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.

How changes in restrictions at Step 1B in the Roadmap out of lockdown (29th March) impact volunteering (Source: DCMS)

From 29th March, at Step 1B of the Roadmap out of lockdown, people will no longer be legally required to stay at home, meaning people will no longer be legally required to undertake their volunteer role from home unless they cannot reasonably do so. From this date forward, people should continue to volunteer from home where possible and they can leave home to volunteer if they are not required to self-isolate for any reason.

  • People can meet in groups of any size, indoors or outdoors, while volunteering. 
  • Volunteering which cannot be done from home can continue in 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.
  • Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs and holiday lets, which are otherwise ordered to close, are 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 safer travel guidance

Read the latest Government guidance here.

When you can leave home
You must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’. Read more here.

A ‘reasonable excuse’ includes:
Volunteering – you can also leave home to provide voluntary or charitable services.
Essential activities – you can leave home to buy things at shops or obtain services. You may also leave your home to do these things on behalf of a disabled or vulnerable person or someone self-isolating.
– Meeting others and care – You can leave home to visit people in your support bubble ( if you are legally permitted to form one), to provide informal childcare for children under 14 as part of a childcare bubble (for example, to enable parents to work, and not to enable social contact between adults), to provide care for disabled or vulnerable people, to provide emergency assistance, to attend a support group (of up to 15 people), or for respite care where that care is being provided to a vulnerable person or a person with a disability, or is a short break in respect of a looked-after child.
For full details click here

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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