Advice for Volunteers

We will be updating advice for volunteers helping people in need in their communities as we receive guidance disseminated from local authorities.

Local authority updates on coronavirus and the services in their areas can be found below:

Click on the links below to see other latest advice:

Leicester City Council Advice for Volunteers

Preparation and Delivery of Food Parcels

It is important that those who come to a food bank or receive food parcels stay safe. It is equally important that those volunteering their time to prepare or deliver food parcels and those donating food items are protected.

If your voluntary work is focused on preparing or delivering food parcels to vulnerable individuals, please read our additional guidance on infection control.

If you know someone who cannot currently afford food or cannot get out to buy food, and has no-one that can do this for them, please contact:

We want to thank all our volunteers for their support and willingness to help our communities during these difficult and challenging times.

Who can volunteer?

For your and other people’s safety, you can only volunteer if:

· You are well and have no symptoms like a cough or high temperature and nobody in your household does.

· You are under 70.

· You are not pregnant.

· You do not have any long-term health conditions that make you vulnerable to coronavirus.

What might volunteering involve?

Volunteering roles may be varied and will depend on the needs of the community and local area. Examples could include:

· Delivering food parcels to vulnerable people in the community.

· Picking up shopping for those that cannot leave their home.

· Dog walking if people are unable to get out themselves.

· Providing a friendly phone call service to help people that may be feeling isolated.

· Posting mail.

It's also not just about neighbours or people in the community who are self-isolating or vulnerable. Other people in the community who might also appreciate help are:

• Stretched medical staff and volunteers.

• Staff and volunteers in key worker roles.

• Supermarket workers.

• Delivery drivers.

If you have offered to help other people, please do not place yourself in a position where you may feel unsafe, for instance helping late at night.

Things to consider when offering help

People who are local volunteers should carefully consider any activity they wish to undertake. Try to avoid taking on too many activities as it is important that you prioritise your own health and wellbeing.

When thinking about how you could offer support as a volunteer, it is important to consider the following points for your health and safety:

· Let family and friends know what you are doing and where you are going.

· Minimise the time spent outside of your home and always stay at least 2 metres away from other people. Refrain from entering another person’s home unless absolutely necessary.

· Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with soap and water during the course of your activities. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Ensure that you wash your hands as soon as you get home.

· Make sure you follow good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze, then dispose of the tissue immediately.

· If you become aware that someone you are supporting has any significant needs that are not being met, speak to your supervisor and follow standard safeguarding procedures. The Council’s Contact and Response team may be able to advise, please contact:

Volunteers must also take care of their own mental wellbeing

This is an anxious time for everybody, and it is okay to feel concerned about the future. The charity Mind has suggested a number different of ways to take care of your mental health and wellbeing, including:

• Connecting with people by phone or digitally e.g. making plans to video chat with people that you would normally see in person.

• Planning a daily routine.

• Eating well and staying hydrated.

• Building physical activity in your daily routine such as dancing to music, cleaning your home and following online exercise workouts.

• Leaving the house once a day for exercise, even if just for a short walk (but stay at least 2 metres away from other people). Obviously do not leave the house if you have been advised to isolate completely.

• If news stories make you feel anxious, think about switching off any notifications, or reducing your time on social media.

• Find ways to relax and be creative at home.

If you are feeling unwell

If you are beginning to feel unwell, it is important that you do not prioritise the needs of others over the need to stop the spread of the virus. If you are feeling unwell or are living with someone who has developed symptoms, stay at home, contact your volunteer co-ordinator or organisation and let them know so they can assign the task to another volunteer.

Please follow the Government advice:

• If you develop a new continuous cough and/ or have a temperature, however mild, then you must stay at home for 7 days (from when the symptoms started).

• If anyone in your household has symptoms, then you must stay at home for 14 days (from the date that they developed symptoms). • Please always refer to NHS guidance: and wash your hands with soap and water regularly, for at least 20 seconds.




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