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In this policy:


Our Definitions:

  • “The 401 Foundation” or “we”, “our” means The 401 Foundation.

  • The 401 Foundation is a registered charity in England and Wales (1175605), as well as a registered company limited by guarantee in England and Wales (10688031). Our registered office address is The 401 Foundation, 9 Biscay Drive, Portishead, North Somerset, BS20 7GY

  • “Website” means any website under the ownership or control of The 401 Foundation from which a link has been created to these terms and conditions and all related domain and microsites;

  • “Material” means all of the information, data, text, graphics, links, or computer code or other material published on, contained or available on the Website; and

  • “Privacy Policy” means our Privacy Policy.




This policy applies to The 401 Foundation and any subsidiary company under its control. 


The 401 Foundation is a charity that aims to build a brighter, more compassionate future where everyone can easily access the mental health support they need.

We are committed to building an organisation in which different ideas, abilities, backgrounds and needs are fostered and valued and where all have the opportunity to participate and contribute via our volunteer community. The 401 Foundation will make reasonable adjustments where possible, to meet the needs of potential volunteers. Having a criminal record will not bar someone from volunteering unless we feel that a conviction means that the applicant is unsuitable.



The purpose of this policy is to set out our approach to recruitment and selection of volunteers. 

The policy will ensure:


  • A standard approach is adopted for the recruitment of all volunteer positions • Volunteer positions are filled with the best possible candidate/s • All selections are fair and equitable/based on merit.

  • We demonstrate commitment to equality, diversity and fairness This policy will apply to all volunteers. 


For the purpose of this policy, we define recruitment as “a process for defining and advertising volunteer roles” and selection as “a process for appointing suitable candidates for volunteer roles including application, shortlisting, interview and decision making.” 




The 401 Board: 


Have overall responsibility for volunteers within The 401 Foundation 


The 401 Foundation Chief Officer (CO): 

The 401 Board has delegated to The 401 Foundation CO the responsibility for developing policies and procedures for volunteering at The 401 Foundation and to ensure these are implemented effectively. 


The 401 Foundation Staff and volunteers:

All 401 Foundation staff and volunteers are required to read and implement the Volunteer policies and procedures. Please note that it is the responsibility of the individual staff, trustee or volunteer to ensure that they are reading the most current version of this policy.


Volunteer Recruitment:


The 401 Foundation is committed to ensuring that all stages of the volunteer recruitment process - writing the role profile and person specification, advertising, attracting and managing applications, selecting volunteers, making the appointment and inducting the new volunteer are conducted fairly and effectively.


Our procedure has been designed to ensure that:


  • Volunteers have the required experience, knowledge and skills, or the ability to develop these for the volunteer roles they wish to undertake.

  • Measures are in place to safeguard children and vulnerable adults via Enhanced or Standard DBS checks where necessary and appropriate training provided.

Recruitment channels:


We will use appropriate means to advertise for volunteers that take into account the principles of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy.


Recruitment may include the following methods, although this list is not exhaustive:


  • Contacts at public engagement events around the country.

  • Recruitment agencies.

  • Advertising through a wide range of channels, for example The 401 Foundation website, The 401 Foundation Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter/X pages.

  • Leaflets and information stands.

  • Word of mouth

  • Via local volunteer and community sector organisations and their networks.

  • We may also undertake recruitment campaigns around particular issues and where we do not have sufficient representation from particular communities.


Making an application to become a volunteer for The 401 Foundation:


When a potential volunteer makes contact with The 401 Foundation they are asked to complete a short online application form. Applicants will also be sent: 


  • Copies of the volunteer role description(s).

  • The 401 Foundation Information pack.

If anyone requires assistance with completing the application, help will be provided and/or the form can be completed via the telephone.


Once completed the application form should be returned to The 401 Foundation by post or if the signed form is able to be scanned onto your computer via email. For volunteers under the age of 18 a completed and signed parental consent form will also be required.


The 401 Foundation will only ask for the information needed to ensure that someone is suitable for the role they have applied for. All information given by volunteers will be treated as confidential and stored and disposed of in line with The 401 Foundation Data Protection Policy.


Informal interview:


Where appropriate applicants will be offered an informal interview – either face to face, virtually or by telephone. The purpose of the interview is to:


  • Explain and discuss the voluntary opportunities at The 401 Foundation and the commitment involved.

  • Explore any relevant skills, interests and experiences which the potential volunteer may bring to the organisation.

  • For specific opportunities, assess whether the potential volunteer will be able to carry out the role description and what other assistance might be required in order to enable this 


Decision Making:


  • The selection of new volunteers will be based on the role requirements and the individual’s suitability and ability to do the job in question. All applicants will be treated equally.

  • When assessing the suitability of a volunteer for a particular role, no decision will be taken which cannot be objectively justified.

  • Assumptions will not be made about an individual’s ability to perform tasks without reasonable evidence. 


Notification of a Decision:

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application within 5 working days of the end of the application process and further to any supporting documentation required, for example, references - see "References" section below for further information.

If the applicant is unsuccessful a member of our team will discuss this with the applicant and may be able to suggest other contacts for volunteering opportunities.




Some volunteer roles may require references from named referees, this will be clearly stated on the application form. 


  • Referees may be from someone who knows the applicant in either a work or social context, but not next of kin or family member.

  • References will be contacted for potential successful applicants.

  • If we do not receive a reference within 10 working days of the request being made we will make a second request to the referee.

  • If after 10 more working days we still have not received the reference then we will contact the applicant and ask them to supply another referee.

  • For roles requiring references, acceptance as a volunteer will be subject to the provision of 2 satisfactory references which must be received (along with a satisfactory clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service if required) prior to the commencement of any volunteer role. 


Disclose and Barring Service (DBS) checks:


For some volunteer roles within The 401 Foundation, volunteers will be required to undergo an Enhanced or Standard DBS check. This is important to ensure that we are compliant with our Safeguarding Policy and procedures for children and vulnerable adults. For full details see our Disclosure And Barring Service Policy.

Completion of the application process:


Successful applicants will:


  • Have their data added to our volunteer database.

  • Be provided with the Volunteer Induction information.

  • Have induction training arranged where appropriate.

  • Be provided with the equipment required for the role (for example IT equipment)

  • Be provided with ongoing support and guidance

  • Be subject to ongoing review 


Monitoring and review: 


This policy will be reviewed annually as we develop our Wellness Network of Ambassadors.


Last review date was March 2023.


Contact us:

  • If you have any questions regarding this policy you can email us at

  • If you would rather send us a letter, please send for attention of The 401 Foundation, 9 Biscay Drive, Portishead, North Somerset, BS20 7GY

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