New volunteers approach CARES in a number of ways. For instance, they respond to advertisements, contact CARES for volunteering opportunities and may be former carers wishing to maintain contact with the Charity.
In all cases, full information on any potential role is provided and details of how we involve volunteers enabling potential volunteers to decide if the opportunity fits their skills and interests and if this is the place for them.
Volunteers who have expressed an interest in volunteering with CARES will be expected to complete the following recruitment procedure:
- The volunteer will be asked to complete a volunteer registration form. The volunteer may express an interest in a specific project or task. CARES will ask the volunteer to provide the organisation with 2 references.
- The Volunteer registration form gives basic contact details and an outline of the volunteer’s interests, reasons for volunteering and how they feel they meet the skills and experiences detailed in the task description and person specification that relates to the role. (Our risk assessment requires we ask for two references from someone who knows you and can tell us about you, your talents, how reliable you are and whether you would be suited to the project/task that you are interested in. Depending on the task, we may need to apply for a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check.)
- The form is completed by the volunteer and given to the nominated supervisor/line manager for the volunteering opportunity.
- The supervisor/line manager and volunteer arrange a date and time to hold an informal interview. This is an informal chat where the supervisor/line manager will be asking the volunteer a range of different questions. The supervisor/line manager will go over the relevant task description and person specification with the volunteer and discuss suitability.
- The volunteer will be given a copy of the task description, which includes a brief person specification.
- Following the informal interview the supervisor/line manager will decide on the suitability of the volunteer for the role based only on the volunteer’s registration form, how well they meet the person specification and their responses during their conversation. No other criteria will be used for selection.
- If successful, the supervisor/line manager and volunteer will agree a date and time for the volunteer to come in for an induction session. This will involve an introduction to CARES policies (health and safety, confidentiality etc), introductions to the team and projects within CARES and a tour of the building.
- Following this session the supervisor/line manager and volunteer will then start the induction process regarding the specific volunteering opportunity.
We recruit volunteers with an equal opportunities approach to enable people from all parts of the community to have the chance to get involved. We always explain the skills and experience needed for a volunteering role, regardless of background, we will consider you if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks required.
We are interested in increasing the number of people volunteering, particularly people who sometimes find it difficult to get into volunteering. These might include:
- Disabled people and people with sensory impairments
- People from Black and minority ethnic back grounds
- People who have had or have mental health problems
- People who have learning disabilities
- Refugees and people seeking asylum
- Young people on Work Placement from school/college
Where appropriate, volunteers will be subject to CRB clearance.
We are interested in whether people have the skills and interests required for the volunteering post rather than their ages.
We may be able to offer volunteering opportunities to people aged between 14 and 16 (school placements). This depends on whether staff involved in supporting the volunteering post are screened and trained in working with this age group. When we advertise posts we will give details of the minimum age.
There is no upper age limit for volunteers, we are interested in people’s ability to do the tasks. We will talk to you if we think that your ability to do the volunteering changes as a result of your health or mobility.
Risk Assessing Volunteer Persons
CARES may need to carry out a risk assessment to help work out whether there are any special circumstances we would need to take into account before we offer a volunteering opportunity.
Supporting Volunteers with Additional Needs
We will talk to you about what your needs are and we will do what we can to help. Please see our Equal Opportunities policy.
Work with Children and Vulnerable People
As part of a risk assessment we will identify whether the person will work with children or vulnerable people. If this is the case and the work is unsupervised, we will need to do a Criminal Records Bureau check.
This check will give details of your criminal record, if you have one. Once we have this information we will make a decision about whether you can still become involved. This decision will be made after a careful process focusing on:
- how relevant the offences are
- whether there are any circumstances that we need to take into account (for example mental health problems)
- how long ago the offence took place
We will maintain contact as we do this and make sure you are made aware of what is decided as soon as possible. (It is important to note that a criminal records bureau check shows everything including cautions.)
If you receive a criminal conviction while you are volunteering with CARES you should tell us immediately. We understand that this may be very difficult but it is important and we will treat the information in the same way as your criminal records bureau check, in the strictest of confidence. A criminal conviction will not automatically result in you stopping volunteering. We will conduct a separate risk assessment if there are any relevant convictions. If we find out you haven’t told us about a conviction this will result in you being asked to leave. The main thing to remember is that this information will be treated sensitively.