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Update on council volunteering policy in Bridgend

Bridgend County Borough Council's Civic Offices on Angel Street (Pic: Bridgend County Borough Council)

BRIDGEND Council has signed off on a new volunteering policy for residents in the borough.

The policy is designed to outline Bridgend council’s responsibilities when it comes to volunteering, along with the obligations faced by volunteers and voluntary organisations.

The report given to members said the policy provided “a clear set of requirements for the council’s volunteer programme” which was designed to define the role and value of volunteers within the organisation, ensuring they are treated fairly.

The report read: “The council recognises the significant contribution that volunteers make to the lives of our residents and the vibrancy of our communities.

“We also recognise that for the council to support and work effectively with volunteers it is important that appropriate support and a consistent approach is in place to engage with volunteers.

“This policy aims to ensure that all council officers can apply such a consistent approach when planning directly engaging volunteers in our work.

“It is recognised that third sector partners who may or may not be commissioned by the council also play a hugely valuable role in engaging volunteers in accordance with their own policies and procedures.”

Officers speaking at the meeting said safeguarding and health and safety was at the heart of the policy, setting out the different activities that volunteers could take part in across Bridgend, as well as what support they should receive.

It also discussed the council’s aims and principles, highlighting how volunteers could not be used to provide cover for paid staff, and how they would not be “engaged in work which facilitates the loss of an existing employee’s post”.

Speaking at the monthly cabinet meeting in December, Cllr Jane Gebbie said: “I’m more than happy to move this report as I do believe we should have an expectation that we have good standards from all our volunteering efforts, but as the hosts we also need to ensure that there’s a good framework for them to be supported and assisted in.”

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