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Volunteers are asked by Coordinators to undertake tasks that they have previously volunteered to do. By choosing their days, times and frequency of committal Volunteers should enjoy the work they are doing.

It is important that Volunteers have some form of training and formation so that can confidently carry out their tasks for clients. Coordinators and Volunteers are encouraged to attend training events organised by Catholic Outreach to help them become more effective in their caring ministries.

Role of the Volunteer

  • To be a friend
  • To provide companionship
  • To encourage independence and self-esteem
  • To be sensitive to the other person’s needs
  • To encourage an interest in the local community
  • To provide information about services provided in the community
  • To respect confidentiality

Volunteers must NOT

  • carry out nursing duties or similar duties
  • interfere in family situations or press their own religious views
  • accept or give money or any gift that has other than nominal value
  • become involved in the management of a client’s business and financial affairs
  • accept responsibility for a client’s property

Guidelines for Volunteers

Guidelines for Volunteers are necessary to protect the

  • recipient of the services
  • volunteer
  • Pastoral Care Program
  • Catholic Outreach and the Church


  • The Pastoral Care Program exists in order that your parish can put into practice the command of Christ to love our neighbour. You are asked to do no more than you are capable of, but you are asked to be generous.
  • Please be practical, do not volunteer for work you will not be capable of doing, or for times when you will be busy. It will save the Coordinators time if they know that when they do call on you, they can be sure of help. Of course, there will always be times when you cannot help for some reason – just be reasonable – we know you have other obligations.
  • Everyone volunteering will be contacted by a Coordinator; it might take some time because we hope to have many volunteers. Before you are given a task you will be asked whether you are free to do it.
  • Each call for help will be assessed by one of the Coordinators before a volunteer is asked to do the job. The reasons behind your assignment will be explained to you as fully as is necessary, so that you are not “working in the dark”. It may be that the need does not seem very great to you, but we ask that you accept our assessment of the call and do what you can to help.
  • Always keep appointments and promises. If, for some reason, these are broken, be sure to explain.
  • On completion, please ring the Coordinator promptly and advise him/her of the details, particularly the time spent on the job and if any further help or follow-up is necessary.
  • As it is not always possible for our Coordinators to assess a request for help personally, they have to be guided by information given over the telephone. If you are unhappy about the “need” in a particular case, please discuss it with the Coordinator who contacted you. On the other hand, there may be a greater need for help and you would be helping the Coordinator if you pass on the details.
  • All work carried out must be regarded as CONFIDENTIAL and under no circumstances should this be discussed with anyone other than the Coordinator.
  • Accept and respect every situation as you find it.
  • Please raise queries and complaints with the Coordinator so that he/she may attempt to solve them.
  • Report your inability to continue with an assignment to the Coordinator.
  • Publicity is essential to our work, but it must be GOOD publicity. Even a small amount of bad publicity can mean people will not trust us.
  • Sooner or later you will come across a complex problem and may be tempted to “go it alone”. A word of advice – DON’T! Talk to your Coordinator. The group will work much better when a team approach is used.
  • Volunteers will be given an identification card if required.
  • On NO ACCOUNT should a volunteer give out telephone numbers.


Some people you assist will want to make a donation:

  • Thank them and explain that the service is provided by the parish on a voluntary basis.
  • If they persist, be careful that you do not take away their independence. Accept the donation with thanks and give it to the Coordinator.

These funds will be banked by the Coordinator and may be used to reimburse volunteers for long distance transport cases or for various short term emergency relief cases.