If you experience any kind of manipulation, oppression or bullying in any sense at all – always report them especially with hard evidence. I have had qualms in the past about reporting people but it is the only way to get them to reflect upon their behaviour by exposing them. And sometimes reporting them will actually make them stop misbehaving and improvements being made to their code of conduct and policies – one example (of several) follows;
“Dear Sara Jae,
RE: Complaint of Harassment and Bullying Behaviour (Reference number: withheld for privacy)
Thank you for bringing to our attention your concerns with regard to our recently elected Trustee and long term volunteer Mr Richard Turner and a new volunteer with Action on Hearing Loss, Eloise Garland.
I have investigated your complaint in depth in accordance with our complaints policy and I have examined the relevant documents supplied and these have been discussed and reviewed with Richard and Eloise as part of my investigation.
My investigation considered two specific areas:-
- The actions of Richard and Eloise as volunteers of Action on Hearing Loss including that of Trustee in Richard’s case.
- Whether or not it is appropriate for Action on Hearing Loss to comment on discussions within a social media context over which we have no authority and where people comment within a personal capacity.
Before advising of the outcome of my investigation it is appropriate to provide information regarding our Trustee Board.
Our Trustee Board comprises nominated and elected Trustees. An elected Trustee is a person who puts forward their name, is then nominated by a member and is then subject to election by our membership. The election is overseen by the Electoral Reform Service and the person with a majority of votes is duly elected to the vacant position. Provided the person meets standards outlined by the Charity Commission and Companies House they are appointed. Action on Hearing Loss and the Board of Trustees have no right of veto over an elected Trustee. One of our strengths as a charity is having a mix of nominated professionals and elected supporters as Trustees. Richard is one of our newly elected Trustees.
With regard to both points therefore I have concluded the following:-
- Action on Hearing Loss has noted with concern the distress caused by various comments made by RT. However these comments were not made in a capacity as a volunteer for Action on Hearing Loss they were the comments of RT and EG as private individuals. Therefore we do not consider it is appropriate to take any formal action at this stage. RT has not breached any rules as a trustee (which is also a volunteer role in Action on Hearing Loss). However it is apparent that the language used at times in these communications could be seen as inflammatory and misleading. We therefore recognise the need to emphasise to RT and EG along with all our volunteers the requirement to separate any personal comments and any indication that these are the views of Action on Hearing Loss. I shall also follow up with advice to RT and EG and all volunteers the need to be aware that language used in Social Media should be constructed in a way that demonstrates respect to people at all times. To this end we will review and update the following documents and policies:-
– Our Volunteer Handbook
– Our Induction Training for Trustees
– Our Social Media Policy
– Our Bullying and Harassment Policy
- As a national charity with over 1400 volunteers, on this occasion we do not consider it appropriate to comment on whether inappropriate behaviour has taken place on an independent forum. For example people do sometimes use social networking sites and forums and other forms of social media to air their grievances which appears to have been the case on both sides in these instances. People also see social media as a channel for free speech and there can be confusion over what is acceptable behaviour in the use of social media. Both parties have had disagreements about things relating to the Tree House site and related activities and have aired these disagreements publicly on this site and forum which has caused further disagreement and distress between parties.
I know from your correspondence with me that you have been upset and distressed and I very much appreciate you having raised your concerns with us and will take the actions identified above to safeguard against a repetition of this nature. We are also pleased to note that you will continue to support the Charity and the work of Action on Hearing Loss. Finally I would like to reassure you that we will continue to deal with complaints with the utmost seriousness and investigate fully in accordance with our policies.
(name kept anonymous for privacy)
Action on Hearing Loss (Formerly RNID)”
As for NADP?? Well, I am not going to hold my breath for sure since they elected themselves in and ran it to the ground. Any bets on when I will hear from them? 😛