1. POLICY STATEMENT
At Every Child Online, we believe that all young people should have the chance to succeed in the workplace. We support schools and pupils by providing free of charge refurbished computer equipment donated by UK businesses and the public. Volunteers play a crucial role in helping achieve our mission and we could not achieve our goals without their hard work. We are incredibly grateful for their support and want to make sure all our volunteers have a safe, rewarding and enjoyable experience.
This Volunteer Policy recognises the significant and valuable role volunteers play in supporting young people move into employment, education or training. This Policy reflects our commitment to volunteering and sets out a framework of procedures and best practice, which we will endeavour to follow when recruiting and working with our volunteers, to ensure that both volunteers’ and Every Child Online’s expectations are met.
The Policy is for volunteers recruited by Every Child Online and colleagues working with those volunteers. It will be provided to all volunteers at the time of their induction with Every Child Online.
Responsibility for this Policy rests with Every Child Online senior management and Trustees.
2. EVERY CHILD ONLINE’S VOLUNTEERS – DEFINITION
An Every Child Online volunteer is someone who, unpaid and of their own free will, chooses to give their time, energy, skills and expertise to support Every Child Online in achieving its aims. The arrangement is voluntary on both sides. The charity’s relationship with volunteers is based on trust and is not intended to have the obligations associated with employment. No payment, other than the reimbursement of
agreed out-of-pocket expenses, is made by Every Child Online to people who give their time as volunteers.
Every Child Online’s volunteers support the charity in a number of ways, including:
- Helping to collect and deliver donated devices from donors.
- Supporting the refurbishment of donated devices
- Partnering with colleagues, for example by providing administrative support in our offices, helping to deliver strategic projects or coaching our colleagues.
- Championing Every Child Online by helping to spread the word and connecting us with communities and partners.
- Raising funds, for example by helping to run events, promoting the ways to give money and connecting us with their networks.
- Building the community, for example by helping to recruit, train or support other volunteers.
We expect that both our volunteers and paid staff always aim to live the values of Every Child Online by being:
- Approachable – open-minded and value diversity
- Non-judgemental – focus on the potential, not the past
- Inspiring – lead by example
- Empowering – enable positive change
- Passionate about Every Child Online’s goals and delivering excellence
3. OUR VISION FOR VOLUNTEERING
We believe that by harnessing the passion and skills of our volunteer community, we can achieve more for young people and are committed to engaging volunteers in this mission wherever possible. We aim to deliver a sector-leading volunteering experience so that our volunteers enjoy supporting us and feel well-equipped to support the work of Every Child Online. We are committed to making Every Child Online the best organisation to volunteer with. To ensure that volunteers are at the forefront of everything we do, we aim to:
- Ensure that our volunteers understand what we expect from them, and what they can expect from us in return.
- Attract volunteers with the right skills to support young people and Every Child Online.
- Deliver a sector-leading volunteering experience through processes and ways of working, which makes it enjoyable and easy to support us.
4. EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY
Every Child Online is committed to building a diverse organisation that is responsive to the needs of young people and our stakeholders. Every Child Online is also committed to equal opportunities at all stages of recruitment, selection and volunteering. Short-listing, interviewing and selection of volunteers will always be carried out without regard to protected characteristics: age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; and sexual orientation. This commitment is reflected throughout the charity’s policies and procedures. Every Child Online will not condone, accept or ignore any forms of discrimination or unacceptable behaviour.
Every Child Online believes that all children and young people have the right to protection from harm, abuse
and exploitation. The Safeguarding Policy will be shared with all new volunteers to Every Child Online as part of the onboarding process along with “Start Safe”, Every Child Online’s Code of Behaviour. ‘Start Safe’ provides clear guidance on the behaviour expected of all staff, volunteers and other representatives in all activities with children and young people, whether they are delivered face to face or online. Where Every Child Online feels it is necessary, failure to meet the obligations of the Safeguarding Policy and the “Start Safe” Code of Behaviour may lead to a volunteer being asked to step back from volunteering temporarily or permanently, or other appropriate action.
Volunteers taking on roles that are eligible for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, or equivalent, will be required to undertake a relevant check. If required, this will be made clear in the volunteer role description and during the application process. We welcome volunteers from a range of different backgrounds, and having a criminal record will not necessarily bar someone from volunteering with us. This will depend on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of the offence.
Every Child Online will collect information on all prospective volunteers during the recruitment and selection process. Additionally, volunteers might be required to attend an informal interview to provide relevant information and explore their aspirations and the experience they can bring to Every Child Online. It is important for all involved to appreciate that the interview is not a competitive process, and the sole selection criteria is suitability for the role. A personal reference might be required and taken up to help confirm suitability for volunteering and for specific roles.
All our regular volunteers must read and agree to the Volunteer Commitment, which outlines what is expected from the volunteer and what they can expect from Every Child Online. In commencing their role, the volunteer commits to the aims, values and key policies of Every Child Online. They also commit to delivering the key tasks outlined in the relevant role description. This Volunteer Commitment does not and is not intended to create a contract of employment between Every Child Online and volunteers.
When appointed, an appropriately named contact for that role will lead on the relationship management of the volunteer. This may be a colleague or a volunteer. The named contact is responsible for guiding and supporting the volunteer in their role and should be available to discuss any aspect of the volunteer’s role. A volunteer will be informed in writing (letter or email) if their Every Child Online contact changes.
