Volunteers are an essential and valued part of Coram Beanstalk. We appreciate your commitment, dedication and enthusiasm, and in return we will do the best we can to make your volunteer experience with us enjoyable and rewarding.

At Coram Beanstalk our volunteer relationship is built on trust and mutual understanding, honesty and fairness. We exist to support children and will always place their needs at the centre of any decision-making process that affects our volunteers.  

This agreement tells you what you can expect from us, and the expectations we have of you as a volunteer.

What you can expect from Coram Beanstalk

We will do our best:

Induction and training 

  • Introduce you to the work of Coram Beanstalk and your volunteering role through our initial training and communications to give you enough information to assess your own suitability. 
  • Provide the initial and ongoing training you need to perform your role well and understand the Beanstalk approach.
  • Communicate regularly via email to update you about developments within Coram Beanstalk and the progress we are making towards our aims. 
  • Treat you fairly and with integrity and not progress you into a school placement if we feel you will not thrive in the volunteer role. 

    Support and guidance

    • Connect you with our reading community to give you opportunities to talk things through and learn from other volunteers. 
    • Help you be the best you can be in your volunteering role(s) through access to a range of resources and development opportunities. 
    • Explain the standards we expect for our services and support you to achieve and maintain them. 
    • Keep you informed of any possible changes to your volunteer role. 
    • Seek, respect, listen and learn from your feedback 

      Diversity and Equal Opportunities

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

      Safeguarding and safer practice

      • Ensure that you are aware of and following our Safeguarding and Safer Working Practice Guide designed to promote the welfare of the children we help and protect them from harm. These also safeguard and protect our staff and our volunteers. We will require you to commit to these annually. 


      • Provide adequate insurance cover for volunteers whilst carrying out their volunteering roles.


      • 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 procedure.


      • Operate within all Coram’s and Coram Beanstalk’s policies and procedures at all times

      All policies and procedures are always available from us on request.

      What we expect from you

      We need you to:


      • Perform your volunteering role reliably and to the best of your ability, with dedication, positivity and commitment. 
      • Maintain and improve your skills, and keep up-to-date with changes, through regularly accessing our online resource portal, participating in our training and development opportunities and by reading information sent from us to your registered email address.  
      • Meet the time commitments, duration of association and standards of service which you have agreed with us and your school. 
      • Be an ambassador for Coram Beanstalk, always being positive and supportive of our organisation and professional in both your appearance and manner. 
      • Conduct yourself in an appropriate manner at all times, treat everyone with dignity and respect and refrain from anything that may be deemed as inappropriate, unfriendly, potentially abusive or that places you or another person at a risk of harm. 


      • Actively seek and share feedback on the difference you are making to children to help us evidence the benefits of our service.  
      • Respond to any survey requests to help us better understand our service and the impact we have in school.  
      • Let Coram Beanstalk know if you have any complaints, concerns or feedback 
      • Inform your school and us (via email or phone), as soon as you are able 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, ideally at least one term. This gives us best chance to ensure continuity for the children.  

      Safeguarding, policies and confidentiality 

      • Report any safeguarding concerns or health and safety concerns to the designated person within your school before leaving the premises. Report safeguarding concerns to Coram Beanstalk by telephone as soon as possible, as per our Safeguarding and Safer Working Practice Guide. 
      • Operate within Coram’s and Coram Beanstalk’s policies and procedures at all times, being especially aware of our Safeguarding and Safer Working Practice Guide and our Volunteering policy. 
      • Maintain confidentiality of the children we support, our schools, our team of staff and fellow volunteers. 

      What we require 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 two sufficient, appropriate references. 
      • Undergo an initial check and regular re-checks via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in line with Coram and Coram Beanstalk’s policies and procedures and inform us of any changes such as new convictions within 2 weeks.  
      • Advise us of any changes to your health that could affect your volunteering within two weeks of diagnosis. 
      • Use your Coram Beanstalk training and resources only in your role as a reading helper. We will expend time and costs in your training and support and ask that you do not become an independent volunteer utilising our expertise.  

      Nature of this agreement  

      This agreement aims to ensure that the relationship between Coram Beanstalk and a volunteer is clear to both parties and does not create a contract of employment nor a legally binding obligation. Either party may end the volunteering agreement at any time.  

      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.  

      Coram Beanstalk does not undertake to provide regular activity or payment or other benefit for any volunteering undertaken.