LifeCare pledges support for Volunteer Charter

LifeCare has officially become a “Charter Champion” pledging our support for the Volunteer Charter. The Charter sets out the 10 key principles for assuring legitimacy and preventing exploitation of workers and volunteers.

The principles help to ensure that volunteers are engaged in rewarding, appropriate and sustainable roles. They also help to ensure that volunteers have quality volunteering experiences with adequate support and training, and protect against the engagement of volunteers to replace or undermine paid roles.


The 10 principles are: 

1) Any volunteer activity is a freely made choice of the individual

If there is any compulsion, threat of sanctions or force, then any such activity is not volunteering.


2) Volunteers should receive no financial reward for their time however out of pocket expenses should be covered

No one should be prevented from volunteering due to their income.


3) Effective structures should be put in place to support, train and develop volunteers

This also includes collaboration with paid workers.


4) Volunteers and paid workers should be able to carry out their duties in safe,
secure and healthy environments

Free from harassment, intimidation, bullying, violence and discrimination.


5) Volunteers should not carry out duties formerly carried out by paid workers

Nor should they be used to disguise the effects of non-filled vacancies or cuts in services.


6) Volunteers should not be used instead of paid workers or undercut their pay and conditions of service

Nor undertake the work of paid workers during industrial disputes.


7) Volunteers should not be used to reduce contract costs

Nor be a replacement for paid workers in competitive tenders or procurement processes.


8) Volunteers should not be used to bypass minimum wage legislation

Nor generate profit for owners.


9) Volunteers and paid workers should be given the opportunity to contribute to the development and monitoring of volunteering policies and procedures

Including the need for policies that resolve any issues or conflicts that may arise.


10) Volunteer roles should be designed and negotiated around the needs and interests of volunteers, involving organisations and wider stakeholders

Finding legitimacy and avoiding exploitation through consensus depends on mutual trust
and respect.


You can find out more about the Charter here.