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Safeguarding for volunteer managers

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Overview

As a volunteer manager you should take a safeguarding approach to all aspects of volunteering. This will help your organisation keep people safe from harm and create a culture where everyone connected understands their right to be safe. The more care you take in managing your volunteers, the more your work with them can play a key role in building a safer culture in your organisation. This will help you to build a safer space where people feel able to speak up about concerns and trust that action will be taken.  

You need to build a clear message that safeguarding is a way of working every day, making sure your staff and volunteers understand why it is important to keep everyone safe.

The way you deliver safeguarding will change depending on who you work with and the level of risk involved, but all organisations must take safeguarding seriously. The larger your organisation or the more you engage with those with particular risk of harm, the more comprehensive your approach to safeguarding should be. 

You need to consider harm that could be caused:

  • by volunteers to others – including staff, intended beneficiaries and others in contact with your organisation
  • by others in (or in contact with) your organisation to your volunteers
  • by people outside of the organisation that is brought to the attention of volunteers through their work.

You also need to consider the potential that volunteers may have unmet needs for care and support which if unresolved could place them at risk of harm or affect their wellbeing. They may also be experiencing harm outside of your organisation but share this to you within your contact.

Where to start

These pages are written specifically for volunteer managers and cover topics of particular relevance to recruiting volunteers and supporting volunteering.

Alongside this guide, there are other pages which may be useful for you. 

Page last edited Mar 08, 2022

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