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Introduction 

The University of Strathclyde Students' Union (SSU) is a member-led organisation and a registered Scottish Charity. It aims to represent over 22,000 members and has a vision to empower students to shape, enhance and enjoy their Strathclyde experience. 

Volunteering is an essential part of the activities at SSU. SSU is committed to providing opportunities for students to increase and develop skills, build confidence by taking on roles of responsibility and increase employability. 

Principles 

This Volunteering Policy is underpinned by the following principles: 

  • To ensure volunteers are properly integrated into the organisation 
  • To expect that staff at all levels will work positively with volunteers 
  • To ensure volunteers are given every opportunity to develop through volunteering both personally and professionally 

Recruitment & Selection 

All students at Strathclyde are encouraged to participate and volunteer with SSU and its community partner charities. Some volunteering positions are elected positions and others may be subject to specific checks, e.g. criminal record disclosures or PVG scheme membership. Potential volunteers will be made aware of recruitment procedures prior to applying for positions. 

Equal Opportunities 

SSU is committed to equal opportunities and all volunteers must abide by the Equal Opportunities Policy. 

Code of Conduct 

Volunteers must adhere to the rules stipulated in the SSU Code of Conduct. Certain breaches of our Code of Conduct might also result in a report to the Protection Unit at Disclosure Scotland as stipulated in our Removal from Regulated Work Referrals Policy.

Induction and Training 

All volunteers will receive an induction and training appropriate for their role with Strathclyde Students' Union or with the community partner organisation. Additional personal and professional development training is available to all volunteers. Details of training sessions available for volunteers can be found under the Opportunities section of our website. Additional training can be requested from Student Engagement staff on Level 7 of the Union. 

Wellbeing 

The health and wellbeing of volunteers is a priority at SSU and it is important that studies and degree work come first and foremost. The hours for volunteering are flexible and should not impact on coursework if managed correctly. Advice and support is available for volunteers through staff and the Advice Hub.

Insurance 

All volunteers are covered by SSU’s insurance policy whilst they are on the premises or engaged in work on behalf of the Union. Volunteers organising events can seek clarification on the policy from Student Engagement staff on Level 7 of the Union. 

Support & Supervision 

All volunteers will have a named main contact and will be provided with regular support to feedback on progress, discuss future developments and raise any issues. Student Engagement staff can be contacted for more details. 

Out of Pocket Expenses 

Students should not be out of pocket for participating in voluntary activities. If costs are to be incurred, prior approval of expenses should be sought from staff who will arrange reimbursement or advance payment. 

Recognition 

Various methods of recognising the participation of volunteers takes place within SSU: 

  • Strathclyde Volunteer Certificates - issued to volunteers who have recorded hours of volunteering. Online recording of hours is available at www.strathunion.com/volunteering/profile
  • Volunteering Achievement Records -  formal, signed records issued to volunteers alongside their Academic Transcripts at Graduations, this record shows all logged participation in activities, recorded hours and awards conferred by Strathclyde Students' Union for each academic year. Volunteers can request additional or electronic copies from Student Engagement staff.
  • STAR Awards – a volunteer awards ceremony held annually in April where nominated volunteers are rewarded for their efforts and participation.
  • Reference Letters - volunteers who have recorded their activities with us through our online volunteering platform are also encouraged to request references for future employment or volunteering activities. This can be done by contacting Student Engagement Staff. Volunteers should notify Student Engagement staff when they list us Strathclyde Students' Union as a reference.

Complaints

If you are not satisfied with the volunteering services of our community partners, complaints should be made in the first instance to Student Engagement Staff or sent to strathunion.volunteers@strath.ac.uk.

Should you wish to submit a complain about any of our services, volunteers, staff members or elected officers, please follow our Complaints procedure.

Last Updated : September 2019

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