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Our Ethics

Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham

AVOW have adopted this Code of Ethics from the Charity Commission.

The Charity Commission sets out the key ethical principles and supporting actions that AVOW should take to ensure an ethical approach to our work. This is a key responsibility for all AVOW personnel – trustees, staff and volunteers – who should all actively consider the code in their everyday work.

Beneficiaries First

Charities have a responsibility to carry out their purposes for the public benefit. The interests of their beneficiaries and the causes they work for should be at the heart of everything charities and those who work and volunteer in and with them do.

This means charities should:

  • Be clear what their purpose is and who or what their beneficiaries are.
  • Carry out their purpose to provide the greatest benefit to their beneficiaries and their cause, regardless of whether this might initially have a negative impact on the reputation or operation of the charity or its leadership.
  • When working with beneficiaries, ensure that their views and experiences are actively listened to and taken account of as part of how the charity operates, facilitating engagement and communication.
  • Ensure that all relevant policies and procedures are drawn up with the interests of beneficiaries in mind.


Charities and those who work and volunteer in and with them should uphold the highest level of institutional integrity and personal conduct at all times.

This means charities should:

  • Ensure appropriate systems are in place to help guarantee that all of its decisions are robust, defensible and free from conflicts of interest.
  • Consider the effect of activities conducted in private life on the reputation of the charity and of charities generally.
  • Ensure their resources are managed responsibly and their funds are properly protected, applied and accounted for, including policies and procedures to combat the risk of bribery, fraud, corruption and extortion.
  • Exercise due diligence in understanding the ethical standards of commercial partners and individuals, to seek support or collaboration from those with ethical values that are consistent with those of the charity.
  • Be sensitive to the impact of their activities on both the natural and human environment by making responsible use of their resources, adopting sustainable working practices and undertaking initiatives to promote environmental responsibility.


Charities should create a culture and space where donors and supporters, as well as the wider public, can see and understand how they work, how they deal with problems when they arise and how they spend their funds.

This means charities should operate on the presumption of openness and transparency;  complying with existing legal and regulatory requirements, charities should be willing to share information about how they work, ensuring it is easily accessible.

Publish, or (for the very smallest charities) at least make available on request:

  • Annual reports: explaining how the charity’s purpose and values are being fulfilled
    their approach to safeguarding, bullying and harassment
  • Their complaints procedure
  • Their whistleblowing policy.
  • Establish clear lines of responsibility and accountability for all their work, both internally and externally where applicable.

Right to be safe

Every person who volunteers with, works for or comes into contact with a charity should be treated with dignity and respect, and feel that they are in a safe and supportive environment.

This means charities should:

  • Stand against and have a clear approach to prevent abuse of trust and power including bullying, intimidation, harassment, discrimination or victimisation in all their activities.
  • Create a culture that supports the reporting and resolution of allegations, suspicions or concerns about abuse of any kind or inappropriate behaviour.
  • Ensure that anyone working or volunteering for the charity understands the expectations placed upon them, and provide the relevant training to support them in meeting their responsibilities.
  • Ensure that anyone who works or volunteers in the charity has access to proper support and advice if they experience or witness unacceptable behaviour, raise a concern or make an allegation about the actions of others or don’t feel safe.
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