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Disclaimer: The information provided in this section is intended for guidance only. It is not a substitute for professional advice and we cannot accept any responsibility for loss occasioned as a result of any person acting or refraining from acting upon it.

Some of your group’s activities will need volunteers. It is recommended that you think through and agree your procedures before involving any volunteers. Please ensure you have carefully read our page on Safeguarding.

We recommend that you have a written Volunteering Policy and that all volunteers complete an application form and sign a confidentiality statement. Your Volunteer Policy could include:

  • Volunteer recruitment procedure
  • How will you record volunteer contact details? (see the GDPR section on the Policies and Procedures page for help on ensuring compliance)
  • Creating role descriptions so that volunteers are clear about what they will be doing and what is expected of them
  • Support for volunteers – what should volunteers do if they have a problem or need help with something? 
  • Volunteer expenses
  • Any training or induction volunteers will need

See our Policies section for more resources.

We also recommend that any group involving volunteers reads our Mental Health resource pack. 


Template Volunteer Application Form (amend with your group’s details)

Template Confidentiality Statement


‘Before you recruit volunteers’ from NCVO

NCVO advice on recruiting and managing volunteers and supervising and supporting volunteers

Please read the Home Office Guidance on Volunteering for people seeking asylum. This is towards the end of the guidance on Permission to Work.  

Swansea CVS (Council for Voluntary Service) info sheet on volunteers who are refugees or seeking asylum

Many groups apply for and receive funding and decide to pay a worker to work on a project.

Employment status

The employment status of a worker will determine whether they need to be paid through PAYE and whether they have employment rights eg. the right to holiday, statutory sick pay, redundancy etc.

The employment status is not determined by whoever is paying the worker or the worker themselves but by the nature of the work and the way a contract has been set up.

You can check the employment status of a worker using this government tool

It is important that you understand the different factors affecting employment status and how this could affect your group before setting up an agreement to pay a worker.

Planning a worker role

You will need:

  • A role description
  • A person specification
  • Details about pay
  • Details about the organisation
  • The application process
  • Contact details for queries

A short-term project involving a self-employed worker may be more open and flexible but you need to be clear what will be involved and what is expected.

Equal Opportunities

It is good practice to follow equal opportunities guidance for a self-employed worker and essential if you are planning to employ someone. This means:

  • advertising opportunities widely
  • having a recruitment policy eg. recruitment is done by application and interview of shortlisted applicants with a panel of 3 group members
  • shortlisting and interviews are done using a standardised template or scoring system that ensures fairness


Government information on self-employment

Information from the CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau) on different types of employment

Advice on recruitment from NCVO


Please see our page on Safeguarding.

If your group is going to involve volunteers in your activities, it is important that you think about safeguarding. You may want to have a Safeguarding Policy.

Safeguarding everyone involved in the City of Sanctuary movement is essential, most especially volunteers and asylum seekers and refugees who may be particularly vulnerable or at risk of exploitation. We advise that you take expert advice on safeguarding matters as appropriate to your context. Please see The Resource Centre and contact NCVO or local Voluntary Action organisation / service and ensure that you have Safeguarding in place for everybody.
As a minimum we recommend the following:
1. All groups to have a safeguarding policy in place which suits the type of activities/services you deliver (and takes into consideration anyone involved or who may come into contact with the group).
2. Ensure the policy explains why some volunteers (particularly asylum seekers and refugees) might be particularly vulnerable.
3. Appoint a safeguarding lead and deputy who have received training in safeguarding/protection of vulnerable adults (leads should be DBS checked).
4. Explain the policy to all volunteers and ensure they know that any concerns will be dealt with in accordance with the policy.
5.  Explain the policy to all asylum seekers and refugees involved in CoS activities and services and ensure they know that any concerns will be dealt with in accordance with the policy.
6. All volunteers and service users should  know who the safeguarding leads are and have their contact details.  (A business card with a safeguarding lead contact is a useful idea).
7. The management committee/steering group/board etc should all be aware of the policy and their responsibilities.

The NCVO has a comprehensive guide to help you think through your approach to safeguarding.

DBS Checks

You may consider undertaking DBS checks for volunteers. This should be part of your wider safeguarding procedures. You can only complete a DBS check for certain roles and activities. You can find out what is eligible via the government DBS website. To complete a DBS check, you’ll need to go through an umbrella body (unless you complete more than 100 checks a year).

DBS Guidance Leaflets

DBS Check Process Explained – Video

DBS Eligibility Guidance

Eligibility guidance for enhanced DBS checks

Responsible Organisations

DBS Barring Referral Guidance

DBS Barring Referral Form and Guidance

How to make a Good Quality Barring Referral

DBS check application process for volunteers

See our Policies section for more resources.


NCVO information on Safeguarding and Volunteers

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) website

Information on Disclosure and Barring Service checks from Newcastle CVS (Nov 2017)

Information on Safeguarding from Newcastle CVS (May 2018)

Workshop notes from Safeguarding workshop at 2018 CoS Conference

Please see the Finance section for resources about insurance.