunteering with us have a look at our list of opportunities and register your interest.

https://onewalsall.org/volunteering/

 

If you see an opportunity of interest you should read through the role description before applying. This will help you decide if the role is suitable for you.

The volunteer manager for your role will then contact you to arrange an informal chat, either in person or by phone.

We do not seek to replace paid staff with volunteers.

 

For more information contact;One Walsall

Telephone: 01922 619840

or email: volunteering@onewalsall.org

www.onewalsall.org

More about volunteering

 

 

What's in it for you?

Whatever your reason for becoming a volunteer there are huge benefits for you and your community. We will help you to achieve your personal goals.

Volunteering provides the experience and qualifications employers look for. It shows them that you are committed and have employability skills.

You will receive training to prepare you for volunteering and to enhance your activities. We work in partnership with other training providers and will signpost you to appropriate training for example - confidence building, employability skills, drug awareness and mental health awareness.

You should not be out of pocket financially. Where possible we will reimburse pre-agreed expenses such as mileage and car parking.

What you can expect from us

  • A full induction to your role 
  • Regular support and feedback from a supervising officer
  • Application of Health and Safety policies to volunteers' activities
  • Recognition of the different roles and responsibilities of volunteers and paid employees
  • Ongoing opportunities for training

Who can be a volunteer

Anyone who has spare time can volunteer. We already have volunteers of many different backgrounds, abilities and ages.

There is no upper age barrier, but volunteers must be over 16 years-old. For some roles you will need to be over 18 years-old – this will be included in the role description.

You can volunteer for as much or as little time as suits you. Sometimes it depends on the role you are doing, but mostly it depends on how much time you can give. It can be days, evenings, weekends or a mixture. We will say in the role description if you would be needed at specific times.

Volunteering with us will only cost you your time. Reasonable out of pocket expenses such as travel costs will be reimbursed as long as you have a valid receipt and agreement from your volunteer manager.

Most volunteer roles don't require qualifications but some may need certain skills – details will be included in the role description. Training will be provided, if needed.

You can volunteer whether you are working or claiming benefits. If you are claiming benefits you must tell your benefits adviser. If you are claiming Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA) you must still actively seek work and be available to start any opportunity.  Volunteering shouldn't affect your benefits as long as the only money you receive is reimbursement of expenses.

Criminal convictions must be declared in your application form. You will need to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check if your volunteer role involves access to young people or vulnerable adults – this will tell us if you have a criminal record. Having a record should not stop you from volunteering but it may limit what you can do.

When you start volunteering

We will need to check 2 references before you can start volunteering with us. We will also need to make a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check if the role is with children or vulnerable adults.

You must sign a volunteer agreement before you start volunteering with us. This is to confirm your volunteer status and agree your commitment to our standards. The volunteer agreement is not meant to be legally binding, and it doesn't imply that you are employed by us. Your volunteer manager will be able to discuss this with you.

The volunteer manager for your role will agree with you:

  • the activities that you are willing to get involved in – found in the role description
  • the time that you're able to commit

If you don't like your placement or change your mind then you should talk to your volunteer manager. They may be able to sort out any problems you have, or change your role to something more enjoyable.

We will give you, whenever possible, activities that are satisfying and interesting to you.

Your volunteer manager will give you an introduction to the department and tell you everything you need to know to fulfil your role. You may also be asked to attend induction training sessions.

We will offer you as much support as you need through the duration of your voluntary role. Your concerns, questions or comments about your role should be put to your volunteer manager, or to our Community Development team. Your volunteer manager can tell you about our full process for raising concerns.

A joint commitment

When you volunteer with us we make a commitment to you, and expect a commitment in return.

Our commitment to you

Our commitment to volunteers is to:

  • make sure that volunteering is rewarding for all involved
  • recognise the importance of high standards and effective management of volunteers
  • agree the role description with the volunteer
  • be flexible in relation to personal circumstances
  • support volunteers if they wish to say 'no' to additional tasks or responsibilities, or if they wish to leave
  • offer volunteers opportunities for personal development within the volunteer role or to assist in exploring new opportunities
  • provide volunteers with support and guidance through a volunteer manager
  • provide volunteers with an open, accessible and fair process for raising any concerns and issues
  • pay out of pocket approved expenses in relation to the volunteer role, as agreed by your volunteer manager
  • provide public liability insurance
  • inform volunteers about health and safety matters and make efforts to ensure that they have a safe volunteering environment
  • implement our equal opportunities policy, which provides the basis by which we develop best practices for the benefit of current and future staff as required by law

What we expect from you

We expect our volunteers to:

  • perform the volunteering role to the best of their ability
  • attend information, relevant workshops and support sessions as appropriate to the volunteering role
  • volunteer within the council's priorities, aims and objectives, and follow our standards for equal opportunities, health and safety, data protection, confidentiality, and any others applicable to the role
  • assist other volunteers and staff as part of a team
  • let the volunteer manager know as early as possible if they are unable to carry out their volunteering duties
  • refer concerns or issues to the volunteer manager or other council staff, as appropriate
  • seek guidance if they feel that there may be a conflict of interest between their volunteering role and other commitments
  • not bring the council's name into disrepute and follow the volunteers agreement
  • treat information about service users, staff or other volunteers in a confidential way
  • act at all times in the best interests of the council
  • promote diversity and respect for the diverse community we serve
  • make sure equality is at the heart of any volunteer activity conducted on behalf of the council

Essential information

You should keep in mind the points below when volunteering with us.

Absence

If you can't attend your volunteering session due to an illness or accident you should tell your volunteer manager as soon as possible, before you were due to start. If you are going away on holiday you should try to give plenty of notice so that cover can be arranged.

Confidentiality

You may have access to confidential information that you must not share with anyone. You will have to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. Anyone not complying may have to leave immediately.

Dress code

Clothing must be appropriate to the area in which you volunteer, and be suitable for the weather conditions if necessary. Ask your volunteer manager for guidance.

Equality and diversity

We have an equal opportunities policy. This means that no employee or volunteer will receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, religion, ethnic or national origins, sex, marital status, sexual orientation or disability. All staff members and volunteers must adhere to the policy.

Fire procedures

Your volunteer manager will explain the fire evacuation procedures for your area. You will need to know the locations of fire exits, alarms, extinguishers and assembly points.

First aid

You will be told the names of our trained first aiders, and how to contact them. They will take charge of the situation if someone has an accident.

Health and safety

We will make sure that you are in a safe environment with as few risks as possible. You are responsible for being aware of your surroundings and practicing safe volunteering. During your induction you will be told about any health and safety information specific to your role and environment.