Covid-19 information for volunteers/Mutual Aid Groups

Thank you to everyone who has answered the call to help during these unprecedented times. You are all amazing! The Team at CW Voluntary Action is here to help any volunteers/community goodwill/Mutual aid groups. We have put together these tips with the help of a number of different resources. While we’ve tried to make sure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, the situation with COVID-19 is changing all the time. Please keep in touch with us for the latest information and guidance.

Update on Volunteering and Covid (Source: DCMS)

Coronavirus restrictions changed on 17th May at Step 3 in the Roadmap. Exemptions from restrictions remain the same for volunteering, which means:

  • People can meet in groups of any size, indoors or outdoors, while volunteering, and can meet in groups for activities necessary for their volunteering roles, for example recruitment and training activities.  
  • Volunteering which cannot be done from home can continue in a closed business or venue while it remains closed to the public.
  • Businesses, venues, community centres and libraries which are otherwise required to close or restrict their activities are permitted to open and be used, including by volunteers, for a number of specific purposes only set out on GOV.UK. These are also set out in legislation.
  • Accommodation, such as hotels and B&Bs, which is otherwise ordered to close, is permitted to open for people who need to stay for volunteering purposes.

As ever, people should follow social distancing guidance while volunteering outside the home, or COVID-secure guidance if in a workplace. While travelling to volunteer or while volunteering, people should follow the safer travel guidance on GOV.UK.

GOV.UK guidance setting out how volunteering can be done safely during coronavirus is up to date with the current restrictions. This includes guidance for volunteers and for organisations/groups which involve volunteers in their work. 

Twice-weekly testing offer

Everyone in England without symptoms can now take a free rapid coronavirus test twice a week. The expanded regular testing offer for people without symptoms is delivered through:

  • a home ordering service (which can be accessed on GOV.UK)
  • workplace testing programmes, on-site or at home
  • community testing, offered by all local authorities
  • collection at a local PCR test site during specific test collection time windows
  • testing on-site at schools and colleges
  • a new ‘Pharmacy Collect’ service where people will be able to collect a box of 7 rapid tests to use twice a week at home.

Government advice is that people who need to leave the home to work or volunteer should be tested twice a week.

How volunteers can best be engaged and supported during the covid-19 pandemic

Where to get support for vulnerable people in west Cheshire.

NHS guidance 

Government guidance 

Safeguarding and DBS checks for volunteers

Safeguarding beneficiaries of your support group
The following tasks are not deemed to be regulated activity and do not require a DBS check:
· Shopping for those who are isolating
· Picking up prescriptions
· Posting mail
· Dog walking
· Driving (with the exception of transporting patients)
· Befriending

Regulated activities include transporting, teaching and caring; including personal care to those who are vulnerable due to age, illness or disability.
If your volunteers are undertaking roles that require DBS, more information can be found here.

Volunteering at home or remotely Ideas for young people working towards a Duke of Edinburgh award.

Logo to download if you are a volunteer 

The Council’s COVID-19 helpline is still available from 8am to 7pm, Monday to Friday and 9am to 12.30pm on a Saturday. Call: 0300 123 7031.

CWP Mental Health helpline 0800 145 6485. The helpline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is open to people of all ages – including children and young people across Cheshire and Wirral. 

The council’s Live Well websiteis being continuously updated with services and suppliers which will help you help your neighbours. This includes local food deliveries. 

Excellent advice on involving and managing volunteersduring the coronavirus outbreak – including paying for goods or services 

Food safety for community cooking and food banks: Hygiene and allergy advice for individuals and groups preparing meals to share in their community.

Walking someone else’s dog during coronavirus 
Measures introduced to reduce the spread of Covid 19 means that a lot of dog owners may not be able to walk their dog so could be relying upon others for help. If you have offered to walk someone else’s dog here is some guidance to help keep everyone safe. 

Tips for telephone befriending

Free training for coronavirus volunteers from the British Red Cross

How to get your prescription during the Coronavirus outbreak

Your NHS prescriptions, delivered for free

Co-op gift card

Asda volunteer card

Sainsbury’s gift card

Post Office cash products available to help self-isolating individuals during coronavirus pandemic

How to avoid scams

Insurance for volunteer drivers

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