Forward Together. West Dunbartonshire Joint Voluntary Policy

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1 Forward Together West Dunbartonshire Joint Voluntary Policy

2 Forward Together

3 Contents Page Foreword Page 4 Introduction Page 5 The Policy Context Page 6 Volunteering Page 7 The Voluntary Sector Page 8 Joint Policy Page 9 Facts and Figures Page 10 The Voluntary Partnership Page 13 Training Page 17 Monitoring and Evaluation Page 18 Other Languages Page 19 Forward Together

4 Foreword The value of volunteering and the voluntary sector Every week thousands of people freely give their time to volunteer within West Dunbartonshire young and old, across a wide variety of backgrounds with a range of skills, knowledge and experience. People volunteer for different reasons to give something to their community, to share skills and experience, to make friends, to learn and gain confidence. Individual volunteers make up the network of Community and Third Sector organisations which enrich the life of the community within West Dunbartonshire. Others contribute through being members of management committees or employees. Their collective contribution to the social economy of the area is great. Volunteering benefits the wider community from the work done and the support provided. Those directly involved gain a sense of making a real contribution to their community. So it is true to say that volunteering is quite simply good for you! Through the local Third Sector Interface arrangements, West Dunbartonshire Council and West Dunbartonshire CVS, as part of the wider Community Planning Partnership, continue to support and develop community and voluntary activity in a variety of ways indirectly through in-kind arrangements and directly through support from officers and grant funding to local groups and projects. This Joint Voluntary Policy sets out our commitment as public service providers to support volunteering and voluntary activity in West Dunbartonshire. It sets a standard for all community planning partners to aspire too. The accompanying sets of guidance have been devised to ensure the implementation of the highest standards possible for working with volunteers and the voluntary sector. As Council Leader and Chair of the West Dunbartonshire Community Planning Partnership, I fully acknowledge the importance of volunteers and the Voluntary Sector. They make a vital contribution to the successful delivery of Community Planning and Community Empowerment aims. I am happy to lead the way for all public service organisations in West Dunbartonshire to continue to adopt the principles set out within this policy. Martin Rooney Leader of West Dunbartonshire Council Forward Together

5 Introduction As Community Planning Partners and public service providers, we recognise the valuable contribution which volunteers and voluntary groups make both to public services and to community life in West Dunbartonshire. In its Volunteering Strategy of 2004, the Scottish Executive set out its vision for Volunteering and stated that: Action to support volunteering is action to tackle poverty and disadvantage. Action to support volunteering is action to support community activity and build respect for others. This Policy sets out our commitment as public service providers to support volunteering and voluntary activity in West Dunbartonshire. An important part of this commitment is about ensuring that everyone who wishes to can take part. We will give particular attention to the needs of minority groups and to anyone whose voice is not easily heard. We have developed accompanying guidance on good practice in working with volunteers and with voluntary and community groups which is available on partner organisations websites. Forward Together

6 The Policy Context Volunteering Strategy - Scottish Government A Social Enterprise Strategy for Scotland Working & Learning Together - WDC Community Learning & Development Strategy WDCVS Strategy West Dunbartonshire Community Plan WDC Involving Communities Volunteering and Voluntary Sector Vision for the Voluntary Sector - Scottish Government Communicating Effectively WD Guidance on Community Involvement Guidance on Developing Compacts National Standards for Community Engagement Forward Together

7 Volunteering What is Volunteering? Volunteering is the giving of time and energy through a third party, which can bring measurable benefits to the volunteer, individual beneficiaries, groups and organisations, communities, environment and society at large. It is a choice undertaken of one s own free will, and is not motivated primarily for financial gain or for a wage or salary (Scottish Executive Volunteering Strategy 2004) Why do People Volunteer? People volunteer for a number of different reasons including: The satisfaction of doing something worthwhile and giving something back to my community Sharing skills and experience Contributing to other people s well being and development Learning new skills and developing confidence Preparing for education or work Increasing knowledge Widening social networks and improving health and well being A sense of achievement from doing something well Being an active citizen and influencing local decision-making Some people volunteer for a long period of time, others volunteer for shorter spells on route to further training or finding a job. In practice: Age Concern Dumbarton feature volunteers aged from Volunteering opportunities range from kitchen lunch club duties to telephone befriending support. A key element of their approach is to tailor outside support to the aims and objectives of the voluntary group which keeps the group members on board. Forward Together

