Our Volunteering and Network Guidelines

Whatever volunteering role you have or whichever network you've joined, we ask you to join us in our commitment to:

Equality and Diversity: treating all people equally and with respect, irrespective of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy or maternity (which includes breastfeeding), race, religion or belief, culture or social background. 

Respecting different experiences: what works for one may not be right for another; everyone’s experiences are different and valuable.

Privacy and Confidentiality: both yours and others, by not discussing details of conversations or sharing personal details with others unless all involved have agreed it’s ok to do so, or unless you have safeguarding concerns (see below).

Only giving accurate, up-to-date information: and not making negative statements about any individuals or organisations or mentioning names of anyone who hasn’t given their agreement.

Obtaining Consent: making sure we have someone’s agreement before we take any action(s) on their behalf.

Acting privately if part of a social media network: unless specifically asked to speak on behalf of SMA UK, and always maintaining confidentiality. Signposting to our services, networks and fundraising activities is fine if it seems relevant and helpful.

Safeguarding: everyone has a fundamental right to live a life that is free from harm, abuse and neglect. To safeguard is to take all reasonable measures to ensure this right is achieved for adults and children and that risk of harm to anyone’s welfare is minimised. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

You may never come across a safeguarding issue. Serious incidents don’t occur often, but if you’re ever aware that someone is in immediate danger – for example there’s a medical emergency, a risk of injury or a crime is in progress, act straightaway - call 999 for emergency services. 

If you ever hear or see anything that's not an emergency but causes you any concern at all about any child or adult's welfare or safety, the best way you can give them support is by:

  • listening and observing
  • not asking questions or investigating
  • remembering that safeguarding takes priority over confidentiality
  • letting them know that you will pass the information on to the relevant person, with their permission if possible

If your concerns are for someone you have come across through your volunteering and networking role with SMA UK:

Whistleblowing: is the reporting of suspected wrongdoing. It’s what we ask you to do if you’re concerned that anyone in a caring or support role, that you come across through your volunteering and networking role with SMA UK: such as a staff member, volunteer or personal assistant is in some way abusing their position. Please:

  • listen and observe
  • don’t ask questions or investigate
  • pass on the information at the earliest opportunity, and complete and submit our: SMA UK Whistleblowing Concern Report Form - The Support Services Team will then do all the follow up necessary.

If you want to discuss these guidelines or any other matter that you come across, please don’t hesitate to contact the Support Services Team on 01789 267520 or email supportservices@smauk.org.uk We’re always happy to talk something through with you.

Thank you

February 2020