7. TRAINING AND SUPPORT
Volunteers will have a valuable set of skills, knowledge and attitudes gained from their education, work, previous volunteering, and life experiences. To help ensure that volunteers are appropriately equipped for their role, each volunteer must undergo the appropriate induction and training process prior to commencing their role, alongside continuous training, where appropriate, whilst volunteering with Every Child Online.
Each volunteer will be provided with relevant management and support. This might include regular, appropriate and mutually agreed contact.
Every Child Online will also provide appropriate recognition and occasions to celebrate volunteers and their work, on an individual and group basis, according to specific role(s), commitment and length of service.
8. HEALTH AND SAFETY
Volunteers must take reasonable care of themselves and others while volunteering for Every Child Online, and follow any health and safety advice and instruction given for their role. Volunteers should co- operate with Every Child Online on health and safety matters, and immediately report accidents/incidents (including near misses – accidents/incidents that may have led to injury). Volunteers should not intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interests of health, safety and welfare.
Every Child Online will ensure that all volunteers are provided with the appropriate information, supervision and training required to enable them to complete voluntary work safely. This includes providing suitable systems and procedures and guidance is outlined in The Health and Safety Policy.
The work of Every Child Online is critically dependent on our extensive network of volunteers. We are very grateful to the vast number of volunteers who do not claim expenses; however, we will always look to reimburse reasonable expenses if there are financial barriers to volunteering. Please note that we will only reimburse expenses if previously agreed with the volunteer’s named contact, based on their assessment of Every Child Online’s requirements and the available budget. Where applicable, please refer to the Volunteer Toolkit for further details on what expenses we cover and how to claim.
Every Child Online provides Employers Liability, Public Liability and Professional Indemnity cover for all volunteers whilst working on Every Child Online activities. Every Child Online does not provide motor insurance cover. The insurance will not cover unauthorised actions or actions outside the volunteering agreement.
All volunteers that hold Business Class motor insurance will be automatically covered for their work on behalf of Every Child Online. However, if their insurance is limited to social and domestic use then they will have to discuss their role as a Every Child Online volunteer with their insurance company to ensure that they are fully covered. Volunteers will be asked to sign the relevant section on the Expenses form to confirm that they have agreed to drive on Every Child Online business with their insurers before we can reimburse mileage costs.
11. DATA PROTECTION AND CONFIDENTIALITY
When using Every Child Online’s devices or IT systems as part of their role, volunteers must read, understand and sign up to our Information Security Policy prior to starting their role.
When volunteering with Every Child Online, volunteers are likely to become aware of confidential information about Every Child Online, its staff, young people supported by the charity and third parties. All volunteers are required to maintain confidentiality and should not disclose the organisation’s information during their volunteering services and any time afterwards.
12. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
When signing our Volunteer Commitment, a volunteer assigns, by way of future assignment to Every Child Online, all Intellectual Property created by them as part of their role as an Every Child Online volunteer or credited to them during the term of their volunteering, provided that the assignment shall not include intellectual property which is not connected in any way whatsoever whether directly or indirectly with their volunteering.
13. FEEDBACK AND COMPLAINTS
Although Every Child Online makes every effort to ensure that any experience of volunteering with us is positive and rewarding, we recognise that volunteers at times may experience difficulty within their role or they may want to share feedback or raise an issue with a member of staff or another volunteer.
In the first instance, volunteers should talk to their named contact or the Volunteering Development Team at firstname.lastname@example.org to try to resolve the issue, get advice or share feedback. We will make every reasonable effort to resolve difficulties at an early stage, and we always review feedback and learn from it.
However, where the areas of concern cannot be resolved by these means, please refer to our organisational Feedback and Complaints Policy, which can be found on our website. In line with this Policy, feedback and complaints can be submitted to the Customer Service Team at Every Child Online in the following ways:
- Online: using our contact form – https://www.everychildonline.co.uk
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 01268 544074
- Post: writing to: FAO Every Child Online, Team Leader
Every Child Online
15 Buckwin Square
Basildon, Essex. SS131BJ
There may be occasions where named contacts may have concerns around a volunteer’s behaviour or approach. In this case, staff contacts will approach the volunteer directly to discuss any concerns they may have amicably and openly and resolve difficulties at an early stage.
14. LEAVING EVERY CHILD ONLINE
Volunteers are free to cease volunteering with Every Child Online at any time by speaking or writing to their named contact. When deciding to finish volunteering with us, we ask that volunteers give us as much notice as possible to help us organise alternative arrangements. Upon leaving a volunteer role, we may offer an exit interview to reflect on their experiences and improve our volunteer opportunities. There are many different
ways to support schools through Every Child Online and so we encourage volunteers to stay in touch and get involved in the future.
There may also be times when Every Child Online will ask a volunteer to cease volunteering. This may be because the role no longer supports the needs of the organisation and its current work, or because the volunteer is no longer able to satisfactorily carry out a particular role. When this happens, we will endeavour to give as much notice as possible to the volunteer and try to find an acceptable alternative role. In all cases, the volunteer will be treated fairly, with dignity and respect.
Every Child Online – January 2023