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Newcastle Passport Scheme

Volunteers have been at the very heart of the Covid-19 response in Newcastle, as in many communities across the country, and we all know that there has been unprecedented interest in community action volunteering in 2020, particularly at the onset of the current pandemic.

Unfortunately, it has not always been straightforward to mobilise volunteers quickly and effectively, within voluntary and charity sector organisations, partly due to the necessity of recruitment, induction training and compliance procedures, needed to be in place for each volunteer, which as we all know, can be time heavy.

How the scheme will work

Volunteering Matters received a request from our commissioning body, Newcastle City Council to explore the feasibility of a Volunteer Passport Scheme, through consultation with local voluntary and charity organisations, and from this process we have developed Volunteer Passport Scheme Newcastle. The main aim of the Passport Scheme will be to enable a network of volunteers who are fully recruited, trained, supported and ready to respond quickly and appropriately to the needs of the local communities and to local voluntary volunteers to fulfil their roles.

Together with participating partners, we have identified shared values, and agreed to baseline standards, in terms of what the recruitment and training processes for the scheme will be. Completing this process once will enable any volunteer to then undertake roles with any of the partners signed up to the scheme. Within the scheme, Volunteering Matters responsibilities will be:

  • To act as lead organisation within the scheme, and to promote the scheme, attracting potential volunteers.

  • To complete the recruitment process for volunteers, (application form, interview, two reference checks, Standard DBS check)

  • To create a Volunteer Record for each volunteer, to be shared with partners as part of the matching process.

  • To support scheme partners with creating appropriate volunteer roles and good practice around volunteer management.

  • To provide access to Induction Training for volunteers: Introduction to volunteering, Safeguarding Adults/Children, Boundaries, Equality and Diversity/Unconscious Bias, Confidentiality and Data Protection, Personal Safety and Understanding Risk

  • To provide volunteers with a physical Volunteer Passport.

  • To allocate volunteers to participating partners through a process of smart matching.

  • To offer an Exit Interview and reference for volunteers following any period of active volunteering of at least 6 months.

Allocation of volunteers- how this will work.

On receipt of a request from one of our partners for a volunteer, Volunteering Matters will:

  • Match an available volunteer to the role, based on information gained from the recruitment process.
  • Send a copy of the Volunteer Record, (information included: volunteer contact details, date of birth, DBS certificate no, skills, interests, previous volunteer experience, training completed and specific information, for example, driving)

  • Contact the volunteer, providing contact details for the partner organisation.

  • Match with an alternative volunteer, should the first be declined by the partner.

Once the match is confirmed, contact can be made directly between the participating partner and the volunteer. Within the scheme your responsibilities as a partner, and around volunteers active within your organisation will be:

  • To provide volunteer insurance.

  • To deliver support and supervision, relevant to the volunteer role, including volunteer expenses.

  • To provide any additional training, specific to the volunteer role and update Volunteering Matters for the purpose of keeping accurate volunteer data.

  • To complete volunteer activity within Volunteer Passports.

  • To create a risk assessment specific to each volunteer role, and to provide a copy of each to Volunteering Matters.

  • To provide any equipment required for the role, e.g. PPE.

  • To notify Volunteering Matters of any volunteer related issues or concerns, as soon as possible, including if a volunteer disengages unexpectedly.

  • To gather case studies/volunteer quotes and stories to evidence impact.

Within the scheme, volunteer roles will include:

  • Driver

  • Food packer

  • Shopper

  • Medication pick up/drop off

  • Tech support

  • Food preparation/cooking

  • Donation sorter

  • Admin support

  • Befriending/Mentoring

  • Collecting data to support coordination and service delivery.

  • Charity shop volunteer, (subject to lockdown restrictions)

  • General deliveries, (e.g. craft packs, audio books)

This list is not exhaustive, as we would aim to develop additional roles over the duration of the pilot scheme, adhering to the needs of participating partners and the communities that each partner serves.

If you have any questions on any of the above information, please contact: Pam Robinson

Mob: 07590417231

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