Volunteer Support Policy

Revised and Effective from 1 December 2020

INTRODUCTION

The Friends of the Heysen Trail (FOHT) undertakes its trail development, promotion, walk program and administration solely on the basis of dedication and goodwill from its member volunteers and supporters. FOHT recognises that its members are enthusiastic about enjoying the trail and committed to giving back through our volunteer program. FOHT appreciates and values every member that gives of their energy, time and skill to assist the organisation. We also believe it is important to acknowledge that commitment and recognise the ongoing goodwill among our members to contribute to walking and trail development.

RECOGNITION & THANKS

Golden Boots Card is provided annually at the commencement of the walk season to enable volunteers to access the FOHT walking program without the need to pay a walk fee – it covers End-to-End, Trailwalker, Trailstarter and Twilight walks.

Golden Boots is provided to the following FOHT volunteers for contribution of 40 or more hours during the previous year:

  • Elected office bearers and council members
  • Committee Members: Trail Development; Walking; Office Committee; Membership & Marketing; Greening; and TW Editorial group;
  • Office staff;
  • Maintenance Section/Activity Leaders;
  • Trail Development & Maintenance volunteers;
  • E2E Walk Coordinator and E2E Walk Leaders;
  • Walk Leaders that undertake at least 6 TW/TS in that year;
  • E2E support vehicle drivers;
  • Honorary Members; and
  • Warren Bonython Heysen Trail Foundation directors.

National Park Pass. The Department for Environment and Water (DEW) approves an annual pass code to Friends of Parks and similar organisations, such as FOHT, for use by volunteers who have contributed 40 or more hours. The pass, which rewards the valuable work of volunteers, enables free vehicle access to most SA Parks and camping (subject to usual book-on-line requirements). DEW usually issues the information in June for use on a financial year basis.

  • FOHT provides Parks Pass details to its volunteers as listed above for Golden Boots.

Annual Volunteers BBQ. Each October the Friends invites all volunteers to attend a complimentary meal and drinks to thank our volunteers for their commitment and to celebrate our achievements.

REIMBURSEMENT/IN-KIND SUPPORT

The Friends acknowledges that its volunteers carry out a significant amount of activity with goodwill and do not seek financial compensation; however we also appreciate that some work along 1200km involves travel-related expenses that justifies the option of claiming reimbursement. While FOHT understands that some volunteers may choose not to make claims for their activity, the following guidelines are applicable to assist in defraying costs that may arise.

TRAIL DEVELOPMENT & MAINTENANCE/GREENING EXTENDED TRIPS

Maintaining the 1200km trail often requires teams of volunteers to travel and stay in a region to deliver an effective work program and to afford time to build relationships with landholders and relevant community groups.
In accordance with the DEW Volunteers Safety Framework (VSF) all work must be authorised by DEW/FOHT prior to commencement to meet safety and auditing requirements. In addition to fuel expenses (see below), FOHT supports volunteers on approved projects as follows:

  • DEW provided VSF Training, safety inductions and skills training as needed
  • Accommodation subsidy up to $70 per person per night (usually shared);
  • TDC Project Dinner – during trips of 3+ days FOHT will pay for a meal and one drink for volunteers. This may extend to community reps/landholders where an Activity Coordinator is able to organise and which encourages engagement with local Heysen Trail landholders and supporters; and
  • Reimbursement for any tools, equipment or materials that need to be purchased during trips.

FUEL EXPENSES.

Fuel expenses may be claimed for travel from home to the activity, during the activity and return home for the following purposes:

  • Trail Development & Maintenance and Greening volunteers actively engaged in any DEW/FOHT authorised/approved work (evidenced by completion of DEW/FOHT forms)
  • FoHT expects that claims arising from TDC projects will be based on shared travel and incorporated into project planning costs.
  • E2E Walks Support Drivers (1 vehicle per E2E programmed walk); and
  • Elected FOHT Office Bearers attending formal events or meetings where it is necessary to officially represent FOHT.

Reimbursement claims should be made using the FOHT Claim Form and confirmed through the TDC Coordinator or E2E Walk Coordinator. These are important steps for accounting/auditing and in the case of maintenance may be claimed back from DEW.

  • Claims will be paid on the following basis: per kilometre at the rate of $0.40 per km.

EXCEPT where the volunteer is using a hire vehicle as per below, and then reimbursement will be paid as a dollar amount based on provision of fuel receipt(s) – volunteer should aim to commence with a full tank and top up on completion of the activity.

VEHICLE HIRE

TRAIL MAINTENANCE: There are occasions where it may be necessary to use 4WD to access some sections of the trail for maintenance and it is not always suitable to use volunteers’ personal vehicles and as such FOHT has an arrangement in place for 4WD hire. It is important that the TDC Coordinator or E2E Coordinator is satisfied that the driver has the requisite 4WD experience or training prior to approving 4WD hire.

  • The TDC Coordinator needs to approve use for trail maintenance activities.

E2E WALKS: It is acknowledged that the 2 weeks during E2E final year requires a much greater use of the support driver’s personal vehicle, although in general most drivers are comfortable using their own vehicle. In the event that a support driver prefers the option of 4WD hire in the final year then FOHT will support that.

  • The E2E Coordinator should advise the Walk Committee Chair so that approval and bookings may be arranged well in advance.

E2E WALK PROGRAM

The E2E Walk Program has grown since its inception into a regular high-demand event that has the dual function of attracting and involving more people walking in nature and generating revenue for FOHT to put back into developing the trail. The E2E walk coordinator and walk leadership team are critical part of the success of the program.
FOHT acknowledges that their enjoyment of walking is also a significant 6-year commitment to organising, guiding and inspiring members to complete the trail and become part of the Friends.
FOHT appreciates this commitment and provides specific support to each E2E Walk Coordinator and the E2E Walk leaders as follows:

  • Bus fee is waived for all E2E walks, including the final year*
  • First Aid kits are provided for each E2E group;
  • Reimbursement for out of pocket expenses for items such as printing, restocking First Aid kits and occasional items for sustaining walkers; and
  • Walk Leader training.

*The number of walk leaders in the final year is likely to vary between 3 and 6 for each E2E depending on  the size of the walk group and whether there have been changes to the walk leader team over the 6 years; each E2E Coordinator should identify the walk leader team that this will apply to and discuss with the Chair of the Walk Committee as it will need to be factored into a budget.

SAFETY ON THE TRAIL:

Whether undertaking maintenance or walking the Heysen Trail, FOHT supports and encourages all volunteers to be aware of safety issues. To that end FOHT provides the following:

 

  • CFS detailed area maps – copies of relevant maps for walks or maintenance are available by request to Office volunteers;First Aid Kits and reimbursement for First Aid Training costs on evidence of completion;
  • Two-way radios are available for use on all E2E Walks and Maintenance Trips;
  • Satellite phone hire has been set up for all walks and maintenance undertaken in remote areas where mobile phone coverage is unreliable – Walk Leaders and Trail Maintenance Activity Leaders need to make that assessment as part of the preparation;
  • Heysen Trail Maintenance Volunteer hi-vis safety vests are available and should be worn when working on the trail;
  • Heysen Trail Maintenance Volunteer vehicle dashboard signage is available for display when carrying out authorised work.

 

FOHT VOLUNTEER SUPPORT POLICY APPROVED BY COUNCIL 18 NOVEMBER 2020
NEXT REVIEW – OCTOBER 2021