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Appropriate boundaries policy


We are committed to the health and safety of all of our staff and volunteers.  In order to ensure a safe and supportive environment for all members, volunteers and staff, the Sunnybank Trust believes that staff and volunteers need to observe appropriate boundaries in their relationships with members and their relatives, friends, visitors and representatives.


If behaviour outside those boundaries is deemed not appropriate, further action may be taken by the manager to ensure the best of interest of all parties involved. 

We recognise that it is often difficult to draw precise lines defining appropriate behaviour, so we encourage our volunteers and staff to be transparent in their dealings with Sunnybank members and others and to discuss with managers any ambiguities which arise.


The starting point is that the needs of our members should be at the centre of our service delivery; any relationship which might threatens that objective should be questioned.  


  1. Aim of the Policy  

The aim of this policy is to lay down the principles and values underlying our approach to appropriate boundaries in relationships with Sunnybank members, their relatives, friends, visitors and representatives. 


     2.       The Parties Involved  

  •  Staff  

This policy applies to all staff of Sunnybank, including temporary staff and volunteers.  


  • Sunnybank members 

The term members is used in this policy to include those who use or have used Sunnybank services current and anyone whose contact with the organisation is concerned with their being or having been a user or potential user of Sunnybank services.  


  • People associated with Sunnybank members  

This policy includes relationships with people directly associated with Sunnybank members in a personal capacity — their relatives, friends, visitors and representatives.  


     3. Appropriate Boundaries  

Sunnybank relationships must be distinguished from personal relationships. Although we believe that staff can quite properly gain satisfaction from developing and sustaining relationships with Sunnybank members, the key consideration should always be the needs of the Sunnybank member rather than the personal or mutual satisfactions which characterise personal relationships.


Staff and volunteers must therefore on occasions hold back from allowing a relationship to develop a dimension or to a degree which they personally would find satisfying, in the interests of ensuring that the needs of the Sunnybank members remain paramount.  

Any member of staff or volunteer who feels that a relationship is developing which might be judged inappropriate, should discuss the situation with their manager.


The action to be taken may include varying the staff member’s duties in order to limit contact with that person, discussing the situation frankly with the person in order to re-establish appropriate boundaries, or in extreme circumstances controlling an individual’s contacts with Sunnybank.  

To ensure personal safety and appropriate boundaries; 

  • All staff must read and understand the Sunnybank Safeguarding policy. 

  • All volunteers must read and comply with the Volunteer Dos and Don’t sheet. 

  • Personal details including home address, personal emails and social media contacts should NOT be given or shared with Sunnybank members. 

  • No Sunnybank volunteer should accept, offer or take a Sunnybank member to their home. 

  • When visiting a Sunnybank member, all volunteers should comply with the processes outlined in the Lone working policy  

  • Ref Social media policy – all staff members must read and comply with the Social Media policy. 


     4. Action Outside the Work Situation  

Although we do not in general seek to regulate the private behaviour of staff and volunteers, we recognise that on occasions an individual’s behaviour outside the activities of the Sunnybank Trust may call into question their suitability to work with the charity.


t is the responsibility of all staff and volunteers therefore to behave, both at work and outside, in ways which uphold their own credibility and the Sunnybank Trusts reputation.  


      5. Training and support 

All staff and volunteers will be encouraged to read this policy and related policies as part of their induction process and will be provided with training on professional boundaries.


Other Sunnybank policies that may be used in conjunction with this policy include; Safeguarding policy, Whistle blowing policy, Social Media policy and Stress policy. 

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