Here you can find all the information you'll need to get started in volunteering. The information sheets cover a wide variety of topics relevant to working with volunteers, from developing your volunteer strategy, writing a volunteer policy, to information on recruitment, expenses, safety, legal matters and how to attract and involve different target groups effectively.

If you want to volunteer yourself then the first information sheet, 'Thinking about Volunteering,' is the place to start. If you can't find what you are looking for, call our Bridgend Volunteer Centre, T: 01656 660372 or E: [email protected] 

Volunteering and easing out of lockdown

This guide aims to help organisations to think ahead as lockdown restrictions are gradually eased, to consider how volunteering might resume and what would be needed for this to happen.

| Volunteering and easing out of lockdown |

| Gwirfoddoli a llacio’r cyfyngiadau symud |

Thinking about volunteering

Volunteering involves a degree of personal commitment and responsibility but it also brings with it a sense of achievement and fulfillment. Whatever your reasons for volunteering, the most important advice you can be given is to enjoy what you are doing.

| Thinking about volunteering |

| Meddwl am wirfoddoli |

Developing a volunteer strategy

If your organisation is thinking about involving volunteers, you should consider why you want volunteers involved in your organisation, who needs to be consulted, understanding why people want to volunteer, development opportunities, recruitment and selection and maintenance. Working through these stages will help to determine what to put into a volunteering strategy and how it will be implemented.

| Developing a volunteer strategy |

| Datblygu strategaeth gwirfoddolwyr |

Creating a volunteering policy

This information sheet is for organisations that have already identified a role for volunteers and are ready to develop their volunteer policies. If you involve volunteers in your organisation, it is helpful to have in place a volunteering policy. Having this policy can provide your organisation with a framework for establishing a volunteering programme.

| Creating a volunteering policy |

| Creu polisi gwirfoddoli |

For those considering involving volunteers for the first time, our 'Developing a volunteering strategy' information sheet above.

Recruiting, selecting and inducting volunteers

Before involving volunteers, it is worth spending some time considering how they can work within your organisation. It is essential for the organisation to identify tasks that are appropriate for the volunteer to undertake, prior to the recruitment and selection process. 

| Recruiting, selecting and inducting volunteers |

| Recriwtio, dethol a sefydlu gwirfoddolwyr |

Attracting Welsh speaking volunteers

In recent years voluntary organisations have increasingly come to recognise the importance of promoting equality and diversity. In order to respect equality and ensure social inclusion, organisations are increasingly looking to operate bilingually.

| Attracting Welsh speaking volunteers |

| Denu gwirfoddolwyr sy'n siarad Cymraeg |

Equality and diversity in volunteering

Equality is about treating people fairly, ensuring that they have equal access to opportunities and resources, regardless of age, gender, race religion disability etc. Equality legislation requires organisations to act in ways that are transparent , consistent and fair, regardless of individuals identity or background.

| Equality and diversity in volunteering |

| Cydraddoldeb ac Amrywiaeth mewn gwirfoddoli |

Equality and diversity monitoring for volunteers

Equality and diversity monitoring involves collecting sensitive data about volunteers’ backgrounds. It must be recorded, stored, used and updated in accordance with requirements set out in the Data Protection Act. 

| Equality and diversity monitoring for volunteers |

| Monitro cydraddoldeb ac amrywiaeth i wirfoddolwyr  |

 How to ensure volunteer satisfaction

People volunteer for a number of reasons, however, for a volunteering relationship to continue, there must be a reciprocal benefit for both the organisation and the individual. The culture of the organisation is crucial to ensuring that volunteers feel valued, motivated and supported to continue in their role. 

| How to ensure volunteer satisfaction |

| Sut i sicrhau bodlonrwydd gwirfoddolwyr |

Keeping volunteers safe

Good recruitment and selection procedures should aim to discover enough about a potential volunteer to identify what training is needed for them to do the job safely, ruling out volunteers who are simply unsuited for the particular volunteering you have in mind. In short – the volunteers themselves should be risk assessed!

