CY Policies

At Channel Youth we take responsible tourism seriously, we recognise that the work we do can bring significantly negative consequences if our projects or our volunteers are not handled carefully and effectively.  This section spells out our working practices in relation to responsible tourism, to the environment and to health and safety in the field.

Responsible Tourism Policy

In our ground operations we encourage responsibility by:

Using locally owned transport, accommodation, excursion services and restaurants all of which help to boost local economies.

Encouraging and facilitating participants to learn about and integrate with host communities, maintaining their respect for local customs and cultures.

Ensuring our staff are fully informed of and committed to our responsible tourism policy, we also share our policy with the volunteers who join us.

Routinely allocating some of our funds to pay for needed community resources including the renovation and repair of run down community buildings, the building of water tanks, the erection of boundary walls, the resourcing of medical camps and the provision of school books and classroom resources.

We encourage our partners to give volunteers the following pre departure travel advice before arriving at our projects:

Please leave all unnecessary packaging at home.  India has very poor waste disposal facilities.

Read about where you are going, the people and the culture before you arrive, this will help you to be a more sensitive traveller.

Learn a few words of Hindi, we promise you this will be incredibly beneficial once you arrive.

Carbon offset your flight to minimise your impact on the environment.

On arrival we encourage volunteers to:

Save water

Save electricity

Minimize the amount of waste they use

Dispose of any cigarette ends responsibly as they can take years to decompose in the atmosphere and are harmful to plant and animal life.

Stick to existing routes and don’t stray off the beaten track, this can be immensely damaging for plant and animal life.

Minimize noise so as to respect local people and the local wildlife

At all times avoid giving gifts to the young people and adults that attend our projects.  Over the years we have worked hard to dispel myths that westerners are rich and begging is okay.  We believe gift giving encourages dependency which goes against our company ethos.

Avoid purchasing any gifts that are made from animals or artefacts.

Respect local customs and beliefs.

Avoid unwanted attention by wearing suitable clothes for the environment in which you are working.

Respect our local staff they work 24/7 to help you have a nice time. 

Abide by local laws and customs.

Environmental Policy

When moving around at
our projects and on our expeditions we use only established routes, this minimises any negative effects on local flora and fauna.  To save petrol and minimise pollution we keep our vehicles on or nearby our volunteer sites when volunteers are working.  All our vehicles are powered with low polluting gas.

We have in place a number of measures aimed at reducing any negative effects of our presence on local communities.  Before we start work in a community we seek appropriate permission from the authorities and choose project sites where people are genuinely in need.  We hire bilingual ground staff who take time to properly explain to local people the reason for our presence and what we aim to do.  The time that we have awarded to effective communication has positively built our profile and support locally.

We provide all volunteers with a comprehensive orientation and ask each to sign our code of conduct before venturing into the field.  Our orientation includes information on cultural norms and etiquette, including suitable clothing, basic Hindi phrases and awareness raising of the expectations Indian culture places on different roles such as teaching.  Once in the field our bilingual staff are adept at creating understanding and positivity between western volunteers and local people.

We promote the local economy by using only locally grown produce in our food preparation which is bought and used on the day.  We employ staff from the local communities whom we train ourselves.  And we positively discourage the use of plastic bottles because of the negative effect this has on the environment, instead we use water purification systems that provide volunteers with access to clean drinking water.

We attempt to minimise any usage of local medical resources by ensuring our staff are basic first aid trained, and carry a first aid box at all times.  We do not leave equipment and resources in the community when we are not volunteering; this avoids any local disagreements over equipment or materials.  In fact, the whole ethos of Channel Youth is to create community independence i.e. giving people the skills to help themselves.

We encourage careful disposal of litter, the minimisation of waste and careful use of water and electricity.

Health and Safety Policy

At Channel Youth we give Health and Safety our utmost attention; we operate a step by step procedure to minimising and managing risks in the field.

We take utmost care and consideration when choosing project locations and excursion destinations.  We routinely consult the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website to ascertain the latest travel advice and use this to update our Threat Analysis Plan and plan our operations accordingly.

We choose and train our staff carefully.  We have low staff turnover, with each developing specialisms in their respective designations.

We risk assess each of our locations and activities, review these quarterly and provide updates to our partners.  We take all possible identified action to minimise risk.

We forward plan potential incidents, role play our incident management plans and update our procedures accordingly.  We practice our communications plan in the field and ensure that all our staff is aware of their roles and responsibilities in relation to incident management.

We ask our partners to give consideration to the suitability of applicants and ask each as standard to provide an official police check.  This minimises risk to both other volunteers and residents of the vulnerable communities in which we work.  We provide volunteers with comprehensive orientation that highlights potential risks and dangers, along with our own guidance for remaining safe whilst overseas. 

We monitor volunteers during the length of their placement and deal with any issues immediately as they arise.  We prepare and maintain incident reports and feed these to our partners on a routine basis.  Internally we review our procedures on a quarterly basis and make changes to our operations, to improve volunteer service as required.