Timebanking terms and conditions

Section 1: Torbay Timebank code of conduct

As a participant of the Torbay Timebank I agree to:

  • Respect other member's privacy, confidentiality and view points.
  • Not pressure another member to accept my religious beliefs or political views.
  • Not involve friends or relatives in timebank activities unless as part of a group activity.
  • Not to ask for or accept money, gifts or tips from other members (unless covering previously agreed costs for materials or fuel).
  • Only eat or drink a member's food and drink if invited to do so.
  • Respect a no smoking policy in a member's home or venue at the time of each exchange.
  • Only use any possessions of the member, including telephone, if given clear permission to.
  • Treat other members respectfully.

Section 2: Special needs

Torbay Timebank is committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all people. We treat people fairly, valuing and responding to their diverse backgrounds and needs. You will be informed if a member has specific needs which could affect the delivery of the exchange. If an exchange could pose you mobility problems or if you have any specific needs, please speak to your Community Builder.

Please read the Torbay Timebank Equality and Diversity Commitment – Section 7.

Section 3: Health and Safety

Every effort is made by the Torbay Timebank to ensure the safety of all members through careful vetting procedures. As the project grows you will soon get to know other participants and build up a useful network of people you can trust and call upon. However, if you have any concerns or doubts when asked to carry out an assignment, do not hesitate to contact your Community Builder.

Please read the Torbay Timebank Health and Safety and Lone Worker Policies – Section 7.

Section 4: Rights and responsibilities

Torbay Timebank values you as an individual and recognises its responsibility to maintain high standards for all participants. Equally, as a member you have responsibilities towards the Timebank and other members in the scheme. This section sets out the rights and responsibilities of members.

Rights of Timebank members

To be treated with dignity, care and respect. All participants are expected to adhere to the code of conduct.

  • Guaranteed Price: one time credit always buys one hour of service, regardless of the nature of the task.
  • To provide an exchange that is comfortable for both parties.
  • To maintain confidentiality.
  • To observe the code of conduct.
  • To always contact a Community Builder should a difficult or uncertain situation arise.
  • To be prompt and keep scheduled exchanges.
  • To accept advice from your Community Builder.

Please note: All of the above is to be agreed in conjunction with the appropriate Torbay Timebank and Torbay Community Development Trust Policies and Procedures for insurance purposes.

Section 5: Timebank Disclosures and References Procedures

The Timebank would like to enable all members of the community to take part in and benefit from the Torbay Timebank. To ensure that everybody can do so safely, your Community Builder will seek two references for each new member, and, if necessary, request an enhanced disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS – previously CRB). They may also approach the Torbay Office for Children and Young People’s Services for comments.

All disclosures, comments and references will be considered by the Community Builder who may refer to the Torbay Community Development Trust’s Board of Trustees for guidance. If there is no disclosure, and no adverse comments, all sensitive papers will be stored securely and the applicant will be registered as a member of the Timebank.

If a disclosure is made or there are adverse references, the Community Builder will invite the applicant to comment. These comments, the disclosure and/ or references will then be considered by the Board of Trustees. A joint decision will be made regarding the suitability of the applicant and any limitations on the involvement of the applicant that may be required. The Board of Trustees will inform the applicant in writing of the outcome of the application.

Any references and disclosures will be dealt with in the strictest confidence. Furthermore, if a member believes their DBS status has or may change, they should contact the Community Builder immediately.

Section 6: Complaints Procedure

Torbay Timebank aims to provide high quality services which meet your needs. In order to ensure that the standard of our service remains high and evolving, we have a procedure through which you can let us know of any reason you are not satisfied with the organisation.

If you are unhappy about any Timebank service, please speak to the Community Builder.

Often we will be able to give you a response straight away. When the matter is more complicated we will give you at least an initial response within ten working days.

Making a written complaint

If you wish to raise the matter more formally, please write to: The Timebank Coordinator / The Board of Trustees, Torbay Community Development Trust, 4 - 8 Temperance Street, Torquay, Devon. TQ2 5PU.

All written complaints will be logged. You will receive a written acknowledgement within five working days. The aim is to investigate your complaint properly and give you a reply within ten working days, setting out how the problem will be dealt with. If this is not possible, an interim response will be made informing you of the action taken to date or being considered.

Please read the Torbay Timebank Complaints Policy in Section 7 below.

Section 7: Torbay Timebank Policies and Procedures

Please note: All Torbay Community Development Trust policies are available on request.

