Volunteer Policies

Looking to join our team and volunteer at the Coffin Works? Here you’ll find information on volunteering including our policies and expectations.

Volunteer Policy

Volunteering is important to Birmingham Conservation Trust’s work. This statement is designed to demonstrate our commitment to volunteering and individual volunteers, ensuring all volunteers are treated consistently, equally and fairly. We believe we can achieve more with volunteers. We value and appreciate the full worth of all volunteers.

You are whoever you are – Birmingham Conservation Trust is committed to equal opportunities.

As a volunteer you can expect that…

  • You will be made to feel welcome by the organisation
  • Your skills will be matched with our opportunities wherever possible
  • You will be volunteering for an organisation which opposes all forms of illegal discrimination
  • You are covered by Birmingham Conservation Trust insurance if working under our instruction
  • You will be appreciated and recognised for your contribution to Birmingham Conservation Trust
  • You will be provided with training and support in order to fulfill your volunteer role
  • Your work conditions will be safe and healthy wherever possible – risks will be advised where necessary
  • Birmingham Conservation Trust will help you to resolve any problems that arise
  • You will be given regular opportunity to review what you do with your manager
  • Birmingham Conservation Trust will seek your views on volunteering and your experiences as a volunteer
  • You will be entitled to claim back travel expenses to and from the place of volunteering at a rate of up to £5 per shift including parking (please submit receipts or tickets).

Birmingham Conservation Trust expects volunteers to

  • Fulfil volunteering within the terms specified in organisational policies and in the volunteer’s role description
  • Be reliable in delivering tasks identified, honest in all dealings and treat everyone you encounter through your work with BCT with respect
  • Work safely and responsibly
  • Attend appropriate training and promote understanding and enjoyment of Birmingham’s built heritage
  • Be able to commit to a four hour shift on a fortnightly basis
Birmingham Conservation Trust reserves the right to withdraw an offer of volunteering if the above criteria are not fulfilled or if the conduct of a volunteer negatively affects other volunteers or staff. For the avoidance of doubt volunteers are not employees or members of staff and it is not intended that they should be.

Claiming back your ‘out of pocket’ expenses

You will be entitled to claim back travel expenses to and from the place of volunteering. This includes mileage. The maximum rate per day is £5, including parking (please submit receipts or tickets).

Claiming other ‘out of pocket’ expenses need to be agreed in advance with Coffin Works’ staff and you will need to keep a receipt for your claim.

Volunteer Code of Conduct

Birmingham Conservation Trust is proud of its volunteer team and to ensure that the organisation continues to make people feel welcome, we have established a set of guidelines for volunteers.

  • Be respectful. All volunteers must carry out their tasks on the basis of mutual trust, respect and show courtesy and show consideration for everyone they come into contact with. Having such a wide volunteer base, it is inevitable that another person’s religious, political, and sexual beliefs may vary from yours. Conversations about such things are a natural part of a working environment but we ask that everyone respects that their fellow volunteers may have very different beliefs and backgrounds. Continuing to argue or tease about these differences may be construed as bullying and will not be tolerated.  When dealing with visitors to the Coffin Works, it is important to respect their feelings and understand that everyone’s response to death and bereavement is different.
  • Be honest. The Volunteer Coordinator is always available for a private chat about any issues you may have with another volunteer, aspect of the role, or member of staff. To minimise the spread of discord and rumour, we ask that if you have any complaints or subjects you want to raise, you do so in a private conversation with them, either in person or on the phone, and not in general gossip with everyone else. The Volunteer Coordinator will treat everything you say as confidential and take steps to deal with the issues raised.
  • Be careful. We provide all the health and safety information and training you will need during your time volunteering with us but you are ultimately responsible for your own welfare. We ask that you do not use any machinery unless you have been signed off as safe to do so. If you are asked to do something you are not physically capable of, you must tell us rather than attempt it and cause damage to yourself or others. If, for example, you are taking any medication that could affect your ability to safely work on the drop stamps, then please alert a member of staff in confidence.
  • Be professional. Members of the public make no distinction between staff and volunteers of an organisation; to them, every person involved here represents Birmingham Conservation Trust and the Coffin Works. Simple things such as not smoking outside the building, not swearing in the public places or not checking your phone instead of speaking to them, will help us all ensure that the organisation retains its outstanding reputation. The Trust does not have a formal dress code but you should always dress in a way appropriate for the tasks you will be undertaking and in a manner that will not offend.
  • Be considerate. Many people are sharing the same space as each other. By washing up your coffee mug, tidying the desk before the end of your shift, putting your rubbish in the bin, even just hanging your coat up, we will all continue to work together as a happy and productive team.