Volunteer Policy

Suicide or Survive
Volunteer Policy and Procedures

SOS values the contribution of volunteers and the role they play in the success and development of the organisation.

SOS is led by a voluntary Board of Management. The Board is comprised of volunteers who use their own particular experience and expertise in a collective manner to govern the organisation. The Board of Management have an agreed code of practice, a defined role and areas of responsibility which are all outlined in the organisation’s Memorandum and Articles of Association. Voluntary Directors of the Board are required to adhere to these under company law.

SOS also engages members of the public who give of their time voluntarily to assist with fundraising activities. We view volunteers who offer their time as a major resource who make a vital contribution to the overall work of the organisation. SOS recognises that the role of volunteers is to compliment and not replace the role of paid staff. We are therefore committed to ensuring that volunteers are provided with the information, training and support they require to fulfil the roles they volunteer for and to ensure that volunteering is a positive experience for them.

SOS is committed to building positive working relationships with volunteers which are founded on mutual respect and valuing the experience and skills which volunteers bring to the organisation.

The purpose of this policy is to provide overall guidance and direction to volunteers who give of their time to be part of our Board of Management or to assist with fundraising activities. This policy applies to all who engage with SOS on a voluntary basis at all times.

Policy and Procedures
Volunteer Recruitment
It is the policy of SOS to ensure that volunteer recruitment is carried out in a transparent, fair, equitable and consistent manner.

Role Description
Prior to any volunteer recruitment or assignment effort, SOS will develop a role description for the role for which the person is recruited/ assigned. This will include the title and purpose of the role, the duties to be carried out and the reporting arrangements for the volunteer.

This will be used in the recruitment process to:

  • Help Volunteers assess if they have the necessary qualities;
  • Outline what is needed for the role;
  • Provide an objective way of determining volunteers suitability;

All prospective volunteers will be asked to complete the Volunteer Application Form whether they are responding to an advertisement or are applying to SOS speculatively. SOS will respond to all applicants on receipt of their application.

Selection and Appointment
Volunteers will be selected based on the role related experience and expertise detailed on their application forms. Suitable applicants will be notified as soon as a suitable volunteering opportunity becomes available.

Volunteer Agreement
All volunteers are required to sign a Volunteer Agreement. The purpose of this agreement is to outline the terms under which they will operate with SOS and to confirm the commitment made by both SOS and the volunteer.

SOS reserves the right to terminate the volunteering arrangement with any individual who is found to be operating outside of the terms of the Volunteer Agreement and/ or their role specification, is acting in a way that may damage the reputation of SOS and/ or where a conflict of interest between the volunteer and the aims and objectives of SOS occurs. Volunteers have the right to terminate their engagement with SOS subject to the appropriate notice periods outlined in their role specification.

Exit Interview
Where possible, an exit interview will be undertaken with any volunteer who has chosen or been asked to leave prior to completing their duties as agreed with SOS. The purpose of the exit interview is to ascertain how the individual found volunteering with SOS and any suggestions they would give us to improve the way we operate and/ or engage with volunteers.

Insurance is provided by SOS to cover activities carried out by volunteers acting for or on behalf of SOS.

Volunteers will be accountable to the CEO who will:

  • Ensure they receive the appropriate documentation to inform them of their role and responsibilities and to introduce them to the organisation and any policies and/ or procedures relevant to them in their role
  • Answer any queries they may have in relation to their role and address concerns.

SOS recognises that volunteers have rights and should be treated with equality, dignity and respect within the organisation. SOS is committed to ensuring that volunteers:

  • Know what is expected of them and have a clear role description
  • Understand who they are accountable to
  • Are informed about the organisational policies and procedures that relate to them in their role
  • Have a safe environment in which to carry out their duties
  • Are covered for out of pocket expenses as agreed on appointment by the CEO
  • Are treated fairly and without discrimination
  • Are consulted on issues which effect what they do
  • Are treated as part of the overall team and are given opportunities to voice their opinions

Volunteer Code of Conduct
Volunteers are expected to carry out their duties in a manner that is consistent with the aims, objectives, philosophy and ethos of SOS. On commencement of their engagement with SOS each individual will be asked to sign a Volunteer Agreement stating that they will:

  • Operate in a manner that is consistent with the aims, objectives, philosophy and ethos of SOS
  • Respect the confidentiality of the organisation and of any staff and/ or service users they may come in contact with through their work
  • Work as part of the SOS team
  • Respect the human rights of others and operate within the organisations policies and procedures on equality, discrimination and bullying
  • Carry out their duties in a safe manner and report any accident or incident in accordance with the SOS Policy and Procedures in relation to Health and Safety
  • Inform the CEO or his/ her representative if they have a difficulty in carrying out their duties or in attending at agreed times and locations

All volunteers will receive an induction pack when they begin their voluntary work with SOS. This will consist of a general induction to the organisation, induction on the policies and procedures that will impact on them in their role, and specific orientation on the purpose and requirements of their specific role.

Where a volunteer has a grievance about any aspect of their work they must first discuss it with the CEO. He/ she will consider the issue and will decide on the most appropriate course of action. If the volunteer is unhappy with the decision he/ she can refer it to the Chairperson of the Board of Management in writing. The Board of Management will consider the issue and will decide on the most appropriate course of action. The decision of the Board will be conveyed in writing and will be final.