8 The Voluntary Sector What is the Voluntary Sector? The voluntary sector is made up of a rich diversity of organisations. Community and voluntary organisations are independent bodies with self governing structures and a wholly or predominately unpaid voluntary governing body. They do not distribute profits to shareholders, and are run for the benefit of others in the community. Some, although not all, are registered charities or companies limited by guarantee. They are accountable to members and service users, and more generally to the people they serve or represent. They are also accountable to their funding bodies for how they spend their money. Community and voluntary organisations have paid employees, volunteers or a mixture of both. The Future of the Voluntary Sector It has been acknowledged that the sector has an important part to play in the delivery of the four themes which Scottish Ministers have committed themselves to in the Partnership Agreement a partnership for a better Scotland which are: Growing Scotland s economy Delivering excellent public services Supporting stronger, safer communities Developing a confident, democratic Scotland This role is defined through the Scottish Executive s A Social Enterprise Strategy for Scotland, which was published in March In addition the voluntary sector also has a bright future as one of the growth industries within Scotland: The long-term expansion of the sector is continuing. There has been a significant expansion in terms of numbers, roles and responsibilities since the establishment of the first benchmark of general charities in This is most visible in the increase in active general charities in the UK from 98,000 in 1991 to 169,000 in More recently, since 2000, the sector has seen a net increase of 28,000 organisations. This expansion represents a valuable contribution to the economy of Scotland. Equally important is the enrichment to the lives of those volunteering. Forward Together

9 Joint Policy A Joint Policy for Volunteering and the Voluntary Sector This one policy covers approaches for working with and supporting individual volunteers and voluntary and community groups. The joint policy approach recognises the close links between these. The policy includes: Some facts and figures about volunteering and the voluntary sector The voluntary partnership - Code of Practice for the relationship between individual volunteers and the organisations/ agencies which use their services - Code of Practice for the relationship between voluntary organisations/community groups and the agencies which use their services Training Monitoring and evaluation In practice examples of current volunteering appear throughout the Policy. Our Principles As community planning partners we support approaches to voluntary activity that: treat people with equality and parity treat people with respect and dignity foster mutual understanding and acceptance of time commitments and pressures recognise West Dunbartonshire Community & Volunteering Services as a key infrastructure support for volunteers and the sector encourage consistency in policy development In practice: West Dunbartonshire Partnership and the Health Board are working together to provide volunteering opportunities for adults with learning disabilities. A key feature of this approach is the added value of two agencies working together to provide additional support to the personal development of volunteers. Volunteers are getting the opportunity to achieve recognised certificates to help them gain employment. Forward Together

10 Some Facts and Figures Voluntary, Community and Social Economy Sector Groups There are currently over 900 community, voluntary and social economy sector groups registered with West Dunbartonshire CVS. These range from national organisations (7.5%) to informal associations, clubs and self help groups (1.6%) with the biggest category being Voluntary/Community Groups (68.8%). There is a wide range of type of groups with children, young people and elderly people receiving the greatest focus. Groups are spread fairly evenly throughout the West Dunbartonshire area. The main areas of activity are leisure and recreation, information and advice provision, community development, representation and direct service provision. In practice: West Dunbartonshire Wide Youth Forum brings together young volunteers from Youth Forums in West Dunbartonshire. They act as advocates for other young people, taking forward ideas, views and opinions from their peers for discussion and action. Supported by staff from West Dunbartonshire Council s Community Learning & Development Youth Team, they also link with the young people s youth strategy group which helps direct the priorities of the West Dunbartonshire Youth Strategy. Forward Together

