Purpose of MABS Volunteer Policy
This policy is written to provide overall information and guidance to volunteers engaged in MABS operations. This volunteer policy is binding in honour only, and is not intended to be a legally binding contract between the volunteer and the organisation. Neither party intends any employment relationship to be created now, or at any time in the future. MABS reserves the right to change any of these policies at any time, and to expect adherence to the changed policy.
MABS Cancer Support Fundacion, with the help of their volunteers, aims to provide support to cancer sufferers who may:
- Need assistance to and from hospital or clinic for treatment;
- Need assistance in understanding Spanish Medical diagnoses and treatment plans;
- Need care at home;
- Need specialist medical equipment such as beds, ripple mattresses, wheelchairs, etc;
- Need comfort, understanding and advice;
- Need information on types of cancer;
- Need counselling for their ailment or for bereavement;
- Need massage treatment for lymphatic drainage;
- Need Palliative care at home;
- Need Hospice care.
A ‘volunteer’ is anyone who, without expectation of compensation beyond reimbursements or allowances, performs a task at the direction of and on behalf of MABS. A ‘volunteer’ must be officially accepted and enrolled by MABS prior to performance of the role, task or tasks. Unless specifically stated, volunteers shall not be considered as ‘employees’ of MABS.
MABS recognises that in order to provide one of its key services to MABS registered patients – Translations and Interpretations of Medical Staff Information and Treatments – we must utilise fluent bi-lingual or multi-lingual interpreters/translators. To do this, we must pay for the services of such persons as and when our patients require them or we need to use them for legal or business operations purposes. Although such persons must complete the Volunteer Application Form, they are not considered as ‘Volunteers’, since they are receiving renumeration for their services. Similarly, as and when MABS requires to do so, it may pay individuals for services rendered, but these persons shall not be considered as Volunteers.
All volunteers will treat colleagues with respect, courtesy, fairness and good faith. Volunteers shall never use abusive language or threatening behaviour to colleagues or MABS clients. Where serious disagreements among volunteers cannot be resolved, they will be addressed through meetings with a supervisor and if necessary will be referred to senior level.
Volunteers are asked to not contact other organizations or individuals on behalf of MABS unless they are given express instructions or directions to do so by either their Area Coordinator, Treasurer or Director. Prior to any action or statement which might significantly affect or obligate MABS, volunteers shall seek prior consultation and approval from either of the above personnel. These actions may include, but are not limited to, public statements to the press, coalition or agreements with other organizations, or any agreements involving contractual or other financial obligations. Volunteers are only ever authorized to act as representatives of MABS if specifically indicated within their job descriptions and only to the extent of such written specifications.
Volunteers are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of all proprietary and privileged information and also patients and their relatives’ information to which they are exposed while serving as a volunteer, whether this information involves one person, volunteer, patient, or other persons, or involves overall MABS operations business. This is enshrined in the Volunteer Application Form. Failure to maintain confidentiality may result in termination of the volunteer's relationship with MABS.
MABS is organised and structured on a foundation of trust and requires that all Volunteers, and those persons paid for their services during MABS operations, shall act in a trustworthy manner during their service to MABS. Volunteers are expected to be of honest nature and to have integrity during their time of service in MABS operations. This is enshrined in the Volunteer Application Form.
Occasionally, volunteers will need to contact other volunteers with regard to their activities within MABS or notify of activities and events, meetings etc. MABS expect all such communications among volunteers to follow general ‘netiquette’ guidelines and be respectful to the recipient. Other than email addresses, the email sender will not share contact information about a volunteer with another volunteer without the express consent of all parties involved. MABS encourage volunteers to use common sense when communicating with other volunteers - or anyone - online. MABS suggest that volunteers follow this simple rule: don't reveal anything about yourself online to someone, that you would not feel comfortable revealing to a stranger you met on the street.
For some roles within the MABS organisation, volunteers may be asked to submit samples of work and/or professional references or other references, depending on job description. If this is required, it shall be detailed in the job description.
If at any point a volunteer receives an e-mail that may be considered inappropriate, for any reason, and the volunteer believes it has been received in conjunction with their involvement with MABS, please forward the email and other details about the communication to supervisory staff who will send it to senior staff for action.
The safety of our volunteers is important to us. To that end, MABS will not release a volunteer's phone number, age, status, address or other personal information to anyone outside of MABS organisation or to other volunteers without that volunteer's permission to do so.
All volunteers have the right, at any time and for whatever reason, to sever their relationship with MABS. Notice of such a decision should preferably be communicated as early as possible to the volunteer¹s supervisor to minimise disruption and possible impact on MABS operations.
Although very rare, volunteers who do not adhere to the policy, rules and procedures of MABS or who fail to satisfactorily perform their volunteer role, once training has been given, may be subject to dismissal. However, no volunteer will be dismissed until the volunteer has had an opportunity to discuss the reasons for possible dismissal with supervisory personnel. Examples of possible grounds for dismissal may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- gross misconduct or insubordination;
- criminal offence conviction;
- theft of monies, property or sales items;
- fraud or embezzlement activities;
- verbal or physical abuse or mistreatment of colleagues, staff or clients;
- failure to abide by MABS policies and procedures;
- failure to satisfactorily perform assigned duties.
MABS values each and every volunteer and recognises that they are giving to MABS their time freely to aid and assist MABS stated aims and objectives (See above).
Therefore, MABS shall commit to the following:
- To provide adequate information and training so a volunteer may meet the expectations as described in the volunteer job description;
- To explain what is required of a volunteer and to support and provide encouragement to help achieve the desired results;
- To allow for a four week trial period for a volunteer;
- To assign volunteers with a named supervisor who will provide regular support and supervision meetings and act as a ‘first point of reference’ person;
- To treat volunteers with respect and courtesy at all times;
- To keep volunteers up-to-date with operations information that may impact their duties;
- To be receptive to any comments and feedback from all volunteers;
- To value and recognise MABS volunteers as a significant resource in achieving the goals of MABS as an organisation.
Volunteers have a right to expect some benefit from volunteering, given they are committing free time and effort to MABS. The benefits of becoming a MABS Volunteers that individuals should expect to gain include:
- A sense of worthwhile achievement;
- Respect and fairness from their colleagues and MABS;
- Useful skills;
- Life experience and contacts;
- Sociability and enjoyment;
- Inclusion in the life of the MABS organisation, and the wider community.
Volunteers must accept that if they volunteer for any role within MABS, they are making a serious commitment in terms of the time frame laid out for their role.
Therefore, the Volunteer shall commit to the following:
- To perform the volunteer role to the best of personal ability;
- To follow the organisation’s policies and procedures;
- To accept supervision as a matter of necessity and respect such supervision;
- To treat colleagues with respect and courtesy at all times;
- To meet required and stated time and task commitments and to provide sufficient notice when not available;
- To attend Volunteer meetings when such meetings are called, unless on duty at the time;
- To read and to apply if necessary any written instructions or directions in day books, shop books, managers books or other means of information transfer important to MABS regular operations;
- To act in a way that is in line with the aims and objectives of MABS as an organisation and in a way that enhances the work of MABS.