Volunteers are an essential and valued part of Beanstalk. We will do the best we can to make your volunteer experience with us enjoyable and rewarding.

This agreement tells you what you can expect from us, and what we hope for and need from you.

What you can expect from Beanstalk

We will do our best:

Induction and training

  • To introduce you thoroughly to the work of Beanstalk and your volunteering role.

  • To provide the initial and ongoing training you need to perform your role well.

  • To update you about developments within Beanstalk – locally and nationally - and the progress we are making towards our aims.

  • To ensure you feel you are a valued part of the Beanstalk family.

Support and guidance

  • To provide a named person who is readily available to you and trained to discuss your volunteering, recognise your successes and help you resolve any problems, and who will offer personalised advice and guidance after watching you perform your role.

  • To help you develop in your volunteering role(s) with us through ongoing training opportunities and through meeting other reading helpers and sharing stories and experiences

  • To explain the standards we expect for our services and to encourage and support you to achieve and maintain them.

  • To keep you informed of any possible changes to your volunteer role and consult with you regarding them.

Expenses

  • To reimburse your expenses for travel to and from home and where you volunteer, and to and from your home and any training or events organised by your local office, in accordance with our expenses policy*.

Diversity and Equal Opportunities

  • To ensure that diversity is valued and everyone is dealt with in accordance with our equal opportunities and diversity policy.

Safeguarding and safer practice

Health and safety

  • To provide procedures, guidelines and support to enable you to operate in a safe and healthy environment, in line with our health and safety policy.

Insurance

  • To provide adequate insurance cover for volunteers whilst carrying out their volunteering roles as approved and authorised by us.

Problems

  • To try to resolve promptly any difficulties, and to deal fairly with any complaints, you may have while you volunteer with us.
  • In the event of an unresolved problem, to offer an opportunity to discuss the issues in accordance with our complaint and remedial procedures*.

* These policies and procedures are included in the Volunteer Handbook (provided during your initial training) and are always available from us on request.

What we expect from you


We hope you will:

  • Perform your volunteering role reliably and to the best of your ability.

  • Maintain and improve your skills, and keep up-to-date with changes, through attending our training and events and by reading information from us.

  • Actively seek and share feedback on the difference you are making.

  • Meet the time commitments, duration of association and standards of service which we have mutually agreed to.

  • Keep Beanstalk, and any organisation in which you are volunteering on our behalf, informed if you are unable to attend on a particular day or for a specific period.

  •  Give us as much notice as possible if you are unable to continue as a volunteer.

  • Follow our policies, procedures and codes of practice, including child protection and safeguarding, confidentiality, equal opportunities, health and safety and safer working.

What we need from you

Especially if you are working directly with children, the nature our work requires that you, as appropriate to your volunteering role:

  • Enable us to secure sufficient, appropriate references.

  • Undergo an initial check and regular re-checks via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in line with Beanstalk policies and procedures.

  • Inform us of any new convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings within two weeks of the offence.

  • Advise us of any changes to your health that could affect your volunteering within two weeks of diagnosis.

Beanstalk’s relationship with its volunteers is binding in honour, trust and mutual understanding.  This agreement aims to ensure that the relationship between Beanstalk and a volunteer is clear to both parties and does not create a contract of employment nor a legally binding obligation.  No enforceable obligation, contractual or otherwise, can be imposed on volunteers to attend, give or be set a minimum amount of time to carry out the activity requested. Beanstalk does not undertake to provide regular activity or payment or other benefit for any volunteering undertaken.