Community Volunteers Enhanced Referral Terms & Conditions

These terms and conditions relate to all activities associated with the engagement of Community Volunteers.

By requesting Community Volunteers support, you are deemed to have agreed to these terms and conditions of use. We reserve the right to change them at any time.

It is recognised that there may be exceptional circumstances not specified within, both parties agree to work within the ethos of this document in all interactions with one another.

1.1  Purpose

Community Volunteers can be requested to support local events and more urgent needs in the community. Community Volunteers will be managed directly by the organisation requesting support.

Community Volunteers can be requested by any non-profit organisations, including charities, community groups, co-operatives and statutory organisations such as health centres, schools, hospitals, etc. who add a public benefit to their community. A Volunteer Centre may ask to see your constitution or additional information to clarify your non-profit status. Exceptions may be made for for-profit events only if a direct financial, social, environmental or other community benefit can be identified.

Requests by individuals are outside the terms of the Community Volunteer programme and will not be accepted from individuals.

The decision to activate a request for Community Volunteers support will be at the discretion of the Volunteer Centre, and will be contingent on the requesting organisation fulfilling our terms and conditions.

1.2  Definitions

    • Volunteer Centres: (VCs) are the local volunteer development agencies that provide a suite of services to enable, encourage, strengthen and support local volunteering, including the implementation of the Community Volunteers programme.
    • Volunteer Ireland: (VI) is the national volunteer development organisation and a support body for Volunteer Centres in Ireland.
    • Partner Organisation: (PO) refers to an organisation intending to engage the Community Volunteers.
    • Community Volunteers: (CV) refers to the national Community Volunteers programme, established by the Department of Rural Community and Development, supported by LAs and delivered by VCs and VI to provide Urgent Community Support & Community Event Support.
    • Community Volunteers Roles: Community Volunteers take on roles that are short term or episodic and provide either urgent community support or community event support:
      • Urgent Community Support – This could be in response to a national crisis such as a pandemic, a local disruption such as a weather event or water shortage, or simply a local need that could be met by volunteers acting quickly (for example a food bank receiving a big unexpected donation that needs processing).
      • Community Event Support – Supporting local not for profit events, such as community festivals, parades, concerts, matches, sporting events, environmental events or clean ups, etc. (Exceptions may be made for for-profit events if a clear community benefit is identified. This is guided by our ethical standards policy. [INSERT LOCALITY] VC may assess independently as opportunities arise.)


    • Community Volunteers roles should not directly replace paid roles.
    • Community Volunteers should not be asked to take part in direct fundraising roles.

2.1  Volunteer Centre

The Volunteer Centre is responsible for:

  • Recruiting, skill and interest assessing, interviewing, and checking the ID of Community Volunteers.
  • Agreeing a volunteer code of conduct with each Community Volunteer.
  • Ensuring that all Community Volunteers take part in training in urgent community support and event volunteering best practice which is being delivered nationally by VI. Additional role specific training may be provided by VI if required and feasible.
  • Supporting volunteers to register their interest in roles and sign up for shifts.
  • Referring these Community Volunteers on to the partner organisation in advance of the role.
  • Advising Partner Organisations around appropriate Garda Vetting procedures.
  • Providing volunteer apparel, dependant on the scale of the support request.

The Volunteer Centre will:

  • Assess the suitability of partner organisation’s roles for Community Volunteer involvement.
  • Support partner organisations to develop role descriptions that meet identified needs.
  • Provide advice on good practice in volunteer management and advise of volunteer management training which is delivered locally by the Volunteer Centre or nationally by VI. Training on ‘Managing Volunteers at Events and in Urgent Response Roles’ is delivered nationally by VI and available to Community Volunteers partner organisations free of charge.

2.2  Partner Organisations

Partner Organisations will directly manage the Community Volunteers that are referred to them and will be responsible for:

  • Providing meaningful roles for Community Volunteers and having a role description stating tasks to be taken on by volunteers.
  • Having an assigned person to provide support and supervision to community volunteers during their engagement with the organisation which should include an onsite briefing.
  • Having adequate insurance that covers the involvement of Community Volunteers.
  • Assessing any risks involved in engaging Community Volunteers and mitigating against these risks.
  • Assess with the support of the VC whether a role may require Garda Vetting and put volunteers forward for vetting only where necessary.

