Portland Foodbank is committed to an ethos based upon the understanding that God is love, He is good, and He loves the world. Christ has commanded we love Him first and then our neighbour as ourselves. All we do comes from that basic understanding and motivates us to share the good news of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection as the way of obtaining a relationship with God. Portland Foodbank is but one expression of God’s love for people through which we aim to open doors for the good news into the hearts of anyone who will receive it.
- Freedom. We acknowledge that all people are free to believe according to the convictions of their hearts. We will therefore never cajole, require, or push others to believe what we do. However, we will speak openly and courageously with anyone who expresses a genuine desire to know more about a relationship with God, the good news of Jesus Christ, our attitudes, values and the reason for the hope we have. We are committed to maintaining each other’s freedom to choose what to believe. We recognise that what we believe determines what we say and how we act. We will treat foodbank clients, volunteers and supporters fairly and equally regardless of gender, ethnicity, faith and ability.
- Responsibility. We believe that with freedom comes responsibility and we understand that each of our actions, has an appropriate consequence, both positive and negative. As Christians, we believe that our responsibility is to love God, all people and ourselves – there is no law against this. We will therefore take responsibility for our behaviour, and the success of the Portland Foodbank project. We will also therefore aim to encourage, honour, and bless other volunteers and clients. Negative, critical, dishonest, or unloving behaviour by volunteers will be challenged, in a positive, and supportive way. Abusive, violent or any other behaviour by clients that threaten the welfare of volunteers, will also be challenged appropriately, in order to protect all parties.
- Training. Portland Foodbank is committed to the understanding that we are all learning and growing in different areas of our lives and that we are obligated not only to continue to learn and grow but also that we will be available to help others learn and grow. We will therefore share information and reasons for policies, procedures, and processes as openly as possible (within the constraints of the Confidentiality Policy), as well as being ready and happy to receive feedback and advice.
We recognise that we will all make mistakes from time to time but as volunteers, we commit to care for one another and support one another through difficulties, trials or mistakes with integrity, discretion, faith, and compassion.
- Serving. We commit to serving one another and our clients, with humility, grace, and a loving attitude of respect, regardless of gender, age, marital status, race, beliefs, sexual orientation, or physical and mental ability. We also recognise the value of all those who serve, from the newest volunteer to the most senior manager – Portland Foodbank commits to value, respect, train and protect the welfare of all volunteers.
- Team working. We understand that we can achieve more together than on our own and commit to the principle of working together in teams for our protection and greatest efficiency. In addition to working together within the organisation of Portland Foodbank, we commit to working with and building links with churches, community groups and other agencies, for the benefit of the Portland Food Bank and our clients. We will work in partnership where possible with the other foodbanks.
- Trust. We understand that all relationships are built upon trust. Above all, we commit to building good relationships wherever we are given the opportunity, and therefore we aim to be trustworthy. In pursuit of this value, we will be transparent, accountable, and open to scrutiny. We have agreed to work under the banner of the charities commission working in conjunction with “Christians Working Together on Portland” and will voluntarily submit regular reports and accounts in addition to submitting financial accounts to independent auditors in accordance with the charity commission guidelines.
- Law. We understand that we are subject to UK law and see it as a positive force, designed to protect us and those we serve. We agree to abide by the requirements of UK law and best practise, especially with regard to UK Charity law, accountancy procedures and safeguarding. We believe that our practises, policies and procedures should attain to a standard above that of the law – we believe that love is a higher ideal than law.
Version 2.0, Oct 2021