Volunteers

Volunteering brings people together on a local task for the parish council and has the potential to create a better community spirit, instil a sense of achievement and make Carrington a place a better place to live.

Introduction

Local Government in Carrington has two tiers: Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council and Carrington Parish Council. The role of the Parish Council is to:

  • maintain, repair and improve parish facilities including recreational areas, public spaces and buildings

  • liaise with local Police and Neighbourhood Watch on crime, security and traffic issues

  • scrutinise local planning applications

  • liaise with County and Borough Councils on the maintenance, repair and improvement of highways drainage, footpaths, cycleways, public transport, street cleaning, conservation matters (including trees and listed buildings), and environmental issues such as quarrying and waste recycling

  • plan, consult on, and implement village infrastructure projects

  • investigate and resolve local problems and complaints received from the community

The Parish Council has locally elected Councillors, who are themselves unpaid volunteers looking after the interests of the community they represent, supported by a Clerk. The full council meets every six weeks to consider, discuss and resolve parish matters, aided by a number of subcommittees on which smaller groups of councillors attend to specific issues.

Of necessity, some parish council services have to be provided by paid contractors, for example, grass cutting, tree surgery, administration, building repairs. However, in order to keep our community vibrant and make our village a great place to live, the Council seeks to provide everyone with opportunities to be stakeholders in their village and make a positive contribution to it by volunteering for a broad range of activities. The Council’s members and officers are responsible for recruiting and looking after its volunteers.



Why Volunteer?

There are many reasons for becoming a volunteer, for example:

  • To build on your existing skills and learn new ones

  • To make new friends

  • To increase become more involved in, and knowledgeable about, your local community

  • To increase your own self-confidence and interpersonal skills

  • To be appreciated by others in your community who benefit from your volunteering


Volunteer Induction

A new volunteer will receive an induction relevant to the activity. This will include a role description, information about the aims of the particular project, appropriate training and introduction to key contacts on site. A copy of the Council’s Policies and Procedures relating to volunteers will be provided, and the volunteer will be expected to have an understanding of these and their implications

Support and Supervision

Parish Council volunteers can expect regular support and supervision by the volunteer coordinator, or named contact. There will be opportunities to discuss the development of the role, and seek any advice or guidance needed.

In addition, volunteers may contact the Parish Clerk, or any Councillors, for advice, support and assistance.

There should be no financial barriers to volunteering. Any out-of-pocket expenses reasonably incurred by your role may be claimed on production of receipts, tickets or invoices as agreed with your named contact. A completed claim form signed by your volunteer coordinator is submitted to the Parish Clerk for settlement.

Volunteers are covered by the Parish Council’s Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurances. However, volunteers need to inform their motor insurance company if they intend to use their car for volunteer work.



Carrington Parish Council’s Offer to Volunteers

The Council values the contribution made by all its volunteers:

  • CPC is committed to diversity in all areas of its activities, having much to learn and profit from diverse cultures. We encourage and value ideas and participation from all ages, genders, backgrounds and abilities to represent the community we serve.

  • We want volunteers to feel they are an integral part of a wider parish council team, that they are treated fairly and equally, and that they are valued for their individual skills and the contribution they make to village life, so that volunteering is a positive experience.

  • Volunteers will not be asked to undertake any activities carried out by the Council’s paid employees.

  • There will be no employment or other contract between the Council and its volunteers.

  • CPC aims to resolve any complaints raised by a volunteer in a timely manner


What does the Parish Council expect from its volunteers?

A volunteer can expect to decide how much time to offer and for how long. In return the Parish Council expects a volunteer to

  • Maintain an agreed level of commitment, keep good time, and be reliable

  • Follow the role description provided at induction

  • Maintain confidentiality, as prescribed in the role description

  • Be patient and objective without making judgements about people’s problems or situation

  • Ensure that all volunteers and members of the public are treated with good manners and respect at all times

  • Abide by the Policies and Procedures forming part of this handbook

  • Be honest if problems arise with other volunteers, or the role, by speaking with the key contact

  • Attend support and supervision meetings regularly

  • Maintain and uphold the good name of Carrington Parish Council


Volunteer Policies, Procedures and Risk Assessments

Safeguarding

When volunteering with the Parish Council a volunteer may be in contact with Children, Young Person and/or vulnerable adults, where the volunteer has had no previous safeguarding training, a training course will be provided.