The Partner Organisation will:

  • Assign a contact person for the VC to liaise with in relation to this programme.
  • Support equal opportunities and act in line with all Irish Equality Legislation, treat VC staff and volunteers fairly and ensure they do not experience discrimination.

Note: Partner Organisations are invited to take part, free of charge, in Volunteer Irelands training in Urgent Support and Event Volunteer Management, so that they can best support and utilise the talents of the Community Volunteers they engage.

The Volunteer Centre does not charge partner organisations for the Enhanced Referral service. Community Volunteers are referred on to the Partner Organisation, who will manage them in their roles.

Partner Organisations should be conscious of the inherent costs they may incur through engaging volunteers, e.g. staff time to support volunteers in their roles, insurance, providing apparel, PPE or refreshments where appropriate.

Community Volunteers apparel may be provided by the Volunteer Centre, dependant on the scale of the support request.

Partner Organisations may contact the Volunteer Centre with a support request for either Urgent Community Support or Community Event Support.

The request will be considered by the VC and if accepted,  the VC will agree with the partner organisation all the details of the project and the role volunteer will take on.

In the case of Community Event Support Partner Organisations should normally place a request a minimum of four weeks before Volunteer Support is needed.

Community Volunteers can be mobilised quickly to provide Urgent Community Support. A request for Urgent Community Support can normally be processed quickly. Community Volunteers can remain involved in a particular response for as long as the Urgent Community Support is required, dependant on capacity and resources available.

The Volunteer Centre does not guarantee that all Community Volunteers support requests will be fulfilled. This is at the discretion of the Volunteer Centre, before agreeing to provide support, the Volunteer Centre will consider their capacity at the time of the request as well as the appropriateness of involving volunteers in the specific project and the quality of the volunteer role.

Both parties acknowledge the intellectual property rights of the other whether registered or not.

All information shared between the parties referenced in this document, including data relating to individual Community Volunteers as part of the Community Volunteers programme will be dealt with in accordance with Data Protection Policy and Data Protection Acts.

Any Community Volunteers data obtained by a Partner Organisation may only be used in relation to the specific project it is relevant to and should be destroyed after the project is complete.

There are a number of grounds by which a Volunteer Centre may discontinue/refuse their services, these include but are not limited to:

  • If an organisation involves volunteers inappropriately in relation to the criteria detailed above.
  • If volunteers are being exploited or put in unnecessary danger.
  • Breaches of the Irish Equality Legislation i.e. an organisation engages in, through their recruitment process or operational activities, direct discrimination or indirect discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, family status, religious belief or membership of the travelling community.
  • If an organisation refuses to or cannot show evidence that its activities provide a social and community benefit.
  • If an organisation abuses the involvement of volunteers e.g. replacing paid staff members or engages them in profit-making activities.
  • If an organisation actively engages in unlawful behaviours or deeds.
  • If an organisation misuses volunteers private data provided for individual projects.
  • If an organisation actively promotes anti-social behaviour towards governments, people, animals or property.

Note: These grounds can apply to an organisational culture or to a particular individual in the organisation who interacts with or co-ordinates volunteers.

7.1  Disclaimers

The services and materials in relation to the Community Volunteers programme are provided “as is” and without warranties of any kind, either express or implied. By requesting Community Volunteers support you are indicating that you fully understand the terms and conditions and privacy notice.

Under no circumstances will Volunteer Ireland or The Volunteer Centre be held responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any loss or damage that is caused or alleged to have been caused to you in connection with your use of, or reliance on, any content, goods or services available on this site.

7.2  Limitation of Liability

We control and operate this site from our offices in the Republic of Ireland. We do not represent that materials on the site are appropriate or available for use in other locations. Persons who choose to access this site from other locations do so on their own initiative, and are responsible for compliance with local laws, if and to the extent local laws are applicable.


Supported by