Equality & Diversity Commitment

This commitment applies to all staff and volunteers of the Torbay Timebank. This policy should be read in conjunction with the TCDT’s Equality and Diversity Policy.

The Torbay Timebank is committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination and to promoting equality and diversity within our policies, practices and procedures. We are also committed to promoting equality and diversity in the Timebank. This applies to our professional dealings with members, volunteers, staff and Partners.

We shall all treat everyone equally and with the same attention, courtesy and respect regardless of your:

  • Sex (including marital status, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity and paternity).
  • Sexual orientation (including civil partnership status).
  • Race or racial group (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins).
  • Religion or beliefs
  • Age
  • Caring responsibility
  • Disability

Legislation

We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that we and our staff do not unlawfully discriminate under the Equal Pay Act 1970 and the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.

Complaints of Discrimination

The Timebank will treat seriously all complaints of unlawful discrimination on any of the forbidden grounds made by members, volunteers, staff or partners and take action where appropriate.

All complaints will be investigated in accordance with the Timebank’s grievance or complaints procedure and the complainant will be informed of the outcome.

Review

The Timebank will review the operation of this policy not less than once a year (or more regularly if we identify any non-compliance or problem concerning equality and diversity issues with clients or personnel). We will take remedial action if we discover non-compliance under this policy or barriers to equal opportunities. When reviewing the policy we will consider the outcome of monitoring and review actions under our communications and training plans.

Health and Safety Policy

This policy applies to all staff and members of the Torbay Timebank. This policy should be read in conjunction with the TCDT Health and Safety Policy.

Torbay Timebank complies with the terms of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and subsequent legislation to provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions, equipment and systems of work for all our volunteers and to provide information, training and supervision for this purpose. Torbay Timebank recognises and accepts its responsibility to protect the health and safety of all participants in the Timebank and others who might be affected by our activities. A copy of this policy will be available to each participant. The Timebank will review the policy every year along with conducting an annual risk assessment.

The Timebank takes overall responsibility for ensuring that its health and safety policy is put into practice at all Timebank activities and time exchanges, and will ensure that:

  • Participants receive sufficient information, training and supervision on health and safety matters and that this activity is documented.
  • Where appropriate volunteers undertake risk assessments covering fire risk, safer systems of work, personal safety and hazardous substances and the results written up and made available to all employees.
  • Any accidents are investigated and reported to the timebank.
  • The timebank accepts its responsibility for the health and safety of participants based at any location where time exchange takes place.
  • Timebank volunteers responsible for Health and Safety issues have the resources to carry out their work effectively.

The Timebank will identify at least two "competent persons" as defined in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1993 to assist in assessing the health and safety risks to participants and others and devising and applying measures to improve health and safety. The competent persons at the time of issuing this policy statement are Robin Causley and Billy Hartstein (TCDT).

All Timebank participants are responsible for ensuring a safe and healthy workplace and for taking reasonable care of themselves and others. Participants must not intentionally or recklessly interfere with anything provided for their health, safety and welfare. Whenever a participant notices a health or safety problem which they are unable to put right, they must immediately inform the Community Builder. Health, safety and welfare matters may be raised by any participant at any time.

Risk assessments will be undertaken by a Community Builder for time exchanges involving:

  • Participants under the age of 18, taking into account the young person's possible lack of awareness of existing or potential risks.
  • Lone workers, which take account of personal safety.
  • Pregnant participants.
  • Disabled participants.
  • Hazardous substances.
  • Manual handling or unusual physical effort.
  • Specialised equipment.
  • Any activity involving electricity or working at heights or in confined spaces.
  • as well as for any time exchange in which a participant requests a risk assessment.

Torbay Timebank endeavours to ensure that time exchanges take place in a safe environment. Participants should report any current or potential situation which is a threat to personal safety. Talking about fear and other problems related to aggression or harassment are not marks of failure but good practice. All incidents (or threats) of aggression or violence towards a participant should be reported and recorded.

Any participant experiencing any incident which resulted or nearly resulted in personal injury to themselves or others must report the incident to the Timebank and make sure the accident is recorded in the TCDT Accident Book. All first aid incidents will be noted in the TCDT accident book and filed in accordance with HSE guidelines.  The Timebank must ensure that any necessary follow up action is taken to reduce the risk of the accident or near accident reoccurring. The Timebank will report incidents which come within the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases & Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) to Torbay Council.

Lone Working Policy

This policy applies to all staff and members of the Torbay Timebank. This policy should be read in conjunction with the TCDT Lone Working Policy.

