Volunteer Policy

Meadow Orchard Project

Volunteer Policy and Code of Conduct


Introduction

The Meadow Orchard Project aims to cultivate a healthy, creative and sustainable community and be a welcoming, friendly space for the community to enjoy. The project goals 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 is 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 building and infrastructure projects for community use.
  • Provide opportunities for learning and sharing skills.
  • Host and provide space for community events for education, wellbeing, art, creativity and celebration.

Help is always welcome and the site offers a sociable environment for a diverse range of people of all ages and ability. All volunteers are responsible for protecting and taking care of the land and resources as a shared responsibility. A team of site leaders run the regular open days and are responsible for site management and facilitating volunteering activities.

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.

Code of conduct for volunteers

  • Be aware of site security and lock gate/shed when leaving the site.
  • Ensure safe practices are carried out whilst volunteering and be aware of potential hazards and risks for any task you are undertaking. Read and adhere to the health and safety risk log for the site. Report all accidents and near misses, which should be recorded in the site log 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).
  • Keep to the designated pathways to protect the meadow habitat and take care to protect the delicate ant-hills.
  • 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 in your communication and feedback to others. Respect other people’s ideas and opinions.

What we ask from you

  • Ensure you understand the aims and objectives of the Meadow Orchard Project.
  • Ensure you understand what you need to do at a volunteer day and who to ask for help, or if there is a problem.
  • Attend project meetings, where possible, so that you can contribute to ongoing development, share ideas and get to know what is happening.
  • Give feedback and suggestions for the project and ways of working.
  • Ask for help if needed.
  • Air any questions or concerns to the appropriate person.
  • Respect confidentiality, equality, respect for others and health and safety requirements.
  • Have fun and enjoy what the site and 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 authorized activity that volunteers take part in. Personal property is not covered by this policy. Making large bonfires is not covered by this policy so site users do so at their own risk. However, small fires to burn surplus materials is permitted. Use of machinery, including chain-saws, is not covered under the insurance policy.

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.

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