Welcome Pack

Welcome Pack

Norfolk Wherry Trust Volunteer Information

Last Review – 3 January 2022


This document introduces volunteering at the Trust. It covers:

  • A background to the aims and objectives of the Trust
  • An outline of the sort of roles available within the Trust
  • Our obligations to you
  • Your obligations to us
  • Seeks permissions to add you to the list of volunteers.


The Trust was established to preserve in perpetuity one or more examples of the Norfolk Wherry for the purposes of education, recreation and instruction. We achieve these objectives with different strands to our work including maintaining and sailing Albion, having events and open days and maintaining an archive of wherry information.

All the work within the Trust is performed by volunteers, although we use paid professionals when necessary.

Although we are volunteers, we aim to perform all our tasks in a professional manner and follow best practice in all we do. As with volunteering at any other organisation there are a few generic responsibilities that you have as a volunteer. In addition, in the operation of Albion particularly, there are several specific responsibilities obligated by the different regulatory regimes we operate under. This document focusses on the generic responsibilities that apply to all volunteers; crew training deals with the specific responsibilities.

When you read this information, you might be concerned about the weight of responsibilities. However, be assured that the volunteers do find that volunteering with us is both fun and rewarding. Nevertheless, it is part of our professional approach to be upfront about the responsibilities.

We believe the Trust has a good reputation in the community and we believe if all the volunteers, and the Trust itself, always follow the procedures, we will maintain that reputation and keep everyone who interacts with us safe from harm.

Roles in the Trust

We believe that the Trust works best if we share out functions widely across the volunteers with each doing something that interests and challenges them. So, there are few fixed roles and the scope of all can be moulded to the volunteers available. Nevertheless, this section tries to summarise some of the current areas. A lot of volunteers perform more than one role at the same time!

  • Crewing Albion. We have a free training programme that takes individuals from novices to skippers. Whether or not you can sail, sailing Albion is different so everyone needs to go through the training programme. We insist on there being one way of operating Albion so that any set of individuals can sail together seamlessly. The training covers both onshore and Albion based practical training. We also require crew to recertify their expertise at regular intervals. There are some constraints on those who we train; they need to be fit and agile enough to sail Albion safely. We must be able to meet our licence conditions for taking passengers on Albion. We often have passengers on board when we train.
  • Maintenance. We have regular maintenance days at our Base. This covers everything from maintaining the physical site to maintaining the fabric of Albion to keeping her ready for charter. There is a wide variety of tasks to do and there is a rewarding role for everyone regardless of their skill (or lack of it).
  • Events and Open Days. We aim to make the story of the Wherry as widely known as possible and we have different channels to achieve that. This requires volunteers to prepare and engage with the public, or specific groups at these events. There is a lot of information about the place of wherries in the local environment that can be passed on in this role.
  • History. We maintain an extensive, indexed, archive about wherries. Anyone with an interest in local history or archiving might be interested in this role.
  • Organisation. To keep the Trust operating smoothly, we have a steering committee. We also have a large number of roles focussing on the different aspects of the Trust including, membership, webmaster, publications, finance, chartering, administration, archive, Base, insurance, regulatory. There is a role for everyone somewhere.

The Trust’s obligations

The Trust is committed to providing equality of opportunity to all persons when volunteering with the Trust. Although there is no statutory obligation under equality legislation to do so, we recognise a clear moral obligation to promote fairness and equality in volunteering and value all individuals and their diverse and unique identity and backgrounds. We believe that all volunteers should reflect the diversity of communities they work in and have the right to work in an environment which is free from discrimination.

It is also necessary to Safeguard all children and vulnerable adults in all interactions at the Trust. The Trust requires all volunteers at the Trust to have read and understood about their obligations and how and when to raise them in the Trust.

The Trust also undertakes to manage the risks inherent in any volunteering you do with the Trust. These risk assessments are available to everyone, and we will ensure operations are always carried out in accordance with the risk assessment.

The Trust also maintains the Base and Albion to appropriate fire safety standards.

Your obligations to the Trust

All volunteers must be current members of the Norfolk Wherry Trust.

We expect all volunteers toalways act as positive ambassadors for the Trust at all times. If you feel you cannot do this, we ask you to step back from the role you are doing to protect the reputation of the Trust.

When representing the Trust as a volunteer we expect you to support our commitment to promoting equality. You must treat others with dignity and respect and not seek to discriminate against others. You are expected to discourage discrimination by making it clear that you find such behaviour unacceptable and should alert a Trustee if an incident occurs to enable the Trust to deal with it. The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies and procedures detail the Trust’s approach. You will be required to acknowledge you have read them to be a volunteer at the Trust.

The Safeguarding policy and procedures detail the Trust’s approach to looking after the vulnerable in the community. You will be required to confirm you have read and understood them to be a volunteer at the Trust.

Health and Safety. You must be familiar with the risk assessment for any task you perform with the Trust. If in doubt, please check the risk assessments or ask before doing a task.

You must have read the Evacuation Plan at Base and be familiar with the evacuation procedures. Before you go on Albion, even at Base, you must be briefed about the safety on board and the alarms fitted.

Expenses are not generally paid by the Trust however pre-approved purchases on behalf of the Trust can be made. These will only be reimbursed by BACS to a previously notified bank account.

We ask you to maintain an actively monitored email account for us to circulate information about the Trust. If this is not possible, we will make suitable adjustments to get information to you by other means.

Seeking Permissions

At the end of this introduction to volunteering with the Trust, we also ask you to confirm that you understand your obligations and give your consent to be added to appropriate mailing lists. This meets our GDPR commitments. We will also hold information (electronically and otherwise) about you for the purpose of managing volunteers at the Trust and ask for that consent also. There is little point being a volunteer if we cannot inform you of the opportunities available! Please tell us if you wish to be removed from the mailing lists at any time.