Volunteer Recruitment Process
Interview: Once we have received your application form we will contact you to arrange a suitable date and time for an informal interview. Interviews are a chance for you and the Project Coordinator to get to know each other and to match you with a suitable placement. The coordinator will assess your skills, suitability and how you meet the person specification based on task descriptions. We aim to identify how your potential might best be realised within available roles.
References: We take up two references for all volunteers and referees should have known you for at least two years and cannot be family members. We also operate a six week review period. Following a review and successful completion of the trial period you will be issued with an identity badge.
Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) Checks: VSL uses the services of the DBS to assess applicant’s suitability for positions of trust, so if you will be working with vulnerable individuals at any time during the course of your voluntary work with us, you will be required to complete a DBS check before you begin your placement. The cost will be covered by VSL
Before you begin volunteering: The Project Coordinator will give you a “Volunteer Declaration Form” that asks you to read your task description, volunteers’ handbook and confidentiality statement, before signing the declaration as proof that you understand your responsibilities and equally, the organisations responsibilities to you.
Expenses: All volunteers are entitled to receive reasonable out of pocket expenses, examples include:
- Travel expenses to and from VSL base and cost of travel undertaken in the course of volunteering.
- Volunteers working a minimum of 4 hours per day will be able to claim a lunch allowance.
- Telephone calls from the volunteer's home, made on behalf of VSL
- Postage will also be reimbursed given that a clear record of calls/post is provided and that authority has been sought before incurring expenses.
- Expenses are claimed from the Coordinator on the relevant forms and they will inform you of current rates.
Training & Support
Training: We provide tailored induction and training for our varied volunteering roles e.g. Mental Health Awareness training is provided to volunteers working with people experiencing mental health difficulties. Training for Receptionists is on site and informal, with new volunteers receiving support from experienced volunteers and staff. Passenger Assistant volunteers are provided with the nationally recognised PATs training and certificate.
General Group Support: Sessions are held three times each year on average and are open to all volunteers. This session provide an opportunity for an informal get together with volunteers across all VSL projects and is a place to share knowledge and experience. We try to ensure that all topics and training covered in these sessions are relevant to all volunteers, so include subjects such as health & safety, fire awareness and dealing with difficult situations etc. Our awareness talks or training may be presented by VSL Staff or a representative from another professional group or organisation.
Project Group Support: Project Coordinators arrange group meetings for their volunteers on average twice a year. Topics for these meetings are project specific and may include issues that arise from volunteer and service user feedback or information on the projects future developments.
Individual Support: The provision of individual support and supervision may vary according the project and the role you chose to undertake. Project Coordinators are the volunteers’ main point of contact and they provide support and supervision to feedback on progress, discuss future developments and to air any problems or difficulties that may arise.
Dates for all volunteers meetings can be found in our newsletter and on our website. We vary the times of meetings to enable maximum flexibility for volunteers to attend around other commitments.
Other Support: We provide a confidential counselling line and your Project Coordinator will provide you with the telephone number and access code. We produce a quarterly newsletter that goes out to all volunteers and service users to keeping them up to date with organisational news and developments.
Safeguarding VSL Volunteers
Insurance: All volunteers are covered by VSL’s insurance policy whilst they are on the premises or engaged in any work that has been agreed by the VSL. Volunteer drivers’ insurance company will be informed that they are using their vehicle for voluntary work by the coordinator there is no extra cost involved.
Health & Safety: Risk assessments have been carried out on all voluntary roles and volunteers will be given risk assessment notes to help them perform allocated tasks safely. A copy of the VSL’s Health & Safety policy is available on this website.
Complaints & Feedback: VSL believes that volunteers have every right to make complaints or provide feedback on matters which cause them concern in the course of their voluntary work. All complaints will be considered extremely carefully and investigated fully. Full policy is available on VSL website or on request.