The Council wants to work with communities to ensure the sustainability of services at a time when public budgets are tight. We want to make a contribution to promote, coordinate and celebrate volunteering. We will work with key partners, such as Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway, to ensure that our approach to volunteering represents good practice.
The Volunteer Strategy will ensure that the Council adopts best practice in terms of its recruitment, development and appreciation of all of our volunteers and that staff supervising volunteers understand their responsibilities and carry these out to the benefit of the volunteer, the organisation and the communities they serve.
The strategy has been built on feedback from volunteers, communities, individuals and community groups and experience from other councils in addition to national and best practice advice, consultation with Elected Members and local partners.
The Council agreed five principles that guide its approach to volunteering:
- People are our best assets and the Council will work with communities and individuals to maximise their voluntary contribution to its services and activities
- Recognition and appreciation of volunteers is a fundamental aspect of the Council's arrangements - volunteers will be treated with respect and regarded as a member of the team
- Volunteer contributions are complementary to the responsibilities of staff and Elected Members
- Volunteers are given appropriate support to enable them to fulfil their role within the Council
- The Volunteer profile should reflect the population of Dumfries and Galloway in terms of demographic profile, particularly in relation to Protected Characteristics minority communities
The Council will deliver this strategy though:
- Ongoing development of Volunteer Guidance with the full involvement of stakeholders
The Guidance contains a Volunteer Agreement, which sets out the Council's commitment to and expectations of its volunteers
The expected outcomes of this Volunteer Strategy are:
- An enhancement to the range of volunteering opportunities with Dumfries and Galloway Council
- An improvement to the recruitment, management and development of volunteers
- A volunteer base that better reflects the population profile of our region
- Volunteers that are recognised, rewarded and celebrated
- Volunteer arrangements that are coordinated with other public and third sector partners at local and national level
The Council will measure the number of Volunteer Agreements over the coming years. In addition, Council Directorates will work towards the Investing in Volunteers Charter Mark with Volunteer Scotland. This Charter Mark recognises organisational good practice.