The Kindling Trust’s Volunteer Policy
This policy sets out the broad principles for voluntary involvement in The Kindling Trust (Kindling). It’s purpose is to ensure fairness, consistency and legal compliance in the management and support of volunteers.
1. Relevance and accessibility
This policy is of relevance to all current and potential volunteers, as well as members of staff who are concerned with recruiting, supporting and managing volunteers. The policy is readily accessible to current and potential volunteers through our website. Printed copies are available on request.
Volunteers play an important role in the work of The Kindling Trust and we endeavour to involve volunteers in a wide range of our work. We value the skills, knowledge, time and enthusiasm volunteers bring to our organisation. We recognise the value of volunteering to the individual and engage with volunteers whenever we can. The varying life experiences of both volunteers and staff contribute to the diversity and vitality of the organisation.
3.0 Defining Volunteers and Kindling’s relationship with them
A volunteer is someone who contributes his or her time to the organisation without being paid. The Kindling Trust is committed to ensuring any activities undertaken by volunteers are of mutual benefit to our organisation and the individual.
3.1 Volunteers will never be asked to replace paid staff.
3.2 The volunteer role is binding only in trust and mutual understanding. No enforceable obligation will be imposed on volunteers to give their time or carry out requested tasks. In turn, Kindling are not obliged to provide regular work or any other benefit for activities undertaken.
3.3 While there is no enforceable obligation to do so, we ask that, where an ongoing piece of work is being undertaken, volunteers inform us if they intend to take a break from, or discontinue their involvement with Kindling. This does not apply to Land Army volunteers.
3.4 Volunteers will be integrated and treated equally as part of the team.
3.5 Volunteers will be invited to take equal part in appropriate decision making processes and attend relevant meetings.
3.6 The Kindling trust will keep volunteers informed of relevant decisions and structural changes regarding The Kindling Trust.
4.0 Volunteer Roles
Volunteer roles at The Kindling Trust can be either short-term or on-going, conducted from our office or from home, practical or desk based. This flexible way of working suits our organisation and we hope enables a variety of individuals, with different lifestyles and availability, to engage with us as volunteers.
4.1Volunteering with The Land Army
The Land Army provides opportunities to volunteer on Greater Manchester’s organic farms. The Land Army is intended to be beneficial to the farmers we work with, through the provision of additional labour, and the individuals who volunteer, who have the opportunity to gain experience of organic growing. Land Army trips take place regularly during Spring, Summer and Autumn. The Land Army provides volunteers with lunch, tools, gloves and transport to and from the farms.
4.2 Other Volunteer Roles
There are a variety of other potential volunteer roles with The Kindling Trust. Past volunteer activities have included helping to write funding bids, facilitating at events, helping with publicity and even dressing up as a vegetable! These roles will become available on a needs-led basis for our projects and organisation.
5.1 Land Army
We advertise opportunities to volunteer with The Land Army widely through our networks and the networks of the organisations we work with. Dates are available on both The Kindling Trust and Feeding Manchester websites and in places used by the local community.
5.1.1 Individuals from all walks of life are welcome and encouraged to volunteer with The Land Army. Our only criteria are as follows:
Volunteers must be over the age of 18 due to insurance restrictions.
Due to the physical nature of the work, volunteers must be in good health and are requested to make us aware of any relevant health problems.
For health and safety reasons, volunteers must wear appropriate footwear and clothing. This means sturdy – and preferably waterproof – footwear and clothing to suit the weather. We reserve the right to refuse individuals who are not appropriately dressed.
5.2 Other volunteering roles
5.2.1 These volunteer roles will become available to reflect the changing needs of our projects and the organisation.
5.2.2 We welcome offers of volunteering from individuals and we endeavour, wherever possible, to accept by offering a volunteer role that matches their interests and skills. However, we are a small organisation with finite resources and volunteer roles must reflect the needs of the projects and the organisation at the time. We will only recruit volunteers for roles we believe will be useful for The Kindling Trust and fulfilling for the volunteer.
5.2.3 Individuals offering to volunteer their time will be asked to complete an initial questionnaire and, where a suitable role is available, invited for an interview with the volunteer coordinator.
5.2.4 We are unable to give any guarantee of a suitable role becoming available.
6.1 The Land Army
6.1.1The Land Army co-ordinator, and the growers, will work alongside and be on hand to support volunteers for the duration of each Land Army trip.
6.2 Other Volunteer Roles
6.2.1 Volunteers will be allocated one named person within the relevant project to act as their “point of contact”. This person will carry out an induction to the role and to the organisation. The point of contact will be available to discuss the work of the volunteer at agreed intervals, either in person or by phone or email. This will be agreed between the volunteer and point of contact.
6.2.2 The volunteer coordinator will also be available to support volunteers when necessary.
7.0 Induction and Training:
7.1 The Land Army
7.1.1 The Land Army co-ordinator will provide an induction for new volunteers at the beginning of each Land Army trip.
7.1.2 An introduction to the farm, including health and safety information, will be provided by the farmer or the Land Army co-ordinator.
7.1.3 On the job training will be provided for any tasks volunteers are asked to complete.
7.1.4 Additional training opportunities may sometimes become available for Land Army volunteers.
7.2 Other volunteer opportunities
7.2.1 Volunteers will be supported through a full induction to their role and the work of The Kindling Trust. This will be carried out by their point of contact.
7.2.2 Volunteers will be given a copy of the volunteer policy and a volunteer role outline. This is not a contract
7.2.3 Each volunteer will receive information about health and safety and equal opportunities.
7.2.4 Volunteers will undertake work on a trial basis of one month (where relevant) to ensure both The Kindling Trust and the volunteer are happy with the role and the work being carried out.
7.2.5 All volunteers are entitled to attend in-house training that The Kindling Trust organises, where space on the course allows. Dates are to be advertised on the notice board and though project meetings.
7.2.6 Volunteers should also be encouraged to attend conferences and events appropriate to their work where possible. Again this is to be decided by the project.
We will strive to reimburse volunteers for any reasonable, and previously agreed, travel expense incurred while working for The Kindling Trust. Land Army volunteers will not be reimbursed for travel expenses, but transport to and from the farms is provided from our office in Hulme. Land Army volunteers are also provided with lunch, refreshments and PPE, where available.
9. Health and Safety
Volunteers will receive information relating to health and safety during their induction. This information will be specific to their role and the activities they are to undertake. Volunteers will be aware of general health and safety and personal safety and will know how to report an accident or incident.
10.0 Equal opportunities and Diversity
10.1 The Kindling Trust seeks to recruit volunteers from a diverse range of backgrounds that reflect the make-up of the local community. We recognise the importance of encouraging diversity and achieving equality amongst volunteers.
10.2 The Kindling Trust believes volunteering should be open to all and we endeavour to provide equal opportunities to all for active involvement within the scope of the organisation’s needs and resources.
10.3 Volunteers will be recruited solely on merit, the sole selection criterion being the individual’s suitability to carry out the specified task(s) subject to the needs and restrictions of the location.
10.4 Our full Equal Opportunities Policy can be found on The Kindling Trust website.
11. Child Protection
Kindling will ensure that volunteers comply with our Child Protection Policy if they will be coming into regular contact with children. A copy of the Child Protection Policy is available in the Kindling Manual.
While undertaking volunteering activities approved and authorised by The Kindling Trust, all volunteers are covered by Kindling’s Public Liability Insurance.
Kindling will strive to resolve fairly any problems, grievances and difficulties volunteers may have while volunteering with The Kindling Trust. In the event of an unresolved problem, Kindling will offer an opportunity to discuss the issues in accordance with the Complaints and Grievances procedures.