Volunteer charter 2022/23

Introduction and background

We believe that every volunteer has the right to volunteer for an organisation that demonstrates a commitment to valuing and caring for them. We define a volunteer as someone who gives their time freely in a role to which they have been invited, appointed, elected or selected by the Trust.

This Charter describes a mutually beneficial and fair relationship between volunteers and the Trust.

The commitment, passion and effort of volunteers is essential to delivering our mission, vision and values to benefit the people we serve in East Kent.

We are committed to providing a service which is accessible to everyone and prevents unfair or unlawful discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion, faith or belief. We promote good relations between different individuals and groups.

As an employer, we will ensure our employees and volunteers work in an environment which respects and includes everyone and is free from discrimination, harassment and unequal treatment. We are keen to attract staff and volunteers from diverse backgrounds that are representative of the population we serve and seek to raise our profile as a potential employer and as an organisation worthy of volunteers’ time.

We are grateful to everyone who volunteers with us in whatever capacity: this Charter applies to everyone who gives their time freely for the Trust.

We will support you in the role:

  • We will provide tasks that benefit our patients and staff and supports East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust’s ( EKHUFT) vision, enabling you to see that you make a difference

  • We will undertake an initial assessment of your suitability and competence for the role (including an enhanced DBS check) and provide ongoing opportunities to receive and provide feedback on how you carry out the role

  • We will provide a comprehensive induction online or face to face and training appropriate to your role

  • Support will be available to you from the Trust and you will be provided with relevant contact details

  • You will have an emergency contact point for any crisis that affects your volunteering, and support when you experience challenging situations while volunteering

  • We recognise that there will be some tasks that you choose to decline, and occasions when you may need to take time out from the role

  • If you provide services to patients on behalf of the Trust you will be covered by the Trust’s public liability insurance.

Your commitment to meet the organisation’s needs:

  • You volunteer within the aims of the organisation and only within the scope of your role and your competence and training within EKHUFT

  • You agree to meet the volunteering commitment we have agreed together

  • You commit to undertake training to meet the required standard and to undertake any development that may be necessary

  • You will give us as much notice as possible if you are unable to meet your time commitment or undertake tasks to which you have given a commitment.

Our interaction with you:

  • We will treat you with respect and value your contribution

  • Communication will be open and honest, and build trust and confidence. We will respond in a timely manner if you contact us

  • We will involve volunteers in decision-making that affects volunteering roles, and listen to your suggestions for improvements

  • We will keep you informed about changes and developments affecting your role; you should take the time to understand them

  • We will work to ensure our staff value and understand your role and the contribution you make

  • Your approved expenses will be reimbursed

  • You have the opportunity to become a Trust Member and vote for Governors to represent you (this applies to all members of the public but we particularly encourage our volunteers to become members)

  • You will have the opportunity to broaden your understanding of the Trust and to meet with other volunteers from time to time.

Maintaining a professional approach and appearance:

  • You will be sympathetic to the needs of our patients and those with whom we are in contact, maintaining confidentiality at all times

  • You will undertake the role in a professional manner and act in accordance with the values of EKHUFT at all times

  • You should dress appropriately for your role, and display identification at all times

  • You will keep us informed if your personal details or your availability changes.

Maintaining your own safety and the safety of others:

  • We take your safety seriously; however, you have a responsibility for your own safety and the safety of others while volunteering

  • We will allow you time for a break and refreshments; however, you must tell us if you need a break since your volunteering patterns may not be closely monitored by us

  • You will tell us if something concerns you or if you need support or information; we will give you access to a process to enable you to do so

  • You should ensure you are fit to volunteer before each volunteering activity.

Your contact point(s) within EKHUFT are:

Email: ekh-tr.volunteers@nhs.net
Volunteer Welfare Office: deannasmith@nhs.net
Head of Volunteering and Public Services: mandy.carliell@nhs.net