| Keeping volunteers safe |

| Cadw gwirfoddolwyr yn ddiogel |

Risk assessment – volunteers based at home

Most health and safety legislation is applied only to paid workers, but your organisation does have a duty of care towards volunteers. For volunteers working from home, your organisation should check out their insurance cover and identify the main risks and possible actions.

| Risk assessment - volunteers based at home |

| Asesiadau risg - gwirfoddolwyr sy’n gweithio o’u cartrefi |

Safeguarding and good management practices

The welfare of children and vulnerable adults must be the paramount consideration of any voluntary organisation whose work brings it into contact with vulnerable people. Volunteers play a vital role in enhancing the lives of vulnerable people, but not every volunteer is suited to this kind of work, and very occasionally, may actually pose a threat. This means carrying out risk assessments for work that involves vulnerable people, adopting safe working practices to help minimise risk, having good recruitment and selection practices and sound systems of supervision.

| Safeguarding and good management practices |

| Arferion Diogelu a Rheoli Da |

Disclosure and Barring Services

A criminal records check is a process of gathering information about an applicant’s criminal record and includes spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings held on the Police National Computer (PNC).

| Disclosure Barring Services |

| Gwasanaeth Datgelu a Gwahardd |

Volunteers and the law

Normally volunteers have very few legal rights, unlike paid staff who have a wealth of protection under employment legislation and can claim such things as unfair dismissal, disability or sex discrimination. Some organisations, however, unknowingly create contracts of employment in the way they engage with volunteers. This may make it possible for volunteers to pursue legal action when they feel they have a grievance.

| Volunteers and the law |

| Gwirfoddolwyr a'r gyfraith |

Volunteers and welfare benefits

Volunteers must tell their employment adviser if they do any voluntary work. They must also inform them of any payments e.g. honoraria or payments in kind such as meal vouchers. 

| Volunteers and welfare benefits |

| Gwirfoddolwyr a budd-daliadau lles |

Volunteer expenses

The reimbursements of expenses is an equal opportunities issue. It is worth remembering that volunteers are making a gift of time. They should not be expected to give up money as well. Volunteers should be offered expenses, even if they choose not to accept them, and the procedures for claiming should be hassle-free.

| Volunteer expenses |

| Treuliau gwirfoddolwyr |

Investing in volunteers

‘Investing in volunteers’ is the UK quality standard for volunteer management. If your organisation involves volunteers, achieving the ‘Investing in Volunteers’ standard will enable it to make the best use of your valuable people resource. 

| Investing in volunteers |

| Buddsoddi mewn gwirfoddolwyr |

Supporting harder to place volunteers

Most organisations will at some point come across people who are simply not suitable. Whatever the basis for deciding that a volunteer is not suitable, the process should be fair and transparent and within the procedures detailed in your Equal Opportunities Policy.

| Supporting harder to place volunteers |

| Cefnogi gwirfoddolwyr anodd eu lleoli |

Involving young people as volunteers

Involving young people under the age of 18 can seem a daunting prospect for some organisations but the benefits to organisations, the young people and the wider community can certainly make it worthwhile. 

| Involving young people as volunteers |

| Cynnwys pobl ifanc fel gwirfoddolwyr |

Understanding mental health and volunteering

This factsheet has been designed to give you information on how to support volunteers with mental health problems. It covers how to offer support, recruitment, your welcome to people with mental health problems, day to day support, coping in a crisis, volunteers who work with people with mental health problems, equal opportunities and mental health, a wellness action plan and further information.

| Understanding mental health and volunteering |

| Deall iechyd meddwl a gwirfoddoli |

Volunteer drivers

There are lots of issues to consider if your organisation works with volunteer drivers. It would be good practice for all volunteers who use their car in the course of their volunteering to inform their insurance company.

| Volunteer drivers |

| Gyrwyr Gwirfoddol |

The economic value of volunteers

Volunteers make a significant contribution in unpaid hours, to the economy of Wales. It is estimated that every year volunteers contribute 147 million hours, which is worth £1.6 billion.  This is equivalent to 3.5% of Wales GDP. 

| The economic value of volunteers |

| Gwerth economaidd cyfraniad gwirfoddolwyr |

Employer supported volunteering

There is a growing interest in community investment programmes and more encouragement from Government for companies and public sector organisations to support their local communities. 

| Employer supported volunteering |

| Gwirfoddoli a chymorth cyflogwr |

What do Volunteer Centres do in Wales?

