Volunteering Standards may also be downloaded in PDF Format, 14K.
We want our work on National Trust properties to be safe, enjoyable and rewarding for individuals, as well as being useful to the Trust. We also want to complete our tasks to a high standard. To help us achieve these aims, we have developed the following set of standards for good practice, grouped under several headings:
Organisation and Facilitation
- The Task Organiser should agree task dates with the Wardens/Gardeners at all our task venues well in advance, to give all parties plenty of notice.
- The Newsletter and Programme Editor should assign a Task Contact to each task, whose role is to:
- Liaise with the relevant Warden/Gardener to find out the details of the task, including the meeting place and any special requirements, and to let the Warden/Gardener know how many volunteers to expect so that appropriate arrangements can be made for tools etc.
- Take the names and contact numbers of volunteers wishing to attend the task, and pass on any relevant information about the task.
- Ensure that new members know what they need to bring on a task and make them feel welcome.
- Help where possible with transport arrangements, especially lifts for those without their own transport, and provide directions where needed.
- Inform volunteers of any last-minute cancellation/change.
- If the Task Contact is not attending the task he/she should pass on the details of the expected volunteers to someone who is attending.
- The Chairman or in his absence the Task Contact should ensure that volunteers are able to claim out-of-pocket expenses from the National Trust, if they wish to do so.
- The Membership Secretary should provide new members with a suitable welcome pack, including a guide to the worksites.
- The Warden/Gardeners instructions and advice on the safe use of any tools and safety in general should always be followed. When using tools, volunteers should be aware of others working nearby and if appropriate visitors to the property, and maintain a safe working distance to avoid injury.
- Volunteers should be responsible for their own safety and the safety of others, telling colleagues immediately if their actions are thought likely to put themselves or others at risk.
- The Task Contact should ensure that a well-maintained First Aid Kit is carried with the group on all tasks.
- Details of who to contact for each volunteer in an emergency should be kept up-to-date and be available on each task. The Task Contact should ensure that any new volunteers are added to this list at the start of the task.
- The Task Contact should ensure that a list of the nearest Accident and Emergency Department for each property is available on tasks.
- The Warden/Gardeners instructions should be followed carefully to ensure that tasks are completed properly.
- Clarification should always be sought with the Warden/Gardener whenever uncertainty arises.
- Experienced volunteers should share the knowledge and skills they have acquired on previous tasks and offer guidance to others less experienced.
- The aim is to work as a team, do a good job, have fun doing it and feel satisfied with the result. Everyone can work at their own pace and be sure of support from the rest of the group. No one is expected to do more than they feel comfortable with.
- The Task Contact should ensure that a record of attendance at each task is kept so that volunteers who complete sufficient hours of work for the Trust over a year can be rewarded with an appropriate volunteer card.