Volunteers - Policy on Involving Vounteers

Volunteer management is about ensuring that volunteers contribute to the overall effectiveness of the organization and help it to meet its strategic goals while at the same time, find it a rewarding experience. To achieve this target, the Gambia Red cross Society as a membership-Based organization operates within structures in all its seven branches in the country and each of the branches has links and districts working with volunteers.

Some Photos of Volunteers

The Volunteer Management Department as any other department does engage in activities in fulfilling its mandates. One of the most important activities of the volunteer management department is the creation and updating of the database system of volunteers. This is an on-going process that has already started, hope to have an up-to- dated data base of all our volunteers before the end of the year.

Networking or strengthening relationship with other National Societies and partners is another activity of the volunteer management office. In collaboration with the Youth Commission, the department organizes an annual youth camp with our sister National Society-Senegal through an Accord of protocol Agreement. The camp among other issues creates an avenue for the youths of the two societies to discuss issues affecting them and the sharing of best practices. The Youth Commission under the guide of the Volunteer management department has also signed Memorandum Of Understanding with some Youth groups like National Youth Parliament in strengthening its partnership relations.

However the Volunteer management Department in collaboration with youth commission also does embarks on a bi- annual capacity building programme for volunteers. This is a ten-day youth camp that gather volunteers from all the seven branches of the society train in different areas of their interest. The department also manages a musical band called the Humanity Band. The band was formed in 2005 through a twining programme between Icelandic Red Cross Society and Banjul &KM Red Cross Branch, the purpose of which was to raise fund for the two branches and by extension developed the capacities of those volunteers with musical talent.

Volunteer Statement

The Gambia Red Cross Society places a high value on the skills, knowledge, commitment and enthusiasm that volunteers bring to our work. We encourage volunteer involvement at every level of the organisation and from all backgrounds regardless of ability, health, gender, ethnicity, age, sexuality or religion.

This policy aims to provide a clear statement of why and how The Gambia Red Cross wishes to involve volunteers and to provide overall guidance and direction in volunteer management. The GRCS encourages volunteers to contribute to our work whilst providing safeguards for all concerned.

Who is a Volunteer?

The working definition is “A volunteer is someone who gives their time freely to GRCS to carry out a specific task or tasks, usually on a regular or part time basis without the expectation of a financial reward”

General Principles

  • We welcome volunteers from all backgrounds
  • All out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed if genuine and deemed necessary.
  • Volunteers have an important contribution to make in helping us to achieve our aims
  • All volunteers will be provided with the necessary facilities and resources to carry out the volunteering role to the best of their ability.
  • All relevant training will be provided if volunteers or their roles need/wish it.

Volunteer Mission Statement

The GRCS places a high value on the skills, knowledge, commitment and enthusiasm that volunteers bring to our work.  We encourage volunteer involvement at every level of the organisation and from all backgrounds regardless of ability, health, gender, ethnicity, age, origin, sexuality or religion

Volunteer Team

The Volunteer Management Coordinator is responsible for ensuring the management and development of GRCS volunteers. The Volunteer management office is the central point of synchronisation of volunteers and will provide support to staff and volunteers in order to ensure effective services.

All new incoming volunteers will receive an application form and guidance on the roles and mandates of the GRCS. All volunteers will have an induction, this will include an informal interview, introduction to Volunteering, Health and Safety Procedures and volunteers will be shown how to become enrolled.

The Volunteer Management office in collaboration with other program coordinators, branch officials and the youth commission will make sure that all volunteers are sufficiently trained for any task that they may undertake whilst at GRCS and will also receive regular supervision to provide a forum for the volunteer and the Youth Commission to raise concerns.

Equal Opportunites

The GRCS encourages the involvement of volunteers of all backgrounds, religions, spiritualities and ethnicity. We value the people’s contributions regardless of disability, health, gender, age or sexuality. We will provide and maintain any provisions necessary to accommodate people’s needs during their services for the GRCS.

The GRCS take the view that any behaviour, either verbal or physical which is offensive to an individual or makes them feel intimidated, humiliated, ridiculed and/or undermined because of their age, colour, nationality, ethnic group, gender, sexual orientation or ability is totally unacceptable.

Volunteer Responsibilities

Volunteers are responsible for maintaining confidentiality of any information which they are exposed to.  Confidentiality is fundamental to the way in which GRCS works. However, if the risk to the vulnerable person is above a certain level we reserve the right to breach confidentiality. Similarly, information will not be shared with third parties except with the child’s consent or with the approval of a manager. Further training in confidentiality will be given when appropriate.

Volunteers are expected to be punctual and reliable. If a volunteer is going to be absent from their role, they must let GRCS know with adequate warning. If a Volunteer wishes to resign from their post, again adequate notice is required.
Volunteers are expected to attend any relevant training for their roles.

Records

The Volunteer Management coordinator is responsible for keeping up to date information about volunteers. This will be kept in a locked filing cabinet or database and be kept private and confidential.
Each volunteer will have a file that will contain:

  • Up to date emergency contact numbers
  • Any notes on special arrangements or requirements in regards to any disability or illnesses
  • Their application form
  • References and a copy of their CVs where appropriate
  • Notes on any training undertaken whilst at GRCS

Health and Safety

It is the VMC's responsibility to ensure that all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that volunteers are not put in potentially hazardous situations risking their personal safety. General advice, information and training will be given in Health and Safety issues in relation to their role.


Copyright 2011 The Gambia Red Cross Society Developed By Allan R. Caulker - Unique Solutions