All volunteers have rights and responsibilities so check out the policy of the organisation you choose. We have put together some general guidelines for you.
As a volunteer you have the following rights:
- To know if, and how, you are being selected for a volunteering role.
- To be provided with a description of the volunteering role and what is expected.
- To be given meaningful work to do.
- To be offered appropriate training.
- To be thanked and have your contribution recognised
- To confidentiality- your records and references will remain confidential.
- To receive supervision and support.
- To get something out of the work for yourself as per your own aims and objectives.
- To know who to go to should a problem arise.
- To have concerns or questions dealt with promptly.
- To be given reasonable notice if there is a change of schedule.
- To make mistakes and learn from them.
- To be supported by your colleagues
- To be treated fairly, with dignity and respect, and not to experience discrimination.
- To have safe working conditions, including insurance cover provided by the volunteer project.
- To be informed about, and given the opportunity to play an active part in the organisation you serve.
- Where possible to have out-of-pocket expenses reimbursed.
- To be able to say 'no' and to leave without feeling guilty.
This information above is adapted from Volunteering Ireland's Charter for Effective Volunteering.
As a volunteer you have the following responsibilities
- To be honest in all your dealings with the organisation you serve.
- To ensure you have information needed to so that you make the right volunteering choice.
- Respect the values, aims, staff and clients of the volunteer organisation.
- To carry out the prescribed volunteer duties to the best of your ability.
- To comply with relevant policies of the volunteer project e.g. Code of Conduct, Health & Safety etc.
- To adopt a professional approach and maintain appropriate boundaries with any client groups.
- To be punctual and reliable and give the organisation sufficient warning if unable to turn up.
- To attend essential training and support sessions.
- To respect the confidentiality of the volunteer project and associated persons.
- To ask for guidance if you are unsure of any aspect of your volunteering role.
- To inform the volunteer project manager or supervisor if there is a problem.
- To give advance notice to the volunteer project if you intend to leave the project.