11 Some Facts and Figures The People involved in the Sector An estimated 9121 citizens of West Dunbartonshire are involved in running and supporting the work of the voluntary sector. Of these, 2633 are involved as members of management committees, 5341 are volunteers and 1147 are paid employees. Between members serving on voluntary management committees and boards and volunteers providing services, a conservative estimate of the total in-kind economic value of volunteering in West Dunbartonshire is 8.9 million. In practice: West Dunbartonshire Council s Community Literacies Team uses a large number of volunteers up to 120 in number. Volunteers tutor children, young people and adults in literacy and numeracy. They invest significantly in the training for volunteers with a preparation course and introductory training in Adult Literacies Learning. Volunteers Week features a thank you event for the volunteers to recognise their invaluable contribution. Forward Together

12 Some Facts and Figures Financial Support to the Sector We recognise that the benefits of the sector are two way. Financially, the voluntary sector makes a very significant contribution to the economy of West Dunbartonshire. Volunteering hours given by West Dunbartonshire population are estimated to amount to 21,500 per week. The Council and community planning partners contribute financially and in-kind to support volunteering. As community planning partners we will continue to provide a wide range of support as well as promoting opportunities for funding from other sources such as Big Lottery, European Funding and the Scottish Government. We also recognise and encourage the Voluntary Sector generation of its own funding through fundraising and donations. Note: Figures quoted are from the CVS WD Audit of Voluntary Sector In practice: West Dunbartonshire Youth Trust involves young people aged acting as volunteers on an Advisory Group and Trustee Board that make decisions regarding grant applications from services for young people in West Dunbartonshire. Volunteers are supported by the Youth Development Worker. Training is given to support the volunteers with the tasks of allocating funding and managing the Youth Trust. Forward Together

13 The Voluntary Partnership Code of Practice for the relationship between individual volunteers and the organisations/ agencies which use their services. Volunteers Organisations/Agencies Rights To receive a clearly written role description To participate in activities that suit their personal preferences, motivations, skills and experience To have a safe and suitable working environment To be given initial induction and training for their role To receive ongoing training, to the level appropriate to the volunteer and the opportunity To have out of pocket expenses reimbursed To be involved in decisions that affect them To have complaints and concerns heard To be treated fairly To be respected by co-workers To have feedback on their performance To be recognised appropriately for their volunteering To enjoy their volunteering To resign if they do not feel the volunteering position is appropriate Responsibilities To understand and accept the commitment needed in respect of the opportunity chosen To inform the organisation of any barriers to volunteering To notify the organisation as soon as possible if unable to volunteer To respect confidentiality To accept guidance and supervision To undertake agreed tasks To point out any potential opportunities or dangers To abide by the policies and procedures of the organisation To ask questions if unsure Responsibilities To understand clearly the role of the volunteer within their organisation To identify a key contact person for each volunteer To provide volunteers with guidance on the tasks they are being asked to undertake To provide ongoing support and assistance to allow the volunteer to participate fully within the organisation To ensure adequate insurance cover and health and safety arrangements are in place To ensure volunteers are not financially penalised through their volunteering and, where appropriate, to signpost to up to date information on volunteering while on benefits. To hold personal information confidentially To operate an equal opportunities policy across the organisation To accredit volunteers where appropriate To handle service improvements suggestions positively To ensure disclosure arrangements are in place Rights To expect promptness, reliability and good performance To expect enthusiasm and loyalty To decide in conjunction with the volunteer, how best their services can be used To be able to release any volunteer from an unsuitable placement Forward Together

14 The Voluntary Partnership In practice: AskClyde AskClyde is an emerging social firm providing research and consultancy services to public, private and voluntary sector clients. Volunteers with AskClyde aim to use the wide range of office, research and consultancy training opportunities to get back into employment. One feature within AskClyde is its buddy system which provides one-to-one mentoring to support volunteers. Through this supportive approach AskClyde aims to foster a sense of being part of a team and develop an element of ownership in the growth of AskClyde. Forward Together

