Little Gate Farm believes that becoming a volunteer can offer the chance for people to gain fulfilling experience whilst working in a pleasant, rural environment, helping people with learning and physical disabilities or mental health issues to reach their full potential.
Volunteers are crucial to the success and future of Little Gate Farm becoming an outstanding provider of care to vulnerable adults and young people in our community.
Our aims are to provide a place where everyone can exercise choice, independence and improved wellbeing, irrespective of ability or disability, by recognizing individual needs and providing inspiring and stimulating activities. We are driven by the desire to provide a safe, fun, happy learning experience for our vulnerable participants, with the explicit aim of increasing skills, knowledge, self-confidence and self-esteem. We expect our volunteers regardless of role to share these in these aims.
- Volunteers will undertake an induction to the farm on their first day, supported by a Little Gate Farm owner or staff member. Volunteers will be given a named person for having responsibility for their support and supervision, and each volunteer will have regular access to this person and this person will ensure that each volunteer is adequately supported.
- The induction process will include volunteers being made aware of farm policies and procedures with paramount focus on their health, safety and welfare.
- Volunteers will have a clear idea of the tasks they are asked to perform and of the responsibility that goes with these tasks, in particular their responsibilities with regard to health and safety.
- To ensure fair representation of their needs and interests, volunteers will have access to and play a part in the decision-making process within the farm.
- Volunteers will be protected against exploitation of their interests. They will not be put under pressure to do work which goes against their principles.
- Volunteers will be protected against risks which occur as part of their duties. They are covered by Public Liability Insurance.
- Volunteers will not suffer financial loss whilst at the farm. They will be provided with adequate tools, equipment and materials to enable them to carry out their tasks, and transport fees will be reimbursed.
- As part of the induction process, volunteers will be given full safety instruction before use. PPI must be worn if necessary, which will be provided for by Little Gate Farm. Tools must be stored and transported safely in a box, bag or wheelbarrow.
- The relationship between paid workers and volunteers at the farm will be complementary and mutually beneficial.
- Volunteers will be recruited through various possibilities, social media, through the volunteering centre, college and university.
- An application form, for data collection with volunteer’s interests will be filled in and an interview process will follow, information on all volunteers will be stored confidentially in a locked cupboard. References will only be required for volunteers working with participants directly.
- An introductory period will follow of 3 weeks, which can be terminated immediately by either the volunteer or Little Gate Farm. Volunteers, if found unsuitable for the role, will be offered alternatives or encouraged to discuss their requirements with the volunteer centre.
- Some volunteering roles will require the volunteer to have a DBS check if they are working directly with vulnerable adults or children.
- Opportunities to develop skills for volunteers will be offered and discussed. Learning opportunities include building round structures in woodland, pond management, sheep & lamb care, chickens, tree bog construction. Conservation, coppicing, outdoor cooking, fundraising, events, Makaton signing.
- Support will be on-going, and a review of the volunteer’s role will be performed at 6 monthly intervals.
- Little Gate Farm believes that volunteering is an option that should be available to everyone irrespective of their gender, race, beliefs, disability, physical health, religion, sexuality or age.
- A copy of the health and safety policy, safeguarding vulnerable adults, and risk assessments are available on induction.
- A complaints procedure is available to enable volunteers to raise issues they are concerned about.