In the event of any volunteer illness, or a change in the political or health climate of a project country, it may be necessary for volunteer evacuation back to the UK. This is not something that has ever occurred on a SKIP project so far, but nonetheless we have systems in place to deal with a situation if it occurs. In this event the first priority will be for volunteers to negotiate with their insurance companies to ensure they are able to arrange flights back to the UK. We recognise that it is possible that volunteers may not have the funds in reserve to be able to buy flights whilst awaiting reimbursement from insurance companies. We therefore have developed a designated pool of money, termed the contingency fund that we can use to make short-term loans to volunteers to enable them to purchase emergency flights. The contingency fund is not in any way a substitute for an insurance policy, and all money volunteers receive from the contingency fund belongs to the charity, and we expect it to be returned in full within a designated time period.
As trustees we are liable for all of the activities of the charity. SKIP has never been involved in any legal action, and we have a robust system of internal governance in place that enables us to monitor the activities of the charity and address any concerns identified. We do however recognise that there is always a potential for mistakes to occur, and in order to protect the organisation in the long term we have two insurance policies in place. These policies are:
- Trustee indemnity insurance, which provides legal protection to the trustees in the event of legal action being taken against the charity
- Public liability insurance, which gives us international protection from any claims made against us for damages occurring as a result of our activities
We primarily fund our insurance policies from fees charged annually to all our members. These fees are greater for volunteers travelling abroad, which reflects the potentially greater risk posed to the charity by overseas activities. These insurance policies protect the charity from legal action – and do not provide any health or travel cover for individual volunteers, all of whom are required to arrange their own travel insurance.
A PDF containing this information is on our resources page