Staying safe isn't just for volunteers, it's for those who seek to use our volunteers as they need help with everyday living as well. We have produced some top tips below to help you to stay safe while volunteering or using the services of volunteers. Please be aware that this is not formal advice and all volunteers and consumers of volunteer services should make arrangements between each other to work out what's best for all.
STAYING SAFE AS A VOLUNTEER
As a volunteer you have a certain duty to those you are helping. This includes avoiding contact and ensuring no undue spread of the virus.
You also have a duty to yourself to ensure you are not asked to do anything unreasonable or put yourself at risk from either the virus or unscrupulous scammers to whom the fact that they are targeting the kindest hearted of our society is not a concern.
First and foremost, ensure good hand hygene. Wash hands before setting out to begin your volunteering and again when returning home. Use hand sanitizer where available while out and about or when collecting items or money from the person you're helping.
When making deliveries, either place them through the letterbox if possible, in a pre-agreed safe place, or on the doorstep. Ring the bell or knock the door to alert the recipient and immediately retire to a safe distance to ensure that your delivery is received and not stolen from the doorstep.
Never provide your bank details to anyone who states they need help and will "wire you the money for shopping". Unless you already know and trust those you are helping then do not provide any banking details.
If you wish, you may wear a face mask and gloves while carrying out your volunteer work. This is a personal choice.
ADVICE FOR THOSE NEEDING HELP
Try to avoid making face-to-face contact with your volunteer. They should have made contact beforehand and you should have pre-arranged means of exchanging money (if applicable) or services.
Never give anyone money without verifying their identity. Request to see a driving license or some other form of ID to ensure you are not dealing with an opportunist criminal.
Some genuine volunteers may not mind "fronting" the cost of a few essential shopping items until delivery, but some do, it's up to you to arrange this with your volunteer.
Above all. Exercise common sense! If you wouldn't do it with a stranger in the street, don't do it just because someone is a volunteer or says they need help. Follow all applicable UK Government guidance and never put yourself at risk.