Volunteer Policy

Guidelines and Expectations

We welcome new volunteers to the Society but of course there are some rules. In order to ensure a positive and safe environment for our volunteers, it is important that you read the following Basingstoke Canal Society policy. By proceeding with your application, you are indicating that you agree to abide by our rules and policies.

Responsibilities of our volunteers

We would ask that as a volunteer you:

  • Work with us to achieve our aims and objectives.
  • Be reliable and give commitment
  • Respect confidentiality, equal opportunities and health and safety policies
  • Attend relevant training
  • Uphold the name of the Basingstoke Canal Society (BCS) at all times
  • Become a member of the BCS
  • Respond in a timely manner to BCS communications where requested
  • Enjoy yourself

Our responsibilities to you

In return you can expect the BCS to offer:

  • A clearly defined role and tasks that interest you and benefit the BCS
  • A nominated member of staff to support you in your volunteering activity
  • Safe working conditions
  • A clear induction programme
  • The ability to see how your contribution matters to the BCS
  • An environment that offers equality and diversity

Health and Safety

The BCS is committed to providing an environment that offers the highest level of Health, Safety and Well-being.

Our aim is to ensure that our activities do not harm our employees, service users, contractors, volunteers, the public or the environment. We all have a personal responsibility to act in a safe manner and ensure that no task is considered more important than the health safety and welfare of individuals and the protection of our environment.

In order to achieve this aim, we adopt a comprehensive policy on the environment, safety and health that includes:

  • Encouraging a proactive safety culture
  • Striving to identify and remove causes of accidents, incidents and ill health
  • Ensuring that all plant and equipment is safe, well maintained and fit for the task
  • Prioritising health and safety improvements on the basis of risk evaluation
  • Power tools can only be used if trained. You may not use your own power tools on site.
  • If required, personal protective equipment must be used
  • You will be covered by the BCS insurance as long as the tasks have been approved and you have complied with all safety measures
  • We are all responsible to actively manage the ecology and heritage of our sites. Therefore, we must all strive to prevent pollution, reduce waste and protect wildlife.

Your Health

Volunteers taking part in practical conservation activities in particular, should ensure that they have an up-to-date tetanus injection. It is your responsibility to inform the BCS if there are any changes in your health

Risk assessment

All activities that volunteers are involved in require a risk assessment to ensure that all reasonable measures are taken to reduce risk to an appropriate level.

Your volunteer leader will be responsible for assessing your task and ensuring that you are aware of the necessary measures required to remove or reduce any risk

Social Media Policy

Social media plays a vital role in our communications with our visitors and stakeholders. As volunteers, you will be working behind the scenes and be privy to sensitive information. It is vital that you are discreet with this knowledge and never share any sensitive information that our visitors would not otherwise have access to. We want to protect our volunteers and reputation. In order to do this we ask all volunteers:

  • Not to post disparaging or defamatory posts about the BCS, its members and volunteers
  • To gain consent when sharing information or images of individuals
  • Never to share information on minors (under 18) or vulnerable adults
  • Not to reveal any sensitive information about the BCS  or volunteers.

Induction and Training

All new volunteers will receive an induction when they begin. This will vary depending on the nature of the role undertaken but will include discussing the expectations of both parties and the identification of named staff contacts. As part of this process you will also be asked to fill out a volunteer application form and a health declaration form. All information with which you provide us will remain strictly confidential in accordance with the Data Protection Act.


The BCS believes that volunteering should be open to all and we welcome anyone who wishes to volunteer although as noted below we are not currently able to offer volunteering to underage persons as we do not have Safeguarding arrangements in place


The Society is committed to treating all people equally and with respect irrespective of their disability, gender, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation. Currently, we do not have specific safeguarding arrangements in place to have underage persons as volunteers. However, our wider safeguarding policy is clear that we take care on any interactions with such underage persons


The Society believes that everyone we come into contact with, regardless of age, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or ethnic origin has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation.   The Society will not tolerate abuse and exploitation by volunteers or associated personnel.

Data Protection and Confidentiality

We seek to ensure, under the Data Protection Act, that our records are kept in accordance with the Act and that staff and volunteers abide by it.

All necessary volunteer details will be held on BCS’s volunteer database and will be accessible only to designated members of staff.

You must not disclose any information you are given in confidence to any person. You must not pass on the contact details of other volunteers without their prior consent. Please also note that the principle of confidentiality remains after you have completed a task or are no longer a volunteer for BCS and you should not disclose sensitive information obtained whilst a volunteer under any circumstance.

Complaints procedure

The BCS aims to make all volunteering experiences positive and enjoyable and to treat all volunteers fairly, objectively and consistently. We encourage two-way communications as a means of preventing problems before they arise. However, we realise that difficult situations sometimes do happen, a volunteer may have a complaint regarding their volunteering experience, or a complaint may be made about a volunteer. Outlined below is the process involved with any complaints received.

• Stage 1: Oral complaint: Initial complaints, whether concerning a member of staff or volunteer, should first be discussed informally. Many issues can be solved this way. Complaints should be raised with your staff contact. If the complaint concerns this person, you should talk to the volunteer leader

• Stage 2: Written complaint: If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your oral complaint, you should make a formal complaint in writing to the volunteer leader within 2 weeks. BCS will look to respond to the complaint within 2 weeks

• Stage 3: Opportunity to appeal: If you are still not satisfied with the outcome, you may appeal to the Trustees of the BCS  and your complaint will be heard by the two of the trustees of the BCS

 All complaints are treated confidentially and are only discussed amongst those that are directly involved in trying to resolve the issue. Records of what happens and who is involved are kept.

Thank You

Thank you for volunteering, the BCS appreciates all the time and enthusiasm which is so kindly given by our volunteers. Without the many hours donated by our volunteers, we would not be able to maintain the Basingstoke Canal, so we are thrilled that you are able to join us.

This document is not legally binding but aims to give you an overview of the responsibilities of both the volunteers and the Basingstoke Canal Society.


By proceeding with your application, you are indicating that you agree to abide by our rules and policies.


BCS: Basingstoke Canal Society, a registered charity.

BCA: Basingstoke Canal Authority, the council managed operation, based at Mytchett, that manages the canal on behalf of the Council owners.