Volunteer policy

BCW is run by a small team, so you can make a siginifcant impact as a volunteer. We cover the region with a modest but growing network, and the contribution made by our supporters helps us achieve our charitable aims. On behalf of the BCW team, thank you for your interest in volunteering.

Mark Coleman MD FRCS, the charity’s founder and a Colorectal Consultant commented that “volunteering for a charity like BCW is an exciting experience. The support we give people with bowel cancer can be life-saving and you will play a vital part in giving us the means to do so. Without your support we wouldn’t be able to exist as a charity so on behalf of everyone from BCW - thank you for giving up your time to support us and above all - have fun!” 

Our volunteer policy 2017

Who is this policy for?

This applies to any individual who volunteers with BCW, and any member of staff who works directly with volunteers. BCW uses the term ‘volunteer’ to cover everyone who undertakes activities to support the work of the charity including fundraisers, the Friends of BCW and those who assist with events and other opportunities. The charity defines a volunteer as someone who, without receiving payment, gives their time to assist with our vision and purpose.

The policy outlines our commitment to supporting all volunteers and to provide meaningful, enjoyable and interesting opportunities that enhance the aims and objectives of the charity. It also provides information on what can be expected from the volunteering experience for both BCW and the individual.

Our charity’s responsibilities to you:

BCW believes that volunteers should never be brought in to replace paid employees, therefore all roles complement and enhance the work of staff members.

Your chosen activity to be of real benefit to BCW and will make a difference to those you engage with. BCW will celebrate the work of volunteers and will appreciate and recognise dedication. BCW will respect all volunteers and encourage communication. You will be provided with all the appropriate induction, training, support and guidance in order to carry out your role. BCW will reimburse agreed out of pocket expenses. BCW will make all necessary arrangements to ensure you volunteer in safe environment. You are free to stop volunteering at any time.

Our expectations of you as a volunteer with BCW

To act as ambassador for BCW and as such safeguard our reputation by behaving in an appropriate manner. To enjoy your volunteering and take pride in the valuable work you are carrying out. To be reliable, enthusiastic and maintain agreed levels of commitment. Make BCW aware of any changes in circumstances that may affect your volunteering activity. To adhere to BCW’s policies and guidelines. To respect confidences. To act responsibly and within the law at all times.

Policies and guidelines

The following guidelines explain the practical aspects of volunteering with Bowel Cancer West. For detailed information and copies of any documents referred to in the policy, please contact: info@bowelcancerwest.com

Absence and Reliability

Volunteers play key roles in the organisation and so we ask for them to commit to pre-arranged volunteering dates and time slots. If, for whatever reason, volunteers are unable to make their commitment, they are requested to give 24 hours’ notice of absence if at all possible.

Data Protection, Media and Confidentiality

BCW needs to collect personal data in order to communicate with volunteers. Information is restricted to staff at BCW and will not be shared with any third party without your consent. As a volunteer, we expect you to protect any personal or confidential information which you may have access to.

Equal Opportunities and Diversity

You will be volunteering with a charity that is committed to equal opportunities and diversity. This commitment is reflected throughout BCW’s policies and operating practices.

Expenses Volunteers are able to claim reasonable out-of-pocket expenses. See BCW’s Volunteer Expenses Guide for more information.

Insurance and Health and Safety

All volunteers are covered by BCW’s insurance policy whilst taking part in any volunteering activities organised by the charity. The Health and Safety of our volunteers is taken very seriously and we will do what we can to prevent any issues from arising.

Ongoing support and Feedback

All volunteers will have the Fundraising and Events Manager as their main contact, for support and information. In addition to this, volunteers will be given contact details for the co-ordinator heading up the specific activity or event they are attending.

The Fundraising and Events Manager will keep in contact with all volunteers to provide regular support and supervision, and to ensure volunteer roles are interesting, enjoyable and worthwhile. Volunteers can make arrangements to meet with a member of BCW staff to discuss any concerns they have.

We encourage all volunteers to give feedback and express their views about volunteering for BCW. This can be done either in person with a Director or staff member, by phone or email, or by writing to the BCW office (you can remain anonymous should you wish to). All contact details can be found on our website.

Promotional material

We may use photographs of volunteers carrying out their roles for promotional purposes in our on and off-line marketing material unless the volunteer requests for us not to.


BCW fully understands the valuable contribution our volunteers make to the charity and recognises that whilst they do not seek financial reward for the activities they carry out, volunteers appreciate recognition and thanks. All BCW staff and Directors are responsible for ensuring that volunteers feel valued and that appropriate acknowledgement is given.


The work you do can often be highly valued by a future employer (be it in the commercial or charity sector) and BCW are very happy to provide references if required, or act as a referee, for a period of 12 months after finishing your volunteering activities.


BCW values the diversity of volunteers, the experiences they bring and acknowledges that volunteers create a diverse and dynamic charity, and as such will use all appropriate means to advertise for volunteers and provide information that is accessible.

The work undertaken by volunteers will meet BCW’s aims and objectives. BCW believes that volunteering is a two-way partnership, from which both parties can benefit and as such strives to provide good practice with regards to volunteer management.

Resolving Concerns

If you have any problems or complaints about your volunteering role, please talk to your designated staff contact immediately. BCW takes the concerns of its volunteers very seriously and will make every reasonable effort to resolve any difficulties.

Review of policies and procedures

All policies and procedures will be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure they are current and reflect BCW’s priorities and aims. Amendments and new policies will be made where necessary.


All volunteers will receive training on the work of BCW, as well as being provided with the relevant training and/or information about their chosen role. Further training will be provided if additional or new roles are taken on, or if a role develops and it is identified that extra information and support is required.

Volunteer Role Descriptions

BCW believes that volunteers should never be brought in to replace paid employees, and all of our volunteer roles are designed to complement, and enhance the work of a paid member of staff.