Volunteering for CARDS

Volunteering Induction

This page is an overview of the content you will need during your Stage One Volunteer Induction

Given we can’t get to see you for the induction training in person, we are asking you find a few hours, click through and enjoy a selection of videos, training and guidance that tell you a bit about how we think and how we work… Enjoy!

“The opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety.
It’s connections”

Johan Hari

Chasing the scream. The War on Drugs.

VIDEO // Johan Hari Everything you think you know about addictions is wrong 
VIDEO // Dr Adam Burley Consultant Clinical Psychologist

The Volunteer documents

Now you have completed the interview and watched a few of our videos we would like to take you personally through some of the documents that are the frameworks for you’re volunteering. The documents are below. Simply scroll through taking you on a journey from our policies to the documents that will be the first introduction you have to the individual we will match you with. These will be discussed during the induction zoom meeting we have arranged with you.

Use this slider to discover the documents

The Role

What you do is try to establish a healthy relationship, and one that will be the vehicle for postive health outcomes. You will feed back to us how you think it is going and we will give you guidance on what’s ok and what’s not. This document more of a list of these things to get you of to a good start. Obviously its not exhaustive but we have all the time in the world to let you explore more questions through support and supervision sessions, coaching and reflective practice.

Role description document

The Person

The type of people who volunteer for us come from many different backgrounds and have widely ranging life experiences. We are looking for people who are interested and curious in other peoples lives and people that can converse in a way that is not damaging to the other person. This sounds easy, but we know that its not always that simple. This document gives you an understanding of the qualities that we look for in our volunteers and we will help you to understand the reasons why, or to work towards keeping these in focus whilst volunteering for us.

The Person description

The Boundaries

“Pushing the boundaries” We here this a lot in our line of work. More often than not it is used when someone doesn’t know what the boundaries are in the first place. We will guide you through how to keep within the boundaries of the role and how to explain these to the person you are working with fro the start. That is the purpose of having these documents accessible to you at all times. We have staff with decades of experience of making mistakes and you can pop in now an learn from them all. Starting with this summary here.

Boundaries policy


The Code

This is an organisational policy that covers how we all conduct ourselves. We aim to do more talking than reading around this subject and its impossible to capture every situation that might occur. But we have to start somewhere. While we are representing the organisation it is important that we all have a framework to work from. When it comes to conduct, this is the document that we will refer to. It covers confidentiality, professionalism, seeking advice and things like accepting and giving gifts.

Code of Conduct Policy

The Risk

When we are introduced to the people we work with, we are often given information that refers to the “risk” around that person. It is everyones responsibility to think about health and safety so we introduce this document to you now. However, I ask you to think about what your risk assessment would contain if someone listed all the things you have done whilst intoxicated or when you were at your worst. Then imagine that everyone you met was given a copy of this first and how that would affect the relationship and how you would communicate. This is an introduction to the power imbalance that exists in this relationship. It is also our response to overseeing the health and safety of all the people who work with us and receive our services.

Risk assessment – Outings
Risk assessment – Check in Check out
Risk Assessment – Lone working


The Referral

The referral is the form we receive of the health proffessional or the third sector worker who thinks that the person would benefit from our service. Referring back to Adam Burleys video it is important to think about the language used here and how we interpret this. It is our first job to read this, ideally have a conversation with the referrer to open up the conversation further and go and then go and meet the person and start our own conversation. We are not medical proffessionals, social workers, counsellors or therapists or carers. This one one hand makes it harder to explain what we do it also means we can enjoy a more curious and flexible approach to our conversation. Connect on a human level first.

Referral document


The Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme helps us make sure that we have the right people working and volunteering with us. If you have passed the induction stage and have been asked to send us a PVG form then the link here will take you to volunteer scotland page where you can read up and download the correct form.

If you are not already a member of the PVG scheme click To Join the PVG Scheme.
If you area already a member of the PVG Scheme then click on Existing members.


Check in / Check out Procedure

Please read our Check in / Check out procedure for CARDS volunteer’s visits

Check in / Check out document

External Training

We would also like to bring your attention to some great training that is provided through our NHS and other Partners. You can register for these courses through us and any expenses incurred for attending this training will be reimbursed by Rowan Alba.


Vital Skills in Befriending – Befriending Networks

This training is accessible online. You will receive personalised feedback on your progress from Befriending Networks and CARDS. This training is therefore specific to the CARDS service.

The modules included in this training are:

  1. What is befriending
  2. Values and attitudes in befriending
  3. Communication skills
  4. Building befriending relationships
  5. The matching process
  6. Boundaries and confidentiality
  7. Support and supervision
  8. Roles and responsibilities within befriending
  9. Managing endings
  10. Befrienders as community connectors

Once you have completed all the modules you will receive a certificate from Befriending Networks.

NHS Health Promotion Services

We would also like to bring your attention to some great training that is provided through NHS. You can register for these courses through us and any expenses incurred for attending this training will be reimbursed by Rowan Alba. Registration can be made online but please let us know if you are attending one of these trainings. CARDS admin will send out email reminders to volunteers when training is available in the local area.

Scottish Drugs Forum – Workforce development Program

SDF offer a range of training courses that are core funded by Alcohol and Drug Partnerships, to view available courses in your area please visit the SDF Workforce Development Programme website .

Useful information about volunteering

Ongoing support for learning & development

Volunteer resources & Forms

Covid and volunteering

Getting help from CARDS

Evaluations & reports


Frameworks & Guidance