Our advice & guidance - volunteering during Covid-19
We understand that there is a desire and a need to help others during unprecedented times and with Covid-19 affecting the most vulnerable and stretching the resources of the NHS and their staff, there are now many volunteers looking to give their time to support in any way they can.
If you are an individual wanting to volunteer to support your local community, either individually or as part of an organised group. There are many ways to help, but it is important it is done safely for all involved.
It is vital to remember that you must stay home to protect the NHS and save lives, except for very limited purposes. While you can still provide care or help to a vulnerable person, you must avoid all non-essential contact.
We have provided some clear guidelines, set out by Public Health England, Birmingham City Council and BVSC, below in how to keep yourself and others safe as well as important information around volunteering during this period.
Advice for anyone, in any setting is to follow these guidelines:
- The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or high temperature. If you have these symptoms, however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started (if you live alone), or 14 days (if you live with someone who has symptoms). You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
- Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that's all you have access to.
- To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don't have a tissue, and throw the tissue in a bin immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.
- Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.
Volunteer Guidelines have been issued by Birmingham City Council (Public Health Division) and BVSC (27/3/2020) Read more
Support for people preparing/delivering food or doing medicine drops: Condensed guidelines produced by Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH):
- Basic infection Prevention Control (IPC) to support people who are shielding and receiving food boxes or taking transport. Read more
- Basic infection control Prevention Control (IPC) to support shielding when preparing and delivering food boxes. Read more
Safeguarding and DBS Factsheet: FAQs (Disclosure and Barring Service) Read more
Government Guidance (27/3/20) around free-of-charge applications and our new fast-track Barred List check service, in response to COVID-19. Read more:
Find out about your safeguarding responsibilities. Follow the guidance from Birmingham Safeguarding Adults Board: Download BSAB Advice (opens in pdf).
Government Guidance on How to Help Safely (26/3/30) when providing care or help to a vulnerable person. Read more