It is useful to have policies on issues that you can refer to or develop at your general meetings. Examples of policies that you might need are:
Key holder Policy
This policy addresses the responsibilities of a key holder, what they can and can’t do and what to do in an emergency. This helps you keep an eye on who has keys to the building for security and also to support people who volunteer to open and lock up.
It is advised to give key holders an induction to:
- go through this policy
- show them how to open and lock up
- go through any security issues with them
It is also advised that:
- they sign two copies; you give one to them and keep the other on file.
- you keep a list of key holders on file.
This policy sets out what you charge people to use your facilities and how you expect payment.
You can also set out what discounts or special rates you might offer to particular groups. For example:
- services that will directly benefit the residents
- services led by resident volunteers
This policy can be used when you are negotiating use of your facilities with a prospective hirer or service provider. You can change all the information to suit the needs of your committee.
Child Protection Policy
This policy is vital if you are doing any work that involves children. A child is defined as any person under the age of 18. This document gives advice on all types of protection issues if you were to run a children’s activity. To run any activity involving children you will need:
- Criminal Records Checks for all volunteers or staff working on the activity.
- A comprehensive child protection policy
- A level of understanding of child protection issues – we can provide this training for this.
Money handling Policy
This policy sets out any processes you can use when handling money, for example:
- how you store and record petty cash
- how you collect money from the public for a fund-raising event
It will also state how you will bank the money and how you will keep records. This will be overseen by your treasurer.
For more information in setting up this kind of policy you can go to the cash-online website (click here).
Equal opportunities and diversity policies
This policy sets out the committee’s stance on equal opportunities and diversity.
This policy recognises that in our present society groups and individuals have been and continue to be discriminated against on the basis of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religious belief and so on. It addresses what measures the committee will take to tackle all direct and indirect discrimination.
This policy recognises that, in order to fully address the needs of their community, the committee seeks representation from all members of that community, especially those from different backgrounds and lifestyles. It embraces that we are different and encourages tolerance, understanding and the space to learn from and respect each other.
If you require more information please discuss this with your community development officer. We can also provide you with training on these issues.
All of the work of your committee relies on volunteering. All committee members are volunteers and you will have a great commitment to and appreciation for this.
You may also recruit non committee members who wish to volunteer, for example to:
- run a community activity,
- help with setting up/cleaning the facility,
- support you administratively, and so on.
This may be on a short-term basis and very informal. However, you may feel that you need to formalise the processes if you are using a lot of volunteers, or if you feel that this will support you.
A volunteer policy set s out how you will involve volunteers in your work and gives guidance on how you can create a consistent process for dealing with volunteers, with, for example:
- health and safety
- expenses, and so on.
Creating this policy will also help you to think about why you might involve volunteers and what jobs there are that you can delegate some of your tasks between the committee and / or the community. You can also get help from your community development officer.
We are developing a handbook for volunteering within Peabody which you may also find useful. Please discuss this with your community development officer.