CODE Of conduct

VOLUNTEER CODE OF CONDUCT

1. Scope and purpose

A. This code of conduct (“Code”) applies to all volunteers (“Volunteers”) who: (i) register themselves with Books & Beyond Reading Club (“B&B”); or (ii) participate in volunteering activities organized by B&B or its partners via B&B’s platform.

B. Various people (“Beneficiaries”) receive services from or through B&B. This Code is to be observed by Volunteers in the context of providing volunteering services to Beneficiaries.

C. B&B reserves the right to amend this Code from time to time. The updated Code will be posted on B&B’s website here.

D. It is important for you (“you” refers to a Volunteer) to read this Code before registering with us or participating in any volunteering activity.

2. Respect and understand the individual

A. You should recognize the ethnic and cultural diversity of the communities being served. You should respect and be sensitive to the culture of Beneficiaries and appreciate the differences among them in respect of their ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, custom, and sexual orientation.

B. You should respect fundamental human rights, human dignity, social equality, and equal rights of all Beneficiaries including children.

C. You should always take into consideration the difficult experiences that Beneficiaries may have faced or survived, as well as the disadvantaged position in which they may find themselves in relation to those who hold power or influence over certain aspects of their lives.

3. Ensure a safe and healthy environment

A. You must avoid working alone in an isolated or closed environment with a Beneficiary. You should try to keep an open door and not position yourself between the Beneficiary and an exit route. If unavoidable, please ensure that someone from B&B, or the organizer of the relevant activity (“Organizer”), knows where you are and why.

B. You must not be alone with children, or people who are vulnerable such as with those intellectual disabilities (“VPs”), in private without supervision by their parent, their legal guardian or a staff member/team leader of B&B.

 

4. Physical contact

A. You must be sensitive with the kind of games and/or activities that you play or participate with children and VPs. Physical contact with children and VPs may be inappropriate. Even if you try to reassure them or teach them skills, physical contact should be kept to a minimum. Discuss this beforehand with B&B or the Organizer, by explaining what you are doing and why.

5. Behaviour

A. You must be mindful of your language and behaviour. You must never use inappropriate language, behave inappropriately or do any act that is abusive (whether verbal, physical, or otherwise). If you notice that a Volunteer uses inappropriate language, behaves inappropriately, or does any abusive act, you must immediately report to a staff member/team leader of B&B.

B. You must be alert to the possibility that some Beneficiaries may attempt to get too close to you to seek “special attention”. You must maintain an appropriate boundary.

C. You must not smoke or be under the influence of alcohol or other substances when volunteering.

D. You must not engage in activities or suggestions of a sexual nature.

E. You must not give any Beneficiary any personal items, gifts or money.

F. If you wish to donate gifts, you should first check with B&B to ensure the gifts are appropriate and distributed in a fair manner.

6. Personal data

A. You must not ask a Beneficiary to give you sensitive personal data such as information on a Hong Kong Identification Card or Passport.

B. You must not ask about the background and family situation or any personal matters of children and VPs.

C. You must not exchange any personal data or contact details (e.g. phone number, social networking, and email address) with Beneficiaries. If a Beneficiary gives you such information, you should report to B&B or the Organizer.

7. Photography

A. You should not take photos of children or VPs and must not publish any materials or stories about them without permission from B&B.

8. Punctuality and attendance

A. You must be punctual to all scheduled activities. If you do not arrive by the scheduled starting time, it will be considered a late arrival.

B. If you are absent without notifying B&B in advance, it will be considered a no-show.

D. Upon 3 no-shows and/or late arrival, B&B has the discretion to disallow you to volunteer with or through B&B again.

 

9. Repercussions and penalties

A. Inappropriate behaviour, including but not limited to a failure to follow this Code, is a ground for remedial action, including dismissal from any or all activities and volunteering opportunities organized by or through B&B.

 

By registering with B&B, and signing up for volunteering activities organized by B&B or its partners via B&B’s platform, you confirm that you have not been convicted of any child or sexual-related crime and that you have read, understand, and agree to be bound by this Code.