Information for Organisations
Having volunteers in your organisation is easy. Throughout West Dunbartonshire there are people ready and willing to give their time to do something meaningful, enhance your service and benefit the community. In return you can help them learn new skills, meet new people and improve their lives.
Whatever opportunities you have, there will be someone out there to help.
Q: How do we get started?
The first thing is to register with us. It’s a quick process and can be done either in person or over the telephone. We can answer any questions you have and help you think through the opportunities you could offer. We will then upload your opportunity to our database and promote it locally. It will also be available to volunteers across Scotland through the national Volunteer Scotland website.
Q: Are volunteers qualified?
Volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds and interests – but one thing they all have in common is a willingness to help their community. Some will be qualified; others will have an interest and be eager to pick up the skills they need to help.
Q: Is volunteering free?
There are no charges to register your opportunities with us, or for us to refer volunteers to you. Volunteers give their time without financial reward, but it shouldn’t cost them to do so. We ask every organisation to think about how they will meet the costs of volunteering – how you will meet travel expenses, training etc. You will also need to check that you have suitable insurance cover in place. Our support team can help.
Q: Are there any policies or procedures I need to have?
You should have a volunteering policy. This will help to guide you and make sure you are consistent with volunteers. Our team can help you with this if you don’t already have one or would just like it refreshed – just ask. Also for every opportunity it’s good to have a clear role description – again we can help.
Q: Should my organisation register for PVG (Protection Vulnerable Groups) checking?
Organisations who carry out regulated work with children or vulnerable adults should register with the PVG scheme. This is done through Volunteer Scotland Disclosure Services http://www.volunteerscotland.net/disclosure-services/. Our support team can answer your questions and can help you to register with the scheme.
Q: Do you provide training?
We provide a range of training sessions for organisations involving volunteers and our support team can also help with individual enquiries through our telephone helpline service (0141 941 0886). Just get in touch.
Q: What support do I need to give volunteers?
You should think of volunteers as additional staff for your organisation. An induction sheet/pack is good to have, setting out the ground rules and any procedures you expect them to follow eg. health and safety. You will also need to offer any task-specific training the volunteer will need. Ongoing support is also important so the volunteer feels part of the team.
Q: Can we recruit volunteers to replace staff?
No. Volunteers should not be recruited as a substitute for paid staff. We will ask you to confirm that you agree to this when you register your opportunities with us.
Q: Can we offer volunteers any accreditations?
Yes. Some organisations have schemes in place for this; if you don’t we can help with some options. If you have volunteers aged between 12-25 we can offer accreditation through the Saltire Awards Scheme. All organisations have the chance to join the West Dunbartonshire Volunteering Awards Scheme. We can also work with you to offer your volunteers the chance to gain the SQA Award in Volunteering Skills.
– our support team can help with any questions.
Q: Can you help us improve our volunteering programmes?
Yes. We offer a ‘healthcheck’ service for organisations. We can also support you to achieve a quality mark recognising your commitment to volunteering eg. Investing in Volunteers. Some support services are provided free and some are chargeable – we are happy to chat through your needs and how we can help you source the funding to meet the costs.
Q: Can we measure the value of our volunteering?
Yes. We know from the annual sector census that the overall value of volunteering in West Dunbartonshire is over £22 million each year. We offer support to help individual projects and organisations monitor and evaluate the value and impact of volunteering in their own setting. Some services are available free and some carry a small fee – we can assist you to find the funding you need to pay any costs involved. Contact our support team for more information.
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