THE FOLLOWING IMPORTANT ADVICE FOR ESTABLISHED AND BECOMING ESTABLISHED CV19 SUPPORT GROUPS IS PROVIDED BY
VOLUNTEER CENTRE WEST BERKSHIRE
ADVICE AND GUIDANCE FOR VOLUNTEERS WHO MAY BE INTERACTING WITH THE MOST VULNERABLE – HOW TO KEEP YOURSELF AND OTHERS SAFE
- Before you volunteer you must make sure you are not a person who is considered vulnerable before you help others. Check the criteria on the NHS website. If you fall into any these categories we appreciate that you want to help and are grateful but please don’t put yourself and others at risk.
- If are a volunteer and you start to feel unwell you must, stay at home and look after yourself first, this will also protect the most vulnerable that we are trying to help.
- Ensure you are familiar with your group’s safeguarding and personal safety policies. Where possible, introduce yourself (carry your ID, driving licenses or corporate ID with you) and let them know which organisation you represent and that you are working as part of West Berkshire Council’s Community Support Hub.
- Volunteers should ensure they have a low chance of becoming infected. Where possible follow social distancing protocol (keeping 2 metres away) and don’t take unnecessary risks. If possible wash your hands or use hand sanitiser gel after every visit.
- If you are visiting a person to find out if they need help, knock on the door then step back, ideally 2m, make them aware of the organisation you represent before asking them what they need assistance with. Make sure their request is for one of these things: food and supplies; collecting prescriptions and medicine; sending or collecting post; check-in calls. Confirm their address and how they can pay. Do not take someone’s bank card. You will need to discuss the exact delivery details with them personally.
- When delivering items Do Not go into any houses. Place the items to be delivered on the doorstep before communicating with the person/family in isolation (call them on the phone, send a text message, ringing the bell or knocking on the door) & take at least 2 meters 3 steps back from the door. Get conformation that the person has received it before you leave. This is to protect both you and the person you are delivering to.
- Take care when handling food/items to minimise contact and try to wash your hands frequently ideally between each drop off or use hand sanitiser (if you have it).
- When you have finished your rounds, and before eating and drinking, thoroughly wash your hands with water and soap for 20 seconds.
General Volunteer Safeguarding Advice
- Let your family and friends know where you are going and what you are doing.
- Remember you can support family, friends and neighbours via video calling them too.
- Don’t take on too much. Sometimes it’s better not to offer than let people down.
- If you have concerns about a neighbour, friend or family member in West Berkshire, please call the Community Support Hub on: 01635 503579 or email on: email@example.com.
- Only share official information given from the main government and NHS sites. If you feel comfortable, challenge misinformation.
- Follow Public Health England advice. Wash your hands regularly, for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your face.
- If you are worried about symptoms, please consult the NHS guidance. If symptoms are severe call NHS 111. Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment. Immediately stop carrying out deliveries or in person support work.
If you are collecting a prescription for someone else, follow NHS guidance. Most prescriptions are sent electronically direct to a pharmacy from the GP surgery and you can collect the medicine on their behalf if the person has told the pharmacy that they are happy for you to do so. In rare cases where paper prescriptions are used, the patient and person collecting will need to fill out an FB10 form.
People volunteer for a variety of reasons:
- help your community
- make new friends
- learn new skills
- make a difference to something you care about
- improve your career prospects
- add variety to your day
- have fun
- build self confidence
- add experience to your CV
Do I need any experience?
No. Voluntary groups welcome people from all backgrounds, and are often willing to train you.
How can I help?
Volunteer Centre West Berkshire have vacancies for an enormous range of activities:
- architecture and building work
- advice work
- business and management
- campaigning and lobbying
- community work
- computers and technology
- finance work
- hostel work
- legal work
- marketing, PR and media
- practical work and DIY
- retail and charity shops
- teaching and training
- under 16 volunteering
Volunteer Centre West Berkshire has a computer database matching system which can match your interests with groups in need of help.
How much time must I give?
That is entirely up to you. You choose what your commitment will be.
Will I lose benefit?
Participation in unpaid voluntary work whilst in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance will not affect your right to benefit, provided that you receive only out-of-pocket expenses and remain available for, and are actively seeking, work.
Even though your benefits will not be affected you must tell Volunteer Centre West Berkshire:
- your Job Centre
- your Social Security Office
- your Local Council if you are receiving Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit
How do I become a volunteer?
Volunteer Centre West Berkshire has a computer database matching system that can match your interests with groups in need of help. We have vacancies for all types of activity with groups in a wide range of sectors, from animals to youth work.
Why not make an appointment to come in for an informal and confidential one-to-one chat to discuss the range of ways that you could become involved? This will enable you to find out all you need to know about the organisations in your area needing help.
To make an appointment, just call on 01635 49004, or complete the online application form, or send an email firstname.lastname@example.org
And if I don't like what I'm doing?
If you are not happy with your placement or do not like a particular aspect of the tasks you have agreed to undertake, please contact us so that we can discuss the issue with you and help to make other arrangements if needed. This may mean looking for voluntary work with another organisation.
Above information available on the Volunteer Centre West Berkshire's website