15 The Voluntary Partnership Code of Practice for the relationship between voluntary organisations/community groups and the agencies which use their services Voluntary Organisations/ Community Groups Agencies Rights To be consulted on issues of relevance To conduct activities deemed appropriate to meet community needs To have access to open and transparent funding processes To have appropriate funding cycles to ensure sustainable cash flows To have proportionate monitoring and evaluation in relation to the level of funding received Responsibilities To contribute openly and constructively to local consultations To abide by application and consultation timescales To participate in activities as agreed To abide by conditions of grant To ensure funding received is used for the correct purpose To acknowledge support in relevant publicity materials and statutory reports To abide by accounting rules and practices eg. Statement of Recommended Practices (SORP), Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR) To undertake effective monitoring and review of their activities To identify and promote good practice To follow disclosure procedures Responsibilities To consult on issues to ensure sector impact is mapped and understood To respect the autonomy of voluntary organisations To provide information and support to organisations seeking to work in partnership To consider issues of pay parity in service level agreement and contract negotiations To provide clear information to voluntary sector organisations seeking funding support To define clearly conditions of grant To define clearly and adhere to payment dates To define clearly the reporting requirements at the time of grant making To be aware of the sector s legal reporting requirements To limit jargon and simplify codes of practice To identify and promote good practice Rights To have signed agreements and documentation to meet monitoring requirements To receive reports on funding distributed and outcomes achieved To consult on issues of relevance (in a way that does not place unreasonable demands on consultees) To ask for evidence of disclosure procedures where appropriate Forward Together

16 The Voluntary Partnership In practice: Clydebank Oral Health Action Team Volunteers help to deliver toothbrushing programmes and a range of health events to promote oral health with under fives in nurseries. Ideas from volunteers have been introduced such as using egg timers to help children brush for the right amount of time and providing decorated bins to encourage children to throw away their bottles and progress to using cups. Health Visitors are involved in recruiting volunteers. Forward Together

17 Training Training Providing appropriate training will greatly strengthen the whole volunteering experience. Good training will have positive benefits. It will help volunteers who wish to progress to further education or employment. And, by making the voluntary experience more worthwhile, it will also help to retain those volunteers for whom work and formal education isn t a relevant course of action. Training in this context should be responsive to identified needs. This works on two levels. Training for Employees The first relates to equipping our employees of public sector organisations to work effectively with volunteers and voluntary groups. The two sets of Guidance associated with this Policy Guidance for Working with Volunteers and Guidance for Working with Voluntary Groups will both be made available to appropriate employees, supported by awareness raising sessions. In the broader context, the local West Dunbartonshire Guidance for Community Involvement (based on the National Standards for Community Engagement) and associated awareness raising will support good practice in working effectively with community members. Training for Volunteers The Inspire Training programme is available to provide relevant training, tailored to the requirements of individuals and groups in the community. A number of partner organisations input to the wideranging programme. Other training, tailored to the individual volunteering placement, will also be provided. Forward Together

18 Monitoring and Evaluation The monitoring and evaluation of our work with volunteers and the voluntary sector will be carried out through the West Dunbartonshire Council for Voluntary Service Annual Audit, which will be extended to include the community planning partner agencies. For further information contact: West Dunbartonshire Community & Volunteering Services (WDCVS) Arcadia Business Centre Miller Lane Clydebank G81 1UJ Telephone Fax West Dunbartonshire Council Corporate and Community Planning Council Offices Garshake Road Dumbarton G82 3PU Telephone Fax westdunbarton.gov.uk Forward Together

19 Other Languages This document is also available in other languages, large print and audio format on request. Arabic Hindi Punjabi Urdu Chinese (Cantonese) Polish West Dunbartonshire Council Policy Unit, West Dunbartonshire Council, Council Corporate and Community Planning Offices, Garshake Road, Dumbarton, G82 3PU Council Offices Garshake Road Dumbarton G82 3PU Telephone Fax Forward Together

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