There are Volunteer Centres in every county in Wales which provide support at a local level for volunteering, for individual volunteers and for volunteer-involving organisations.

| What do Volunteer Centres do in Wales? |

| Beth mae Canolfannau Gwirfoddoli yn ei wneud yng Nghymru? |

Managing volunteer exits

It is important that all organisations take responsibility for their volunteer recruitment procedures and have a system in place for assessing mutual suitability. This is an ongoing process. It means taking care with the application and interview stages, including perhaps DBS/references and induction and also continually reviewing through regular supervision, during the whole period of volunteering.

| Managing volunteer exits |

| Rheoli ymadawiadau gwirfoddolwyr |

Volunteers and insurance

It is vital to ensure adequate insurance cover for staff and volunteers which should be reviewed on a regular basis. It is an organisation’s responsibility to provide cover, not only for loss, damage or injury which volunteers might suffer, but also for any loss, damage or injury to others that might result from volunteers’ activity. Some policies are required by law; others are optional. It is for the organisation to decide what is appropriate.

| Volunteers and insurance |

| Gwirfoddolwyr ac yswiriant |

Involving volunteers from overseas

Many organisations in Wales actively seek to engage both international volunteers living in Wales and those based overseas. Exactly the same principles of good practice apply to volunteers from overseas as those which apply to local volunteers.

| Involving volunteers from overseas |

| Cynnwys gwirfoddolwyr o dramor |

The language of volunteering - terms explained

This is a useful guide for you to understand the following terms when discussing volunteering including Community service, community participation, community work placement, internship, social action, timebanking, third sector, trustee, unpaid office holder, unpaid work, voluntary experience, voluntary organisation, voluntary worker, volunteer, volunteering when on welfare benefits, Volunteer Involving Organisation (VIO), volunteering opportunity, volunteer placement and work experience.

| The language of volunteering - terms explained |

| Iaith gwirfoddoli - termau cyffredin  |

Managing concerns relating to volunteers

Whilst the involvement of volunteers is usually a positive experience for all concerned, sometimes things go wrong within any voluntary programme. The aim is usually to handle difficult situations on an informal basis if possible, by talking to those concerned, clarifying issues and reaching consensus. However, sometimes this is not sufficient. Organisations are advised to have in place 'problem solving procedures' which are specific to volunteers.

| Managing concerns relating to volunteers |

| Rheoli pryderon yn ymwneud â gwirfoddolwyr  |

Promoting Welsh language through volunteering

In Wales, the Welsh Language has official status which means it should be treated no less favourably than the English Language and persons in Wales should be able to live their lives through the medium of the Welsh Language if they choose to do so.

| Promoting Welsh language through volunteering |

| Hyrwyddo’r Gymraeg drwy Wirfoddoli |

Welcoming volunteers who are asylum seekers or refugees

Asylum seekers and refugees can be excellent volunteers. They can be highly motivated to learn new skills, or develop existing skills which assist them in future job seeking. Volunteering is not only beneficial for the individual, involving volunteers who are asylum seekers and refugees can be extremely positive for your organisation.

| Welcoming volunteers who are asylum seekers or refugees |

| Croesawu gwirfoddolwyr sy’n geiswyr lloches neu’n ffoaduriaid |

Carers and volunteering

This information sheet has been designed to give you information on how to support volunteers who are unpaid carers.

| Carers and volunteering |

| Gofalwyr a gwirfoddoli |

Supporting volunteers who have Additional Learning Needs

Volunteering can be a rewarding and valuable experience for individuals with Additional Learning Needs. It can be beneficial to the health and wellbeing of an individual and can provide structure and a feeling of ‘worth’ for those who have not had many positive experiences in their lives.

| Supporting volunteers who have Additional Learning Needs |

| Cefnogi Gwirfoddolwyr ag anghenion dysgu ychwanegol |