Volunteer Policy

Meadow Orchard Project

Volunteer Policy and Code of Conduct


Introduction

We hope that you enjoy your volunteering experience at Meadow Orchard and thank you for your contribution to helping this local wild space to thrive. The Meadow Orchard Project aims are to:

  • Provide public access to a greenspace and opportunities for volunteering through regular open days.
  • Manage the Meadow Orchard site, facilities and resources so that it can function as a community venue and be maintained in a pleasant, safe state.
  • Protect and enhance the wildlife habitats (an ecological management plan is in place).
  • Provide space for community food growing in the community garden/orchard areas.
  • Provide opportunity for projects such as buildings and infrastructure for community use or wildlife projects.
  • Provide opportunities for learning and sharing skills.
  • Host community events for education, wellbeing, art, creativity and celebration.

Help is always welcome and the site offers a friendly, welcoming environment for a diverse range of people of all ages and ability to participate. Care of the site and facilities is a shared responsibility as there are no staff. A team of Site Leaders help to run the regular open days who can give advice on what needs doing around the site.

Code of conduct for volunteers

  • Be aware of site security and lock gate/shed/buildings when leaving the site.
  • Ensure safe practices are carried out whilst volunteering and be aware of potential hazards to avoid risks. Read the health and safety risk log. Report all accidents and near misses, which should be recorded in the site incident book.
  • Take care of tools and equipment and clean and put away safely after use.
  • Take recycling and rubbish away with you and use the compost-bays / wormery for food-waste (except meat/fish).
  • Protect the wildlife habitats and keep to the designated pathways to protect the meadow grassland and delicate ant-mounds.
  • Conserve water on site as much as possible, especially in summer and dry spells, as we rely on rain water harvesting.
  • Keep working areas and built-structures tidy and help with clearing up when needed.
  • Contribute to the ongoing maintenance of the site and resources.
  • Be positive and helpful towards others. Give feedback and suggestions for the project in a constructive way.
  • Respect confidentiality, equality and respect for others. Represent the project and people in a positive light.
  • Have fun and enjoy what the project has to offer!

As a volunteer you can expect

  • A clearly defined outline of tasks to be undertaken, and to be given tasks that you are capable of and that are of benefit to Meadow Orchard.
  • Opportunity to develop your creative ideas where practical and appropriate, and input into the development of the site and project goals.
  • To be clear whom you should consult over any problem.
  • To be treated fairly and with respect.
  • A safe environment to carry out activities.

Insurance

Meadow Orchard Project holds public liability insurance that covers any permitted activity that volunteers take part in. Personal property is not covered by this policy. Making large bonfires for public events is not covered by this policy, however, small fires to burn surplus materials is permitted. Use of machinery is not covered under the insurance policy or working at height above 3m.

Equal Opportunities

Meadow Orchard Project strives to respect equality and diversity. We are committed to working towards a policy where volunteers are free from discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnicity, religion, political beliefs, nationality, disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender reassignment or age.

In case of abuse/assault or aggression either verbally, physically or electronically

This is written for ensuring safety of all site users, volunteers and visitors.

Meadow Orchard relies on volunteers fostering an environment of tolerance, understanding and respect of people and wildlife on the site. We therefore trust and ask that all volunteers upkeep this atmosphere conducive to wellbeing. This is sometimes referred to, as ‘Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share’.

Meadow Orchard management group reserves the right to exclude a person from the site where there has been a risk to safety and wellbeing of site users, until the matter can be resolved effectively.

Any person who behaves in an abusive (verbally or physically) manner or in a disruptive manner, will be asked to communicate with the management team in regard to their actions. Further action may be taken, for example, giving a warning followed by exclusion from the site, depending on the outcome.

Additional detail: Meadow Orchard management team or a site leader reserves the right to ask a person to leave the site if they consider that it would not be in the interests of that person or others in the group for them to stay on site.

Complaints Procedure

If you wish to raise a concern about the project or the actions of another volunteer please provide details of the concern or incident and report it to a member of the MOP management team. Please give your ideas or preference for a solution or what you would like to happen to help resolve the concern. As far as possible the matter should be kept confidential and your anonymity protected.