Volunteering Guidance (including Health and Safety)

1.  General Volunteering Guidance

 For the safety of yourself and all volunteers, please read and comply with the following rules;

Slow The Flow can work in unpredictable environments and in all sorts of terrains and weather. While Slow the Flow Calderdale will take all reasonable care for your welfare, you are also responsible for your own wellbeing and safety and you must not take unnecessary risks whilst working as a

  • Volunteers must work in small groups of two or 3 people and not in isolation at any
  • You must NEVER enter a moving watercourse under any
  • If you notice a dangerous situation or environment, it is your responsibility to report it immediately to a Slow the Flow Calderdale Management Group member who will identify themselves at the beginning of each volunteer day.
  • All tools must be used in accordance with their You will be advised at the beginning of each volunteer session how to use these tools. You must use them responsibly and make every effort to return them to us at the end of each volunteer session. If you are unsure how to use a tool, please ask a member of the Management Group.
  • Children under the age of 18 must be supervised at all times by their parents or guardians and appropriate measures must be taken to ensure their safety at all
  • The Management Group may advise that sharp tools are not to be used by children under
  • You must inform us of any illness or impairment prior to any volunteer session so we can ensure your
  • Heavy lifting is a large part of the work we If you are unable to lift heavy objects, you must inform us at the start of a volunteer session.
  • All injuries must be reported to a member of the Management Group.

2.  Health Hazards in Conservation & Flood Alleviation Work

 Conservation/flood alleviation work carried out by Slow The Flow Calderdale is not usually a particularly hazardous activity. However, it does increase the risk of exposure to a few nasty illnesses, in particular Tetanus, Weil’s disease and Lyme disease.

Some of the plants we work with also present unusual hazards. Working in the outdoors can expose volunteers to environmental challenges rain, sleet, sun etc.

A member of the Management Group will point out the hazardous species / substances on the site but there are some generally sensible precautions which can be taken to minimise the small chances of suffering from any problems as follows:

You should:

 Make sure your tetanus immunisation is up to

  • Cover cuts and grazes with a waterproof dressing before you start
  • Wear appropriate protection from the
  • Wash your hands before
  • If you suffer from flu-like symptoms shortly after working in water, you should go to your GP for


3.  SlowTheFlow: Calderdale Health and Safety Policy

 The Management Group has overall responsibility for health and safety in the organisation, and for ensuring that it fulfils all its legal responsibilities, but day to day responsibility for ensuring this policy is put into practice is delegated to Task Leaders.

 The Management Group is committed to ensuring that all its activities are safe and it will do whatever it can to provide for the health, safety and welfare of all volunteers ensuring that risks to volunteers are minimised at all times.

Slow The Flow Calderdale will observe the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (“HASAWA”) and all relevant regulations and codes of practice made under it.

This policy will be reviewed periodically by the Management Group.


a. Responsibilities

The Management Group member responsible for the implementation and monitoring of health and safety policies and recommending changes where necessary is The Policy Officer.

All accidents or unsafe incidents will be investigated by the Policy Officer on behalf of the Management Group as soon as possible and then to be reported to the Management Group at the next meeting.

Task Leader is responsible for

  • Assessing the risk to the health and safety of, volunteers and identifying what measures are needed to comply with its health and safety obligations;
  • Ensuring that venues or vehicles used for trips are safe and without risk to health including safe ways of entering and leaving;
  • Ensuring that equipment is safe and well maintained;
  • Providing information, instruction, training and supervision to volunteers in safe working methods and procedures as required;
  • Encouraging volunteers to co-operate in ensuring safe and healthy conditions and systems by effective joint consultation
  • Establishing emergency procedures as required;


b. Volunteers’ Responsibilities

 All volunteers will ensure that:

  • They are aware of the contents of this safety policy
  • They comply with this policy
  • They take care of themselves and others who may be affected by their actions or omissions
  • They will report all accidents, or unsafe situations, and any near misses (things which could have led to an accident), to the Task Leader or a member of the Management Group member at
  • They record accidents or near misses at work in the accident book kept by the Event Team Leader
  • They are aware of all fire procedures for the area in which they are working
  • If they identify anything which they think could be in any way unsafe, they will report it.

c. Risk Assessments

 Joey Williams is the Policy Officer and will ensure that all premises and tasks are assessed in line with the current relevant legislation. If Joey Williams is unavailable, then any present member of the Management Group can act in this capacity.

