Running a Volunteer Group can be extremely rewarding but it can also be a time consuming and challenging task. This guide, along with the Volunteer Group Constitution will help you manage and run your group effectively.
This guide will cover:
The Volunteer Group Constitution
The Volunteer Group Constitution is a document compiled by the SU which acts like a “rule book”. The Constitution highlights the core committee roles, membership and responsibilities, financial procedures and disciplinary procedures. You MUST read through the constitution, alongside this document to get the full ‘how to’ briefings. In order to remain an affiliated group, all Volunteer Group’s must follow the rules set out in the Constitution.
The First Steps To Getting Started!
1. If you have not done so already then you will need to complete the volunteer affiliation form. Once this has been submitted then the SU Community Officer, Volunteer Liaison Officer and volunteer staff will decide whether your group can be affiliated into the SU
2. Once affiliated then the volunteer staff will create a shared email mailbox for you so that each committee member can access this when conducting the volunteer group’s business.
3. Once the above is done then a committee member will need to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to create your webpage
4. To set up a facebook page (and other useful marketing tips) you will need to go to the Marketing Moodle course found at https://www.thesubath.com/marketing/. Here you will find some student group guidelines, information on marketing opportunities, guide to social media, downloadable logos and artwork templates.
Note: You will need your logo and web banner approved by SU Marketing, as well as all future artwork created e.g. plasmas, flyers etc. Also, when it comes to logo design, groups cannot use the University gorgon’s head or SU logo.
Health and Safety
Why Health and Safety is important to us
Responsibility for your members’ health, safety and welfare and that of others lies not only with the organisation i.e. the University and Students’ Union but with yourselves as Committee members.
A risk assessment is a careful examination of what could cause harm to people or property. The volunteer staff will guide you through this process and you will be asked to read through a generic standard risk assessment which includes basic risks and hazards associated with the generic actions of your group, your events and activities on an annual basis. This must be updated each year to include all risks and hazards specific to your group and its activities. You may also need to do separate risk assessments relevant for certain events/trips that are not covered in your annual generic risk assessment.
This document should be reviewed and updated at the start of each academic year and as and when required, i.e. when another event or activity is planned or previous risks and hazards change. Please go to our health and safety page for further guidance.
For overseas trips, the trip organiser must submit a risk assessment and a budget. The risk assessment needs to include insurance details, what to do if an accident occurs, as well as other details relevant to the trip. The volunteer staff will support with this process and will advise about what briefings may be needed for the participants.
It is vital you make the volunteer staff aware of all events you are planning by completing the online Event Planner so any health and safety, financial, external speakers and organisational issues can be dealt with before the event.
If your event includes speakers then make sure you have filled in the External Speakers Form with your planner, then submit them to the Volunteer staff for approval from the University with a good amount of notice and before you sell your tickets (If it is a highly controversial speaker then at least 4 weeks is recommended).
The Event Planner must be completed for all events and activities that you are organising and that do not fall within the group’s usual activity.
Nothing can be signed off or paid for until the Event Planner has been approved.
Failure to inform the volunteer staff of your activities and events may result in disciplinary action in line with the Volunteer Group Constitution.
In order to promote your event it must not take place on an evening that clashes with a Students’ Union event. i.e. Score on a Wednesday or Klass on a Saturday.
The SU’s Fundraising Toolkit is a useful resource when planning your event.
The SU will deliver event management and fundraising training sessions throughout the year.
Volunteer groups can hire tables (at no cost) by asking the volunteer staff who will need to see that a risk assessment has been completed before agreeing the hire. This will be on a first come first served basis. The SU are allowed to have a maximum of 4 tables outside the Library at any one time and 4 outside of the entrance to the SU. If you wish to have a table inside the SU then you will need to ask the SU’s Marketing Department to see if there is any space and then go ahead and book the table via the volunteer staff.
The Students’ Union Finance office is available to give you financial support with all your Students' Union Activities, this includes the following:
- Make payments via BACS Transfer, Cheque, Foreign money transfer, Petty cash reimbursements and Credit Card.
- Collection of Income via our counter service, invoicing and reconciliation of online sales.
- Supply you with a Cash box and a float if you wish to sell items on the parade.
- Provide you with purchase order numbers for items you wish to purchase.
- Supply you with a letter to go to Bookers Wholesalers (Cash & Carry in Bath).
- Provide Chairpersons and Treasurers with the group’s accounts.
- Authorise University print unit requests.
- Change money into smaller or larger denominations.
For help and advice please check the Finance Office pages which includes their online training guide.
The volunteer staff will also guide you through the financial process and good practice.
The Students Union Marketing Department offers a mentoring process to guide students who wish to seek sponsorship for their group. For more information please visit the Marketing, Publicity and Sponsorship Moodle course.
All student groups can bid to the Alumni fund for grants. If you would like to make a bid please speak to the Community Officer, who will be able to offer you support and advice when completing your application.
The Marketing office can help you promote your event/group across campus and within the local community. There are a variety of marketing methods available to groups completely free of charge including use of plasma screens around the SU and promotion on BathStudent.com. Please note there are strict rules about where things can and cannot be promoted on campus, this rules are set by the University and all groups must abide by them. The SU also has branding guidelines to help when creating promotional materials.
For full details on all marketing options, rules and regulations including the SU branding guidelines, specification and contact details go to our marketing pages.
The Volunteer area has a range of online training sessions on Moodle so please take a look by searching for SU Volunteering and enrolling for free!
The SU also has a Skills Training Scheme that offers students training sessions to develop transferable skills to improve employment prospects. Training sessions are delivered by external organisations, University and SU staff and specially recruited student trainers.
To find out more go to our skills training pages.
The Community Officer and staff will talk you through how to handover to your incoming committee.
Your handover is literally the handing over of the running of your student group to the new committee. Handover time gives outgoing committees the chance to reflect on the achievements of your group and to share essential information and useful hints and tips with the incoming committee.
It’s worth putting time and effort into ensuring a good handover as this is the cornerstone of a successful year. It is also how you make sure your group is re-affiliated with the SU Bath.
Handover time is the period of time between your new committee being elected and taking over the running of the group. This can be a period of weeks or months and varies from group to group. The handover process should start as soon as your committee have been elected! The SU have a Handover Guide that will support you through the process.
Your development plan should outline key aims, objectives and targets and should be read, reviewed and updated annually, by the whole committee and should remain a constant point of reference throughout the year. This is so potential and current members can see what direction you wish to take the group in and how you intend to achieve this. Your development plan must always remain true to the group’s mission statement. The volunteer staff can provide you with a development plan template to guide you with this.