POLICY

Co-op member / volunteer agreements

A plain-English policy to clarify the different roles held by volunteers and paid members within a youth work cooperative. Includes simple outline template agreements for volunteers and for cooperative members.

Contents

  1. Co-op member or volunteer?
  2. Volunteers' agreement
    1. Agreement by volunteer:
    2. Agreement by Voice of Youth towards volunteers:
  3. Co-op members' agreement
    1. Agreement by co-operative member:
    2. Agreement by Voice of Youth towards co-op members:

Policy

Co-op member or volunteer?

Co-op memberVolunteer
Legally and morally responsible with others to run Voice of Youth safely, and to a good standard.Help out with Voice of Youth without having to take so much responsibility.
Being very committed –attend all (or at least 90%) of your youth work sessions and meetings unless for unavoidable reasons, let colleagues know and find cover where necessary.Attend everything you have committed to, and please let us know if you can’t, but don’t worry if you can’t make it every time.
Commit to at least 6 months-1 year, and please give at least 2 months’ notice before leaving / taking a long breakCommit to at least 6 months, and please give at least 1 month’s notice before leaving / taking a long break
At present co-op members mostly do voluntary work. Paid 3 hours per month for meetings. Potentially paid for some sessional work. Some co-op members choose to be unpaid.Unpaid. May receive thank-you’s such as vouchers for special projects, etc.
Some experience of youth work neededNo experience of youth work needed
As a co-op member you cannot usually be a ‘young person’ in any VOY groupIf you are a young volunteer, you can attend one VOY group while volunteering at another
Will receive travel expenses for unpaid work.
Free refreshments provided at meetings.
VOY will organise free training, socials, etc.
You will have a supervisor but no manager!
You have an equal right to have your say at meetings!

Volunteers’ agreement

Between Voice of Youth and [enter name of volunteer]:

Agreement by volunteer:

I agree that I will:

  • Aim to attend 50% or more of the monthly co-operative meetings and let people know when I can’t come
  • Be clear about what groups I am committed to working on regularly
  • Give my colleagues as much notice as possible if I cannot attend a session with young people
  • Work towards learning about and upholding VOY’s principles
  • Work towards VOY’s policies, especially around working safely and supportively with young people
  • Bring it up at a supervision if I would like to have more / less/ different responsibilities
  • Intend to commit to VOY for at least 6 months if possible and aim to give 1 month’s notice if I need to leave or take a lengthy break

I intend to contribute around ….. hours per week / fortnight, and discuss any changes at a co-op meeting.

My responsibilities will include (tick / cross out):

  • Youth worker at ………..  group every week / every fortnight
  • Youth worker on other projects e.g. school holidays
  • Providing cover for absent volunteers if available
  • Other…

I understand that if I do not keep to this agreement it will be discussed at a co-op meeting and/or supervision. I will have the chance to give my perspective at a co-op meeting. If necessary I can be asked to leave but this will be avoided if possible.

Signed by volunteer:

Print name: 

Agreement by Voice of Youth towards volunteers:

VOY will:

Ensure everyone has the right and the space to contribute views and ideas, including if they are different from others’ opinions

Value my contribution as a volunteer without further expectations

Provide a supervisor who will meet with each volunteer for at least one hour every three months

Pay reasonable travel expenses for any voluntary work undertaken, and provide refreshments at co-op meetings, planning sessions, supervisions, etc

Make decisions fairly at co-operative meetings, taking everybody’s view into account

Be open to challenge, including on issues of equality and anti-oppressive practice

Provide occasional training, development opportunities and socials

Write a reference for job or study applications

Write a placement report and provide additional placement-related supervision, if agreed

Signed by (as many members as possible, on behalf of the co-op):

* Any changes should be discussed at a co-op meeting *

Co-op members’ agreement

Between Voice of Youth and [enter name of co-op member]:

Agreement by co-operative member:

I agree that I will:

  • Take responsibility for my communication with the group
  • Commit to attending monthly co-operative meetings, aiming for 90% attendance (not including illness or other important reasons –but I will let everyone know and if it’s ongoing I will discuss it with everyone)
  • Be clear about what groups I am committed to working on regularly
  • Give colleagues a minimum of two weeks’ notice of planned absences at my regular sessions with young people, and take responsibility for finding suitable cover if necessary
  • Commit to upholding and promoting VOY’s principles
  • Take joint responsibility for the legality, safety and sound finances of VOY
  • Register as self-employed and declare my income (if I want to be paid for any VOY work)
  • Follow VOY’s policies, especially around working safely and supportively with young people
  • Bring it up at a supervision if I would like to have more / less / different responsibilities
  • Intend to commit to VOY for at least six months to one year, and give 1-2 month’s notice if I need to leave or take a long break

 I intend to contribute around ….. hours per week / fortnight. My responsibilities will include [tick / cross out below]:

  • Youth worker at Lea View every week / every fortnight
  • Youth worker on other projects e.g. school holidays
  • Other youth work
  • Providing cover for absent volunteers / co-op members if available
  • Being supervisor for co-op members / volunteers
  • Other…

 I understand that if I do not keep to this agreement it will be discussed at a co-op meeting and/or supervision. I will have the chance to give my perspective at a co-op meeting. If necessary I can be asked to leave but this will be avoided if at all possible.

Signed by co-op member:
Print name:

Agreement by Voice of Youth towards co-op members:

VOY will:

  • Provide a supervisor who will meet with each co-op member for at least one hour every three months (more often for those with weekly contact with young people)
  • Ensure everyone has the right and the space to contribute views and ideas,including if they are different from others’ opinions
  • Pay reasonable travel expenses for any voluntary work undertaken, and provide refreshments for co-op meetings, planning sessions, supervisions, etc
  • Make decisions fairly at co-operative meetings, taking everybody’s view into account
  • Be open to challenge, including on issues of equality and anti-oppressive practice
  • Provide occasional training, development opportunities and socials
  • Ensure that it is clear whether paid work is available and how decisions on paid work are made –see ‘paid work for cooperative members’, below
  • Write a reference for job or study applications

Signed by as many members as possible, on behalf of the co-op:

* Any changes to this agreement should be discussed at a co-op meeting *

Discussion

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