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Volunteer Mission Statement

Huddersfield Repair Café (HRC) is committed to providing a high quality, dependable and honest advice and repair service to all its visitors. Everyone is welcome, and the organisers endeavour to ensure that all volunteers and visitors enjoy the best possible Repair Café experience.  If you would like to volunteer to help as a repairer or help with front-of-house please contact us by emailing [email protected] .

This Volunteer Policy demonstrates our commitment to our volunteers, our consistency in our decision-making process and clarity on how volunteers can expect to be treated in their roles within HRC.

1.  Introduction

HRC is a volunteer-led community project that offers a range of social, environmental and economic benefits to its local community. Its main aim is to highlight the merits of repairing a personal or household possession instead of throwing it away. It offers a social meeting place where people of all ages and backgrounds can bring their damaged, broken or torn possessions to be repaired. Thus, it recognises and values those who have a wide range of hands-on practical and inter-personal skills and relies on its committed team of volunteers to deliver and maintain a high-quality and reliable repair and advice service.  There is no charge for advice or repairs but visitors are encouraged to leave a donation to support HRC.

2.  Recruitment

Volunteers are usually recruited by word of mouth, our website or through local publicity and social media.

Volunteers will be invited to spend their first repair cafe shadowing a more experienced volunteer to ensure they are comfortable, confident and competent in the role.

HRC does not carry out DBS checks or take up references. All volunteers are recruited on the basis of trust, honesty and fellowship.

New Volunteers will be asked to complete a new volunteer form. This will either be on the website or on paper at the HRC. This is new for 2023/2024.

3.  Induction and Training

A full explanation of how a Repair Café session operates is given at the briefing prior to each repair cafe. Volunteers are given the opportunity to select a role to which they feel most suited, e.g. front-of house, mechanical, electrical, fabrics etc. Volunteers are encouraged to ask to move to another role if they so wish. Every effort is made to ensure that volunteers are happy and comfortable with what is being asked of them.

Volunteers should only attempt repairs for which they have the necessary skills, competence and expertise. Repairers are encouraged to work together and learn from each other.

4.  Equal Opportunities and Diversity

HRC is committed to equal opportunities. Those from different backgrounds, age groups, cultures, genders and outlooks are encouraged to volunteer to increase diversity and offer a fresh approach. Volunteers with a disability are also welcome.

5.  Health and Safety

HRC accepts has a duty of care to avoid exposing its volunteers and visitors to any risks which may affect their health, safety and well-being. A Health and Safety Policy covering the normal activities undertaken at HRC sessions is available to all volunteers on request.

This is reviewed and updated annually at the AGM, particularly in relation the Covid-19 pandemic.

All volunteers are expected to take responsibility for their own health and safety whilst on the premises and follow the correct safety procedures when fulfilling their HRC roles.

6.  Insurance

In addition to the Public Liability insurance provided at the current venue, HRC has arranged appropriate additional public liability insurance.

7.  Confidentiality

Unless notified to the contrary, it is assumed that volunteers are happy that their personal email addresses are shared amongst the volunteer team. Details provided to the co-ordinators are never shared with other volunteers.

8.  Expenses

No volunteer should ever be out-of-pocket and reimbursement of any reasonable purchases or other expenses is made as soon as possible. All purchases should be agreed in advance by the co-ordinators. Volunteers are asked to produce a receipt. If a purchase is made via the internet, a copy of the e-invoice should be passed to one of the co-ordinators. Volunteers are encouraged to ask the organisers for any specific tools, consumables or equipment they need.

9.  Problem-Solving

In the event of a problem or concern, volunteers are asked to speak to one of the Co-ordinators in the first instance.

10.  Roles and Responsibilities of the Repairers

  1. All repairers are reminded that HRC acts as a ‘clinic’ and not a ‘hospital’. With this in mind, repairers are asked to make as quick a diagnosis of a problem as possible and a decision on whether to proceed with the repair. If a repair is likely to take a long time, the repairer should consider whether it is worth their time to commence repair.
  2. Repairers have the right to refuse any item for repair that:
    • is likely to take too long to fix.
    • requires specialist skills and/or equipment and tools that are not available at the Repair Café.
    • is considered to be a potential danger to the repairer.
    • is in so bad a state of disrepair/damage that a repair is unlikely to succeed.
  3. is in so bad a state of disrepair/damage that a repair could be a potential hazard to the repairer and visitors.
  1. is too dirty/unpleasant to handle or too badly torn to make a repair viable.
  2. If a repairer is unable or does not wish to attempt a repair for any reason, s/he is not required to justify this decision but should offer as much advice as possible to the visitor.
  3. It is not the policy of HRC that repairers should take items home in order to complete a repair.

11.     Roles and Responsibilities of Front-of-House Volunteers

Volunteers have a responsibility to:

  • Treat everyone fairly and with respect and be polite at all times;
  • Clearly explain the procedures to all first-time customers;
  • Check customers’ items brought for repair so that the correct details are recorded on the booking form;
  • Offer assistance to members of the public who have mobility or other issues;
  • Deal with any difficult situation arising with a member of the public in a calm, firm and polite manner and refer the matter to the co-ordinator;
  • Ensure that customers’ items for repair are stored safely and do not present a trip hazard.

12.     Role and Responsibilities of the Co-ordinators

  • To keep all volunteers safe and secure during each session;
  • To ensure that volunteers feel comfortable and contented in their roles;
  • To ensure that every new volunteer is welcomed and works alongside a regular to help them get used to the system;
  • To encourage volunteers to give regular feedback and promptly fulfil requests for tools and/or consumables;
  • To consult all volunteers in the event of any planned changes and to treat all comments and opinions equally and with respect. However, the Co-ordinators reserve the right to make the final decision when a consensus cannot be reached. The future viability of HRC is always the top priority in any decision;
  • To respect and value everyone’s contribution to the project and do its best to meet the individual wishes of each volunteer;

Written July 2023. Next review due July 2024