Assessments will be repeated when there is a:

  • Trip or event to organise
  • Change in legislation
  • Change of premises
  • Significant change in work carried out
  • Transfer to new technology
  • Or any other reason which makes original assessment not valid.


c. Training

 To comply with legislation and to promote the health, safety and welfare of volunteers’ health and safety training will be provided as follows:

  • At inductions
  • On the introduction of new technology
  • When changes are made to venues
  • When training needs are identified during risk


e. Resolving health and safety problems

 Any volunteer with a health and safety concern must first tell the responsible Event Team Leader.

If, after investigation, the problem is not corrected in a reasonable time, or the Task Leader decides that no action is required but the

volunteer is not satisfied with this, the volunteer may then refer the matter to the Management Group. This must be in writing.

If the volunteer is still dissatisfied, the matter will be entered on the agenda for the next meeting of the Management Group.

All policy documents are held on the website – www.slowtheflow.net

End of 2017 update

After nearly a year working with The National Trust at Hardcastle Crags, we have now built 117 leaky woody dams using over 100 volunteers. Our volunteers have worked incredibly hard in 2017 and we simply would not have achieved what we have without all this incredible help. A massive Thank you if you have helped in any way on this project.

Early indications are that these leaky woody dams in Hardcastle Crags are  working to slow the flow and reducing the impact of flood water finding its way down the Calder Valley. Formal results of how much water has been slowed will be published in the New Year!

Certain in the knowledge that what we are doing works to reduce the impact of amount of water finding its way to our towns and villages, we will continue into 2018. However, we still need volunteers to continue with this important work. If you can help in any way whatsoever, please do get in touch or come to one of our volunteer days at Hardcastle Crags.

Click here for volunteer days for 2018.

There is still lots to do, not just in Hardcastle Crags, but across the Calder Valley and we are working with our partners to identify other areas which would benefit from the installation of these leaky dams. If you know of such an area, please do get in touch so we can arrange a survey and see how we can Slow The Flow near you.

After over a year in the planning, and with the recent grant made from The Calder Flood Partnership to The National Trust for work at Hardcastle Crags to ‘Slow The Flow’, volunteers have started work in the gullies leading into the river which flows into the River Calder.

New equipment has been bought, natural materials have been sourced and managed and volunteers have been recruited and trained to build leaky dams and for gully stuffing throughout the Crags.

To date, around 100 new volunteers have worked in this beautiful part of the Calder Valley and significant progress has been made in a number of gullies leading into the main channel in the Crags.

Volunteers ranging in age from 10 to over 70 have taken part. Work ranges from sawing timber, trimming brush, digging, and moving trunks into place to form leaky dams and to stuff gullies to encourage rain water onto the banks during heavy rainfall. The channels still work in normal flow but to try and reduce the amount of water making it into the main channels, the gully stuffing and leaky dams force the rain water over the banks and onto the slops.

This programme will continue throughout the summer in the Crags so if you want to get involved, contact us here to book your place. We usually start at 9.30 am and finish by lunchtime, currently over weekends.

Work parties are also being arranged during the week so if your company or organisation would like to get involved, please contact is here register with us. We already have 3 large organisations who will be working with us throughout the summer.

You will need to fairly fit although you will not be expected to carry heavy weights or work beyond your own limitations.  All we ask is that you have a desire to help ‘Slow The Flow’. There are a range of tasks suitable for all ages as we have already demonstrated with our amazing volunteers who have helped to date.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON CHILDREN WHO WANT TO VOLUNTEER  –  children under 18 are VERY welcome to volunteer but they must be supervised by you at all times. Please be aware that there are chain saws in use (solely by fully trained personnel) and dangers associated with: mechanical and manual movement of very heavy logs; unsupervised saws and other blades laid on the ground; and axes and saws in full swing. It is possible to work in areas where some of these dangers are not present but they may be adjacent to areas where they are present.