The Role of Volunteers: Code of Conduct

In your role at the Widening Participation Medics Network you are acting in a position of authority and have a duty of care towards the children and young people we work with. You are likely to be seen as a role model and are expected to act appropriately. 

 

Responsibility 

You are responsible for:  

  • prioritising the welfare of children and young people  

  • providing a safe environment for children and young people  

  • ensuring equipment is used safely and for its intended purpose 

  • of having good awareness of issues to do with safeguarding and child protection and taking action when appropriate.  

  • following our principles, policies and procedures - including our policies and procedures for child protection/safeguarding, whistleblowing and online safety, staying within the law at all times modelling good behaviour for children and young people to follow  challenging all unacceptable behaviour and reporting any breaches of the behaviour code to the safeguarding lead (wpmnsafeguarding@gmail.com

  • reporting all concerns about abusive behaviour, following our safeguarding and child protection procedures - this includes behaviour being displayed by an adult or child and directed at anybody of any age. 

 

Rights 

You must:  

  • treat children and young people fairly and without prejudice or discrimination  

  • understand that children and young people are individuals with individual needs  respect differences in gender, sexual orientation, culture, race, ethnicity, disability and religious belief systems, and appreciate that all participants bring something valuable and different to the group/organisation  

  • challenge discrimination and prejudice  encourage young people and adults to speak out about attitudes or behaviour that makes them uncomfortable. 

 

Relationships 

You must:  

  • promote relationships that are based on openness, honesty, trust and respect  

  • avoid favouritism  

  • be patient with others 

  • exercise caution when you are discussing sensitive issues with children or young people  ensure your contact with children and young people is appropriate and relevant to the work of the project you are involved in  ensure that whenever possible, there is more than one adult present during activities with children and young people.  

    • If a situation arises where you are alone with a child or young person, ensure that you are within sight or hearing of other adults. 

    • If a child specifically asks for or needs some individual time with you, ensure other volunteers know where you and the child are. 

  •  only provide personal care in an emergency and make sure there is more than one adult present if possible 

    • unless it has been agreed that the provision of personal care is part of your role and you have been trained to do this safely. 

 

Respect 

You must:  

  • listen to and respect children at all times 

  • value and take children’s contributions seriously, actively involving them in planning activities wherever possible  

  • respect a young person’s right to personal privacy as far as possible. 

    • If you need to break confidentiality in order to follow child protection procedures, it is important to explain this to the child or young person at the earliest opportunity. 

 

Unacceptable behaviour

When working with children and young people, you must not:  

  • allow concerns or allegations to go unreported  take unnecessary risks, smoke, consume alcohol or use illegal substances.  

  • develop inappropriate relationships with children and young people  make inappropriate promises to children and young people  

  • engage in behaviour that is in any way abusive including having any form of sexual contact with a child or young person.  

  • let children and young people have your personal contact details (mobile number, email or postal address) or have contact with them via a personal social media account. 

  • act in a way that can be perceived as threatening or intrusive  patronise or belittle children and young people  make sarcastic, insensitive, derogatory or sexually suggestive comments or gestures to or in front of children and young people. 

 

As a WPMN volunteer, you agree that:

  • WPMN volunteers will not contact students outside of WPMN activities.

  • WPMN volunteers will not engage in conversation of a personal nature with students during or outside of WPMN activities.

  • WPMN volunteers will not add or search for students on any social media platforms. 

  • WPMN volunteers will not exchange personal details with students i.e. phone numbers, addresses. 

  • WPMN volunteers must treat all WPMN volunteers and students they may encounter with professionalism and respect. You must not behave in a way that is abusive or intimidating. Bullying other volunteers or students is not accepted and may result in your removal from WPMN programmes.

  • WPMN volunteers will not meet up with students in person.

  • WPMN volunteers will alert the WPMN if a student has contacted them in a personal capacity or attempts to add them on social media. They can contact the designated safeguarding lead at wpmnsafeguarding@gmail.com

  • WPMN volunteers will alert the WPMN if they have observed or experienced a breach of the safeguarding policy. Contact the designated safeguarding lead at wpmnsafeguarding@gmail.com

  • WPMN volunteers can raise any concerns with the designated safeguarding lead at wpmnsafeguarding@gmail.com. If either of the designated safeguarding leads are not available please direct the concerns straight to the WPMN Chair available at wpmedicsnetwork@gmail.com

 

Upholding this code of behaviour 

You must always follow this code of behaviour and never rely on your reputation or that of our organisation to protect you. Breach of the WPMN The Role of Volunteers: Code of Conduct may result in a volunteer’s removal from the programme. Removal from the programme is a serious matter and is at the discretion of the WPMN National Committee. Volunteering with the WPMN programme assumes agreement with the  WPMN The Role of Volunteers: Code of Conduct.