This Policy is issued by ME Research UK (SCIO No. SC036942), of The Gateway, North Methven Street, Perth, PH1 5PP, hereafter referred to as ‘the Organisation’.

Introduction

The Organisation’s mission is to ‘energise ME research’

Our charitable purposes are

  • To advance scientific knowledge by commissioning or funding research into the causes, consequences and treatment of ME/CFS or any other related illnesses, and to publish or cause to be published the results of any such research.
  • To advance public education and awareness of the causes, consequences and treatment of ME/CFS or any other related illnesses, and of the need for research into the condition, by producing printed or electronic information, funding or hosting scientific meetings, and acting as a key information resource for researchers, medical practitioners, healthcare professionals and the general public.

The Organisation is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation governed by the Board of Charity Trustees and supported by a small number of, mostly part-time, staff.

We wish to make Ambassadors the heart of our fundraising structure – and the contribution of Ambassadors to the work of the Organisation will be especially valued and respected.

Ambassadors increase our capacity to fulfil our charitable purposes and to deliver the funding for the Organisation and for research projects.

This Policy sets out how the Organisation intends to support its Ambassadors.

The role of an Ambassador is primarily to fundraise on behalf of ME Research UK.

Principles

The Ambassador Policy is guided by the following principles:

  • The Organisation and its Ambassadors will follow this policy.
  • The Organisation recognises that Ambassadors donate their time and talents freely and voluntarily. The Ambassador’s role with be clearly explained and mutually agreed.
  • The Organisation will provide appropriate information and support to its Ambassadors.
  • The Organisation is committed to equal opportunities in relation to the recruitment, selection and involvement of volunteers.

Practice Guidelines

The Organisation is committed to good practice when supporting its Ambassadors.

The Organisation will make on-going efforts to recruit Ambassadors who match appropriate needs. This selection process will be based on the skills and interest of the Ambassador and the current needs of the Organisation. The Organisation does not commit itself to accept all offers of help; it will be under no obligation to give an Ambassador the reasons for declining their services.

All Ambassadors will be asked to complete a registration form and will be contacted by the Organisation to explain more fully the role of an Ambassador. Ambassadors must not undertake any tasks that require either Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or Disclosure Scotland checks. It is stressed that it is not envisaged that an Ambassador will undertake any task for which such a check will be necessary.

The Organisation’s Trustees, staff and Ambassadors, have a duty of confidentiality with regards to information received whilst working withthe Organisation. Ambassador’s  information will be treated in confidence (details are accessible to those concerned on written request) and the Organisation extends this right to everyone. Indeed, Ambassadors you may find themselves in possession of certain information, the disclosure of which could be construed as a breach of confidentiality. Ambassadors must not discuss or disseminate any sensitive or confidential material whatsoever with any person or outside organisation, including the media. Any breach of confidentiality would mean you could no longer remain an Ambassador.

Similarly, Ambassadors ought also be aware when using social media that it is subject to the full range of laws applying to other communications, including copyright, breach of confidence, defamation, privacy, contempt of court, harassment, vilification and anti-discrimination legislation, and criminal laws. Social media can be the subject of legal proceedings. ME Research UK will accept no liability which arises due to Ambassador’s use (or mis-use) of social media sites. Any views expressed by Ambassadors are their own and ought not to be presented as though they represent the views of ME Research UK. In all communications Ambassadors must not bring ME Research UK into disrepute

Ambassadorial Guidelines and work outline

Ambassadors will be informed of the expectations of the Organisation and the role that the Ambassador has offered to undertake. In addition, an abridged version of our Ambassador Policy will be given in writing to each Ambassador.

In appointing an Ambassador. the Organisation does not enter into a contract;  the Letter of Appointment and the guidelines are there to help the Ambassador feel supported and clearer about their role. The Ambassador is not an Agent of the Organisation and Ambassadors and their activities are not covered by the Organisation’s insurance policies.

Commitment

The Organisation recognises that Ambassadors are volunteers and will often need flexible arrangements regarding both the time and level of commitment they are able to give. We will try to work within these constraints and will not make unreasonable demands on Ambassadors. We do expect Ambassadors to join any initiative created by the Organisation and undertake at least one independent fundraising event per annum.

Whatever the level of commitment an Ambassador is able to give we will recognise and value their contribution. In return the Ambassador will be expected to follow the letter and spirit of the Organisation’s policies and procedures and to meet mutually agreed time commitments, or to give notice if this is not possible.

Ambassadors are free to cease their voluntary role at any time. There is no commitment to ME Research UK

We will always try to match what an Ambassador feels able to undertake with our Organisational needs. We will provide a warm welcome to Ambassadors, give adequate support and ensure that an Ambassador’s expectations are met when they join us.

Support

Ambassadors will be supported, but not directed or controlled, by a named contact person. This person will provide the Ambassador with information about the Organisation, appeals, initiatives and events as well as the opportunity to discuss the Ambassador’s initiatives.

Expenses

As the Ambassador’s role is primarily as a volunteer fundraiser, Ambassadors will not be reimbursed travel and other expenses. In exceptional circumstances, and only with the PRIOR approval of the Organisation, will expenses be met and only where supporting receipts are subsequently provided.

Insurance and Legal Liability

Ambassadors work independently of the Organisation and are not covered by any of the Organisation’s insurance policies. Ambassadors are not Agents of the Organisation and should not hold themselves out as such. The Ambassador is responsible for ensuring that any fundraising initiative they pursue is fully in conformity with all regulatory and legal requirements, especially Insurance requirements. The Organisation will accept no liability which arises due to Ambassador’s activities (fundraising or otherwise).

Resolving concerns

The Organisation aims to identify and resolve problems at the earliest possible stage. In the first instance you should discuss these with the Development Director.  If the issue or problem is not resolved, you should then contact the Operations and Research Director, who will discuss the matter with you within seven days. If necessary, he/she will then refer the matter to the Management Group who will provide you with their response as quickly as possible.