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Volunteering considerations

If you are organising a volunteering project, there are some things you should consider ahead of time:

Risk Assessments

A Risk Assessment is a technique for preventing accidents and ill health by helping people think about what could go wrong and ways to avoid incidents. It involves a careful examination of what in your activities could cause harm to people, so that you can determine whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm. Your assessment should look at possible risks to staff, volunteers, visitors, property and the venue you are using. On the day of an event, organisers should do a walk-through of the project site to make sure no new risks have developed since the risk assessment took place.

Health and Safety

It is important to think about the health and safety of any volunteers that will be working on your project. All volunteers will need to be adequately trained, supervised on site and relevant insurance will need to be in place to cover employees whilst they are working on the project. A Risk Assessment should be carried out for all activities.

DBS Checks

The voluntary organisation that you are working with should be able to advise you on whether DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks are required for volunteers to work with children and young people on the project. This will depend on the type of volunteering that is undertaken and will vary from project to project. DBS checks are generally needed if a volunteer will have regular contact with either vulnerable adults, or children or are working in a regulated setting such as a care home or a school. The voluntary organisation you work with will most likely have its own policy and they will be able to advise on the best way forward.

Insurance

There will need to be insurance in place to cover volunteers whilst they are working on the project.

This is usually covered by the public liability insurance for the project site, or may be covered by the public liability insurance of the voluntary organisation you are working with. Please check to make sure that there is relevant insurance in place and that you are covered. You can also take out specific event insurance to cover one off volunteering days if necessary.

If you have any queries regarding insurance cover for volunteering activities, please contact Liz Turvey, Head of Insurance Programmes (liz.turvey@dhl.com)