Volunteer Policy – Lisburn Outlook
We are an organisation set up to promote social, cultural and recreational activities amongst blind and partially sighted people in the Lisburn area.
We were established in 2012 by people who felt there was a need for such a body, run and controlled by blind and partially sighted people themselves. We are self-sustaining and receive no regular external funding. We are registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, NIC 103202.
As well as arranging activities, we seek to influence the organisers of events and the public, retail, catering and entertainment sectors to make their facilities open and welcoming.
We run a walking and a tandem cycling group. Other activities include audio described theatre and cinema trips, tailored visits to places of interest and classes in recreational activities. We hold regular coffee mornings and “pub evenings”, which offer peer support and serve as informal advice and information meetings, encouraging those still learning to cope with sight loss to be more confident and assertive.
Purpose of our Volunteer Policy
Our volunteer policy has been created to show our volunteers and potential volunteers that we have spent time and care in planning how volunteers will be welcomed by Lisburn Outlook. It also outlines that all volunteers will be treated in a fair and consistent way. It should also help our volunteers understand what support is available to them and what they can expect from us.
Our Vision and Mission for Volunteering
Volunteering is a great way to share your enthusiasm, skills and ideas whilst having fun and meeting like-minded people. By volunteering for Lisburn Outlook you will be making a positive contribution to community development in our area. Volunteers are vital to our work.
Attracting Volunteers and Volunteer Agreement
We have different opportunities for volunteers to get involved in. The main ones are Tandem Pilot and Sighted Guide.
On our web site, you can read through our volunteer role profiles. Then all you need to do is contact us and enquire about becoming a volunteer. Your help will be greatly appreciated and really will make a difference.
Access NI Checks
All our volunteer roles will require an enhanced Access Ni check to inform Outlook of any criminal convictions that a person wishing to volunteer may have. Lisburn Outlook will cover any charges for these checks.
We expect you to undertake necessary training, keep us informed of your availability and adhere to our policies and principles.
You are entitled to expect from us adequate training and support, a clear explanation of your role and adequate information.
Induction and Training
As well as briefing you about Lisburn Outlook and about the commitment we are looking for, we will arrange visual awareness training for new volunteers. We will also arrange more specific training, such as tandem piloting, where required.
You will be added to our general mailing list and be welcome to attend all our activities, including those for which your services as a volunteer may not be specifically required.
You will be considered as a member, and not “just a volunteer”.
You will be assigned a “volunteer co-ordinator”. Different activities may have different co-ordinators. Your co-ordinator will offer support and will remain your key contact throughout your volunteering with us., You should feel free to discuss any concerns or training needs with the co-ordinator, so as to ensure that we do all we can to make your volunteering experience an enjoyable and meaningful one.
We value our volunteers and want to ensure that there are no barriers to volunteer involvement. All reasonable out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed, such as travel, subsistence or mileage.
In order to claim expenses, an Expenses Form must be completed and submitted to your volunteer co-ordinator. Claims should be accompanied by receipts.
Insurance, Health & Safety, Accidents and Risk Assessment
Outlook volunteers are covered by our public liability and “employer liability” insurance. A copy of the insurance policy can be provided on request. Our health and safety policy requires a risk assessment to be prepared for each activity. This policy is also available on request.
We hope that you will have a very enjoyable experience volunteering with us. However, if your role as a volunteer does not meet with your expectations or with the commitments we have made to you, we want you to feel comfortable about letting us know.
We reserve the right to terminate your volunteer position with us if disagreement or dissatisfaction cannot be resolved.
Our volunteers are expected to respect our members’ confidentiality. No personal information such as age, contact details or personal history should be disclosed to others in any medium, including social media, except with the member’s express consent.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Lisburn Outlook is committed to embracing diversity and promoting equality and inclusion. When working with or representing Outlook as a volunteer we expect you to support this commitment.
This Volunteer Policy will be reviewed every 12 months
Date of next review: May 2018.
Current text approved by Lisburn outlook Committee 4th May 2017.
Registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC 103202.