Torbay Timebank recognises that most participants will perform time exchange activities as 'lone workers', working alone for significant periods of time, without close or direct supervision, in the community, in isolated work areas and out of hours and thus has put in place a specific policy covering the health and safety of lone workers. 

Individuals are ‘alone at work’ when they are on their own or working / exchanging on a one-to-one basis with another Timebank participant, where they cannot be seen or heard by another participant, cannot expect a visit from another participant or member of the public for some time, and/or where assistance is not readily available when needed. Torbay Timebank does not expect participants to undertake lone working without implementing the safety measures outlined in this document.

Ideally, all home visits should be by appointment only. 

Participants should be in contact before and after the planned visit, even if this is outside normal working hours.  Where possible, first visits should be made by more than one person, especially if little is known of the participant. Lone visits should not be made to participants who have a known history of violent and aggressive behaviour.  The agreed contact person receiving help must be available throughout the planned visit. Participants working alone should carry mobile phones where possible.

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust offers the following advice to participants performing time exchanges at others' homes and Timebank Brokers undertaking home visits to potential participants:

  • Give some thought before you arrive as to what exit strategies you could use if you felt uncomfortable or threatened.
  • Conduct your own risk assessment on the doorstep before you enter. If you feel at all uncomfortable or unsure, make an excuse and leave. Trust your instincts.
  • Be mindful of the fact that you are entering someone else’s territory. Your presence there may be unwanted and/or pose a threat.
  • As you enter, make a note of how the door opens and closes so that you can leave quickly, if necessary.
  • Give the person you are helping an idea of how long the meeting will take and try to adhere to this.
  • Avoid actions or words which may appear judgmental, aggressive or an invasion of privacy or space.

Participants should know that their safety comes first, and should be aware of how to deal with situations in which they feel at risk or unsafe. They should also be able to recognise how their own actions could influence or even trigger an aggressive response.

When you visit someone's home, make Torbay Timebank, a friend or family member aware of the name, address and contact number of the person being visited, and the expected start and end times of the visit; when the visit is complete let the appointed person know you have finished and are safe.  If the appointed person does not hear from you within one hour of the stated visit end time, they must undertake the following actions:

  • Stage 1: Contact you directly
  • Stage 2: Contact the person you visited
  • Stage 3: Contact the Community Builder / Timebank Broker or designated person at Torbay Timebank, who will attempt to contact your family
  • Stage 4: Inform the police, providing details of your last known whereabouts

Normally, if participants or contact people need to involve the police they should do so through contacting the Community Builder, who will record the details of the situation and contact the police on their behalf. However, in case of emergency, it may be more appropriate for the participant or contact person to contact the police directly and then follow up with the Community Builder as part of the accident reporting procedure.

All incidents involving events that have the potential to cause injury, ill health or damage, including incidents linked to issues of personal security, must be reported through Torbay Timebank’s accident reporting procedure.  Participants should ensure that all incidents where they feel threatened, or unsafe, even without a tangible event or experience, are reported, including any incidents of verbal abuse.

In the event of a violent incident involving a lone worker, the Community Builder should immediately ensure that the participant receives any necessary medical treatment and/or advice. 

Torbay Timebank is actively committed to protecting staff and volunteers from violence and assault and will support criminal proceedings against those who carry out the assault. All participants are encouraged to report violent incidents to the police, and will be supported by Torbay Timebank throughout the process.

Torbay Timebank should be sensitive to the person’s need to talk about the incident and should take care to avoid any impression that this is not accepted or expected. Discussion should involve identifying any significant learning points for the Timebank. The Community Builder should also ask whether the participant needs legal or insurance-related information or assistance.  The Community Builder must ensure appropriate written and verbal reporting of any violent incident.

Complaints Procedure

“People are reluctant to complain but only by knowing what has gone wrong will we be able to improve in the future.”

Policy Statement

Our Torbay Timebank is committed to providing help and support to all of our members. We do not look at complaints as unwanted and we are firmly committed to a process of continuous improvement of which the complaints procedure is just one element.

Recognising that sometimes things go wrong, or mistakes are made, this policy outlines the procedures to follow to make a complaint and the internal procedures we follow to manage the process. This procedure will form part of the induction process for staff, volunteers and members.  A copy will be sent to anyone making a complaint. 

This policy should be read in conjunction with the TCDT Compliments and Complaints Policy and the TCDT Disclosures in the Public Interest Policy.

