Community Wise has adopted the following policies:
EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES CODE OF PRACTICE
Community Wise, with its Christian foundation, seeks to treat all people of all ages and social backgrounds at all times without partiality, and with honesty, integrity, fairness, justice and consideration. Community Wise recognises that British society is diverse in race, culture and beliefs and that this diversity is a fundamental feature of our country. Community Wise believes that its work is to promote equality of opportunity for all people in society, especially those who face disadvantage.
In practice this means that:
- No person using the premises or joining the activities of the Community Wise Centre will be treated less favourably than any other person on the grounds of race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation or religion.
- The Charity will seek to recruit staff and volunteers from all sections of the community, provided that those individuals are prepared to carry out their work in a manner which does not undermine the Christian faith.
- The Charity encourages participation and membership in its groups and projects.
- Group leaders are encouraged to involve members in decision making.
- The Charity encourages the young people in its programmes to be involved in programmes and service delivery.
- The Charity offers written agreements to new volunteers who have regular responsibility.
- The Charity will continue to budget for, and undertake, training courses for new volunteers who have regular responsibility..
ACTION TO BE TAKEN
- A lift to the first floor was installed in 2006. A designated fully accessible toilet was installed in October 2007.
- When funding permits, the Charity aims to produce copies of its information leaflets on tapes, in braille and large print.
- When resources permit, the Charity aims to produce a statement which lets it be known that the Charity is willing to speak on behalf of those suffering discrimination.
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Christian Foundation Policy
What the Christian Value Base of Community Wise means in practice
Faith in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is the statement of faith that is held by Community Wise and undergirds the values and principles of the organisation. The YWCA of Great Britain holds the same statement of faith. This was adopted when the community premises in Ocklynge Road were built and incorporated into the YWCA in 1964. Community Wise became an independent charity during 2000 after being relinquished by the YWCA. It was agreed by members, committee and staff that this basis should be retained.
In practice this means that Christian principles undergird all activities carried out in the name of Community Wise and on its premises. Trustees and senior members of staff are required to sign the statement of faith. Other staff are required to respect the Christian faith and work within its principles. As far as is possible, the Christian faith is incarnated throughout the organisation.
All Community Wise staff and volunteers are asked to aspire to the following:
- To treat all individuals with kindness and consideration, warmth and love, without discrimination.
- To use language which is respectful and to avoid all swearing, however mild.
- To work in the service of others and go out of the way to provide for their needs, over and above the normal course of duty if necessary.
- To support all activities that take place at the Centre and to be acquainted with the Centre programme, promoting it as opportunity allows.
- To support and co-operate with other staff, helping them to fulfil their roles as need arises.
- To maintain an egalitarian attitude to all colleagues and volunteers within the management structure.
- Personal qualities such as trustworthiness and integrity are essential.
Community Wise is an interdenominational Christian project. This means that no single Christian denomination is held in higher regard than others (eg Baptist, Roman Catholic, free church etc) but that all are respected. Good relationships with all churches in the Old Town neighbourhood are fostered. Living Stones Community Church has used the premises since 1982 and fully shares and supports the aims, objectives and values of Community Wise. A close working relationship has developed. The Trustees of Community Wise comprise members of the Living Stones Church Leadership Team.
People of other faiths, such as Muslim, Hindu, new age, Bahai, or no faith, such as agnosticism or humanism, are fully respected. However, their beliefs are not promoted. Community Wise has an equal opportunities policy.
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Community Wise has adopted the following volunteers policy as recommended by the East Sussex Volunteer Bureau Organisers Group:
To manage, support and protect volunteers by:
- Taking up references where appropriate and police checks for volunteers who will be solely responsible for children under 16.
- Providing volunteers with adequate training and supervision.
- Providing a written job description.
- Providing volunteers with an induction period covering grievance procedures, health and safety regulations, a description of the organisation and its work, including lines of responsibility, so that the volunteer knows to whom they are accountable.
- Ensuring that volunteers are not involved inappropriately where industrial action occurs.
- Reimbursing volunteers for their out of pocked expenses incurred when working for the organisation.
- Providing reasonable working conditions and adequate insurance cover.
- Providing suitable tasks to give sufficient challenge to sustain interest.
- Investing resources for the management, training and support of volunteers.
- Informing paid staff of the rights and responsibilities of the volunteer.
- Providing regular opportunities for appraisal.
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