Health and safety of Friends Groups is really important to us to ensure you are all safe while volunteering in our parks and greenspaces. It also ensures all members of your group will be confident when taking part in activities.
Groups that would like to carry out any practical work on Council owned land are required to hold Public Liability Insurance.
This insures your group against any damage, which may be caused to property, the public and your own volunteers. Additional insurance cover can be taken out against personal accidents and group owned tools.
All groups are able to use any insurance provider they deem suitable for their needs but a copy of your insurance will need to be provided to your named PCC contact.
The Conversation Volunteers Network provide a support network for groups which also provides discount Public Liability Insurance to any groups who sign up to the Network. This network is free of charge to groups. Visit their website for more infromtion.
Risk assessements are a key component to the health and safety of any activity or event that any group / organisation runs, whether internal or external.
Your group will be required to produce a risk assessment for any new activity or event you wish to run in your park to your Council lead contact. They will check this, approve and sign off so your activity / event can go ahead. Any reguar activities, like weekly gardening groups will have one risk assessment done at the beginning which can be updated if things change.
Risk assessments must include any percieved risk from doing that particular activity or event. We have provided an example and template for your information.
Due to the current circumstances, there are tighter restrcitions on what activities can go ahead and with what measures and precautions in place. Your risk assessments must contain details of how you are going to undertake your activities safely in line with any government guidance published.
We have provided some documents below to help you. If you have any questions about the risk assessment process, please contact your Council lead contact who will be able to advise you.
Different tasks and activities may require differnet PPE to ensure yours and others safety.
Some groups use the money from membership and/or fundraising to purchase some standard equipment like gardening gloves, gardening tools and other equipment that you may require on a regular basis. This can come in very handy when you are regularly carrying out tasks in the parks.
You must ensure that you check your PPE, tools and other equipmnet to establish that it is in good working order and safe for you or others to use for the task required. We have provided a check list for carrying out activities safely which can be accessed below
For some bigger tasks your group may like to do, that require larger pieces of equipment, you may be able to borrow this from Plymouth City Council. If you want to borrow any equipment please speak to your Council lead contact for information, what is available and the process of borrowing the equipment.
Plymouth City Council does offer some volunteer training throughout the year. Your Council lead contact will be able to provide infromation on the opportunites for volunteers to access particular training.
If you find some training you would like to do or think would be appropraote for your group, speak to your Council lead contact who will be able to advise if the Council will be running these courses throughout the year.
We want to ensure we provide you information and give you access to opportunities to enhance your skills to enable to you run your sessions safely.
Over the next few months we are going to be uploading some videos / help sheets on a few differernt topics, including;
- Returning to volunteering safely
- How to fill out a risk assessment
- Setting up a social media account
If there is anything you would like to have avaliable please discuss with your Council lead contact.
We will also organising a bi-annual Friends Group Forum, where we can all come together and discuss elements like training and development opportunities. Date and times will be posted on the Friends Groups home page.