Test Valley Community Support Helpline Volunteer Guidelines

April 2, 2020

Volunteer Guidelines
(not suitable for anyone who is vulnerable or displaying symptoms)
These are guidelines for anyone volunteering to support the community response to Covid 19 across Test Valley. The following advice applies to all those supporting neighbours or relatives to ensure that we help reduce the possibility of contracting the virus:

  • Once a request for help is received, information will be relayed to the volunteer. This will give general information regarding where the person lives, what they need help with and timings for when they need help.
  • You will be told whether the person you are supporting is self- isolating through choice or has the Covid-19 virus. On the basis of that response you must then make the decision whether you wish to proceed. Please consider your own family and their needs.
  • If you agree to the task you will be given the person’s specific details (name and address and phone number if applicable) and you will need to agree/confirm a password you will use to announce yourself when you get to their home – don’t forget these are the older and/or vulnerable members of our community who need to be reassured about your identity. Unity can help with a password if necessary. For Data Protection purposes, do not share this information with anyone else. 
  • When you arrive at the person’s house, please introduce yourself as ‘Hello, I am ### from Unity Self Isolation Help team and my password is ###’. If you forget your password, let us know but don’t knock on someone’s door without the password please – we are trying to safeguard the vulnerable members of our society and ensure they feel safe.
  • Before you engage in the task (delivering shopping, food, medication etc.) please ensure that you have washed your hands and that you wear gloves before interaction with the person. If you do not have gloves then apply hand gel before and after you have engaged with the person requiring help. Do not touch your face throughout your interaction with the person. Once you return home, ensure that you wash your hands thoroughly again.
  • When you knock the door, please leave anything that you have brought on the doorstep then move back two metres. Do not move towards the person when the door is opened and if the person’s health or wellbeing gives cause for concern, you or the person you are visiting, should telephone 111 or look at the NHS Coronavirus page on the web. Do not physically interact with the person. 
  • Do not enter the person’s home at any point – even if you know them well. You will be putting yourself and others at risk. We are not DBS checked volunteers and you are putting yourself, and others at risk if you enter a person’s home. We cannot stress this enough.
  • Do not take anything from the person receiving your support – there is a risk of contamination to both parties.
  • DO NOT take cash from the service user – any payments for goods will need to be made in advance by contacting our office. 
  • If your visit is taking place after 6pm, or if the person has been deemed as a high risk, which you will be notified about in advance, you will need to visit in a pair, not as a lone volunteer.
  • DO NOT GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE AT ANY POINT.

Things to remember:
You will be engaging with potentially vulnerable members of our society.  Some may not be able to communicate their needs effectively and some may be scared.  We are relying on you to be patient and understanding.  If you feel that you cannot handle a particular task, that is fine, message the Admin Team and we will help.
DO NOT give medical advice to anyone that you are visiting.  Please refer people to call 111 or look at the NHS Coronavirus page.  Whilst people may be worried and unsure, we are not medical professionals and must not give medical advice.
 

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