Volunteer rights and responsibilities

Volunteer rights

To job satisfaction

Volunteers have the right to gain from their working experiences and to feel that they are using skills they already have as well as developing new skills.

Volunteers should not feel exploited.

To support

Volunteers have the right to receive support and respect from sailors and other volunteers.

To a suitable placement

Volunteers have the right to be assigned a job which is worthwhile, appropriate and which takes their personal preferences, abilities, life experience, education, employment background and temperament into account. Volunteers also have the right to know the reasons why, if they are seen to be unsuitable for a task.

To a clear job description

Volunteers have the right to be provided with a clear job description which outlines what tasks they will be expected to perform. They also need to know who they are accountable to (ie. Lines of communication).

To sound guidance

Volunteer have the right to receive sound guidance and direction from experienced and well-informed sailablity personnel.

To be heard

Volunteers have the right to be involved in the planning and discision-making processes. They also have the right to make suggestions and to be shown comfortable asking questions if unsure in regard to any task.

To say no

Volunteers have the right to say no to a particular or to certain tasks which are felt to be inappropriate/unacceptable.

To express grievances

Volunteers have the right to express grievances about their volunteering work or about aspects related to their work. However, in the first instance, all grievances should be directed to the Volunteer Co-ordinator who will deal with them accordingly.

To know about the Organisation

Volunteers have the right to be well briefed on the policies, people and programs of Sailability. They should also be informed of any new policy decisions which affect their volunteering work.

To appropriate training for the job

Volunteers have the right to receive appropriate orientation and training for the volunteering work they will be undertaking. Training should therefore be thoughtfully planned and effectively presented by experienced, well-informed, patient and thoughtful personnel.

To promotion and a variety of experience

Volunteers have the right to advance to greater responsibilities or to transfer from one activity to another.

To recognition

Volunteers have the right to receive recognition for their volunteering work.

This recognition may be in the form of a promotion and/or expressions of appreciation

To adequate insurance

Volunteers have the right to be adequately covered by personal safety insurance.

To reimbursement of costs

Volunteers have the right to be reimbursed for all expenses incurred on behalf of Sailability.

Volunteers Responsibilities

While volunteers are entitled to certain rights, they also have certain responsibilities to fulfil.

To be honest

Not only with themselves but also with sailors and families. It is difficult to always to always be totally honest, but honesty, ethics and trust go hand-in-hand. Everyone makes mistakes. Our own and others “mistakes” must be accepted. If people can accept their own honest or careless mistakes and openly tell others, then feelings of anger, disappointment and lack of trust may be reduced.

To be reliable and dependable

Volunteers need to be reliable. For example, arrive on time, do the job set and notify the coordinator if unavailable. Volunteers should not make promise they cannot keep or do not intend to keep. Volunteers should make sure that the work undertaken is what they really want to do; learn to say “no” and remember to cater for personal and family needs. State your limitations, times skills and other commitments.

To be willing to learn

It is the responsibility of Sailability to provide relevant information but it is the responsibility of the volunteer to assimilate this information. Volunteers should find out all they can about their job and attend training programmes, conferences and the like, when they are offered. They should be willing to “have a go” and try to learn new challenging things.

To be patient

Many volunteer jobs involve people with special needs. Even thought the job could done quicker, it is important to remain patient and empower the sailors to do things for themselves.

To keep information confidential

People are vulnerable when receiving help. Information learnt about others (members and other co-workers), must be kept confidential. Be cautious about information that may be related to others.

To speak up

Feel free to give suggestions to co-workers and always ask about the things that you do not understand. If there is a problem or an unhappy situation, it should not be kept private.

To work as part of a team

A volunteer should positively contribute to the development of the organization. When working with others, co-operation is important. Everyone is equal and part of the same team – personal skills should be shared. Maintain good working relationships with co-workers by showing respect and keeping to the job description.

To be open minded

Be accepting and non-judgmental of the other Sailability volunteers and members. Do not let personal values prevent acceptance of another person. Even though two people may not agree, they should respect and accept each other’s opinions, everyone has a right to their own opinion.

To be accountable and accept evaluation

The volunteers is responsible for his actions and decisions whilst on the job. They should also accept evaluation of their work.