Objectives

The objectives of this complaints procedure are to ensure that:

  • Any complaints that are received are investigated at the appropriate level in the organisation,
  • All complaints are actioned in the most expeditious way,
  • Persons making complaints know how their complaint will be dealt with and wherever possible, lessons are learned. 

Definition of a timebank member        

For the purposes of this procedure, Torbay Timebank members are defined as anyone who has any dealing with the organisation; excluding staff who are asked to raise issues either with their line manager or under the internal grievance procedure.

Misunderstandings

Even if Torbay Timebank members do not regard a particular concern as a ‘complaint’, we would still like to know about it as it may help us deal with something we would otherwise overlook.  These smaller things that go wrong or small misunderstandings can often be put right very quickly.  We want to know about these; we want Torbay Timebank members to get an acceptable solution very quickly but we also need to learn from the process.

In order to avoid Torbay Timebank members feeling that a minor issue is not worth raising as a complaint, we will take steps to encourage comment and constructive criticism at every level. 

The Community Builder will record any issue where our service level has not met our Torbay Timebank member’s expectations, if this is possible. The Torbay Timebank members name will not be included and the Community Builder will make an objective judgement on the cause of the problem and these will be analysed on a regular basis as part of our process of continuous improvement.

Definition of a complaint

A complaint is defined, for the purpose of this procedure, as a written record compiled by any Torbay Timebank member of TCDT that is sent to the appropriate person to be registered and where the originator has received an acknowledgement.  

To clarify, the definition “complaint” does not include a comment provided by individuals asking for a simple remedy to a minor problem.

Integrity

During the process of dealing with a complaint we will be as open and transparent as possible.  People raising complaints will be given full information about the progress of their complaint except in the cases mentioned below.

If the complaint involves questions about the actions or competencies of individual members of staff or trustees, other processes may subsume the complaints procedure and TCDT may not be able to provide the person raising the complaint with all the relevant information (for instance, employment legislation may prevent publication of the results of disciplinary processes).

The legal requirements of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (Whistleblowers) may restrict the information that can be provided to persons raising complaints.

If either of these situations occurs the Community Builder / TCDT Lead Officer will provide an explanation without disclosing any restricted information. 

To ensure confidentiality, information about the progress of a complaint will only be provided to the person making the complaint.

Complaints Process

Torbay Timebank members making formal complaints are asked to write or email an explanation of the issue that has caused them to be dissatisfied. A complaint should also contain an explanation of what the person making the complaint requires to be done to resolve the issue. 

Complaints should be sent to the builder in order to register them within the procedure.  The builder will send an acknowledgement by return giving a complaint number within 5 working days.  Including this number with any further correspondence will assist TCDT.

The builder will refer each complaint to the governing body.  All correspondence about complaints will be treated as confidential.  The person raising the complaint will receive an initial response within 10 days and a written response detailing any proposed remedial action within 28 days of the receipt of the original complaint.  The person raising the complaint will also be told in this response that they can request a second review. 

If a second review is requested, the matter will be referred to a more senior person within TCDT.  This may be the Lead Officer or a Trustee as appropriate. Following the second review, the person raising the complaint will be provided with a written response detailing any changes to the previously proposed remedial action.  In the majority of cases the second review will be the final position of TCDT.  However, this final response will also indicate if, and how, the complaint can be progressed beyond this second stage.

Please refer to the TCDT Compliments and Complaints Policy for further details.

Further progressing of a complaint beyond the second review will depend on the nature of the matter. The Charity Commission has a list of the types of issues it would be willing to investigate; similarly, TCDT has an investigation procedure in some circumstances.  Other alternative routes include the police, trading standards or health and safety within a local authority and a funding body if the service being complained about was funded directly by such a body. The response from the second review will explain all relevant options.

If an accusation is made that this procedure has not been followed, the matter can be raised for discussion at a Governing Body meeting.  

If at any stage the Torbay Timebank member making the complaint wants to stop a complaint from being progressed, the time bank member can do so in writing or email to the Community Builder. TCDT reserves the right to continue to investigate serious complaints in these circumstances.

Section 8: Insurance

The Torbay Community Development Trust has public liability insurance that covers members activity with the Timebank. 


For more information about these terms and conditions, please contact Theo Tanser:

Individual

View member profile "Theo Tanser"

Theo Tanser

Community Building co-ordinator

Community Building Co-ordinator & Community Builder in Hele, Watcombe & Barton. Torbay...

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