Guidance for Volunteers in Hemingford Hub Good Neighbour Scheme during the Covid-19 virus outbreak
Updated 20 April 2020
Thank you for offering to help us as we try to help others. We are so grateful and want you to be safe and well whilst you help us. Please read this document and become familiar with the guidance. It will keep you safer and healthier and will minimise any risks while you help others. We absolutely want and need to avoid spreading Covid-19 to those in need, and vice versa.
The Government guidance puts pressure on us to reduce the number of journeys we make. Please consider this, and where possible COMBINE errands to reduce impact (eg do others’ shopping along with your own, once or twice a week). Always follow social distancing rules. At no point do we enter an 'at risk' resident’s home, unless it is an emergency.
In the course of volunteering, you may learn something about a resident, their health, or contact details. Please treat ALL information in confidence.
In order to identify you as a Hemingford Hub Volunteer, you will be provided with a photo identity card and a lanyard, unless you are a telephone call only volunteer. Please show it to the person you are helping, so they know you are bona fide. Please do not be offended if a person questions who you are, or challenge why you are outside. You are a Hemingford Hub volunteer, going about your errands.
All new volunteers, who are not telephone call only volunteers, will be asked to provide a head and shoulders photograph of themselves (a selfie will do), against a light background, saved as a jpeg and your name. Send it to your Zone Coordinator (we can put you in touch) who will forward it to the Hub, so you are provided with a photo identity card as soon as possible.
Zones and Zone Coordinators
The Hemingfords have been divided into zones to ensure that the aims of the Scheme are delivered as effectively and efficiently as possible. Hemingford Grey is divided into 18 zones, whilst Hemingford Abbots is divided into two zones. All volunteers are part of a zone as close as possible to their own address. Each zone has a Zone Coordinator who is also a volunteer.
The Zone Coordinator will be the main point of contact with the Hub's two Volunteer Managers, who are: Linda Dampney for Hemingford Grey, and Jo Wills for Hemingford Abbots. Both can be contacted via the main Hub number and email.
Keeping your data safe
During the Covid-19 crisis we will be collecting data of name, address and phone number of both volunteers and the 'at risk' residents we are helping.
With the challenge of maintaining a social distance, we can no longer just have a chat, so we need this information in order to be able to keep in touch, to help the 'at risk' group in the best possible way. This data is stored securely in a database. Once this information about 'at risk' residents has been passed on by the volunteer to HemingfordHub for entry into the database and for acting upon, the volunteer should destroy their notes.
During this Covid-19 crisis, where we are trying to identify and help the self-isolated 'at risk' residents, the data protection rules (General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)) have been relaxed. However, we will still endeavor to ask the 'at risk' resident’s permission to collect their name, address and phone number, for the purposes of contacting them to check on their health and wellbeing in this period of self-isolation.
For added reassurance, I am pleased to say that the Hub is an officially recognised volunteer organisation by Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) and that we are working hard to coordinate our efforts in order to offer an effective service and avoid duplicating our efforts.
Whilst volunteering, you may come across vulnerable adults or adults at risk of harm; they should never experience abuse of any kind.
If you should see or hear anything that concerns you whilst you are out and about supporting residents, please report it to Hemingford Hub and we will decide what action, if any, needs to be taken.
There has been a rise in domestic abuse as a result of self-isolation. Or someone may be self-neglecting. Please do not be afraid to pass on any concerns. You will be taken seriously and information will be dealt with confidentially by the Hemingford Hub Safeguarding Officers.
As the ‘lockdown’ progresses there may be people who are finding it difficult to cope with the social isolation. This isolation may affect those who live alone even more than others. If you notice an increase in anxiety levels among those you are helping, please pass on your concerns to the Hub. The Safeguarding Officers for HemingfordHub are: Christine Batter and Riva Elliott. Again, both can be contacted via the Hub phone number and email.
Keeping yourself safe
Here is some guidance to support you whilst you support others:
Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water at regular intervals throughout the day, but especially as soon as you come into your home, and after you have been handling shopping, unpacking shopping, etc. Please remind the resident where you have dropped shopping off, to do the same.
Avoid touching your face and keep your hands away from eyes, mouth and nose to avoid spread of any virus.
If running water and soap is not available (eg you are out running errands), then use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser or wipes to kill any viruses that may be on your hands.
It is up to you if you want to wear a mask*.
Always observe a two metre social distance. Please arrange to help residents online or by phone if you can, and try to avoid contact on people’s doorsteps.