Registered Charity No. 1142519 Welcome to Age UK Dorchester Information for prospective volunteers Our commitment to you Throughout Dorset, Age UK’s and Age Concerns are run mainly by volunteers and groups. We recognise the valuable contribution each individual makes, and without volunteers some of our services could not be offered. As a volunteer, you can expect a high level of support within the organisation. A member of staff will be available to support you and would offer you information and advice whenever you need it. We encourage all our new volunteers to shadow /observe either a member of staff or an existing volunteer to help familiarise yourself with the role. You will be offered relevant training. We are confident that you will enjoy your volunteering with Age Concern and have the opportunity to meet new challenges, develop your skills, gain a great sense of achievement, and contribute to the lives of older people. Rowan Cottage 4 Prince of Wales Road Dorchester DT1 1PW Tel: 01305 269444 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.acdorchester.org 2 The role of Age UK & Age Concerns in your area All Age UK & Age Concern Groups in Dorset are run independently of each other. Each Group has a diverse range of facilities and services available to its members. You will find a brief outline of how your local Age UK, Age Concern is operated at the back of this booklet. Finding the right role for you There is a wide range of volunteering opportunities on offer. Your role as a volunteer can be as varied or as simple as you wish. Your coordinator will discuss with you the different aspects and you will be able to commit to as much or as little as you feel comfortable with. We appreciate that abilities, experience and interests have a role to play and welcome volunteers from all walks of life. Each role is of equal importance to the eventual outcome to which we all strive. Expenses All reasonable out of pocket expenses will be paid. A claim form is supplied in your induction pack. Identification All our volunteers are issued with a photographic identification badge which must be worn at all times whilst volunteering for us. Voting Membership We encourage all our volunteers to become voting members of Age UK Dorchester. As a member you will have the right to vote and to take an active role in the decision making process. References and Police checks All new volunteers must provide two references; either from employment or a personal reference from individuals who have known you for at least 2 years. References will be followed up by Age UK Dorchester. All volunteers who will be working on a one to one basis with vulnerable people will be checked through the CRB (Criminals Record Bureau). A criminal conviction will not prevent full consideration of your application. Voluntary Work and State Benefits If you are claiming benefits whilst doing voluntary work we advise you to contact the Dept of Works and Pensions to check whether your voluntary work will affect your benefits. 3 What can you expect from Age Concern Dorchester? You will be given an initial induction to the organisation, an explanation of your volunteering role and an introduction to your coordinator. Training Training specific to your role will be offered. Confidentiality We will only request relevant personal information from you. All information will be kept confidential. Equal Opportunities We have an equal opportunities policy which is available at anytime to read. The main aim is to treat people with respect and ensure that there is no discrimination, abuse, harassment or bullying of fellow volunteers or paid staff, clients or members of the public. We will not accept any discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, race, gender, sexuality, religion, illness, marital, employment, financial or social status. Volunteer Handbook Health and Safety We have a health and safety policy which is available at any time to read. It is important that you comply with our policy, observing any specific requirements of your volunteering role and that you do not take any action that might put you or any other person at risk of injury or harm. You should always advise a member of staff of any potential hazard or of any situation that you feel puts you or any other person at risk. Reviews Your coordinator will offer you a review within your first 6 months. This is an opportunity for you to raise any concerns or problems you may have and allows time for you to discuss whether your volunteering placement is right for you. Insurance We have insurance in place to cover all our volunteers. 4 What is Expected of You as a Volunteer? Commitment and Reliability Please try to give a clear indication of the time you can offer us please don’t over commit yourself. You should give as much notice as possible if you are unable to carry out your volunteering duties at any time or plan to be away for any reason. Confidentiality It is essential that any personal information you learn about individuals must not be disclosed to anyone outside the organisation without the permission of the person concerned. We will ask you to sign a volunteer agreement which stipulates this. Some ‘Do’s and ‘Don'ts for Volunteers Do think about why you want to volunteer. Do make sure you know who you are responsible to and who you can go to for help and advice. Do accept reimbursement for any out of pocket expenses you have incurred while volunteering. You can donate the money back if you don’t need or want it. Do keep to any arrangement you have made with us. If you cannot keep an appointment, or you are going to be late, tell your coordinator in plenty of time. Do tell us about any health problems that may affect your volunteering. Do enjoy yourself Don’t start volunteering until you know exactly what is expected of you. Don’t over commit yourself. Don’t leave without telling anyone first. If you don’t feel that your volunteering is providing the experience that you want, speak to your coordinator; they may be able to find a solution. Don’t accept money as payment from someone you have helped while volunteering. Explain to them that they can make a donation to the organisation if they wish to do so. Don’t betray any confidences entrusted to you as a volunteer. 5 Areas where help from volunteers is always welcome Day Centre We provide day care for up to 15 people every weekday except Thursdays. Various tasks from serving lunch and refreshments, to helping with activities throughout the day. Lunch Club Held in our Roger Thomas room every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. ‘Fun & Food’ Activity Day Every first Thursday of every month, we run our ‘Pick and Mix’ Activity Day. We provide fun and support for older people with a range of conditions, aiming for a different programme of events each month. Shopping Service We help to support older people in their own home by offering a shopping service. Information and Advice We can provide a tailored information and advice on a range of matters, particularly in the following areas. Health and disability matters, residential care, finding help at home and services provided by Adult Social Care and other local organisations. Welfare Benefits Could you be a home-visiting Welfare Benefits advisor in your local community, providing benefit checks and helping to complete applications in respect of benefits such as Attendance Allowance, Pension Credit and Disability Living Allowance? Drivers Supporting older people who are unable to get out and about. Insurance and Trading Providing insurance services for older people. Computer Courses We offer a variety of computer courses, with one-to-one tuition, specially tailored to older people. 6 Befriending Service A social support service to help people who would like to get out and about a bit more, to meet new people and more importantly, make new friends. Or, for those that are house bound, a visit to have a chat and a cup of tea makes all the difference to their day. Exercise Classes Helping people of 50 years of age and over get in shape, feel good about themselves and have fun! Classes include belly dancing, Tai Chi, Pilates, table tennis, gentle chair-based exercises and much more! The Evergreens Our ‘social club’ that meets on a Wednesday afternoon. We have a different itinenary every week. Fundraising Raising money to fund our services and activities. Gardening We have a lovely garden here at Rowan Cottage and an allotment where we grow fruit and vegetables. General Administration & Reception General office tasks like, answering the telephone, filing, welcoming visitors, answering queries, taking messages and forwarding on information. Age UK Charity Shop & Information Centre All monies raised by our charity shop in Trinity Street Dorchester are used to support older people’s services in Dorset. An area in the shop has been set up as a community hub, for information about our services and what’s happening in the local community. A few last words All the hard work that Age UK Dorchester carries out in the community couldn’t happen without our volunteers. We are sure that you will thrive on the experience of being a volunteer and your contribution will certainly be valued.
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