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 (Birmingham City Council Public Health Division and BVSC) (22/05/2020): Read more
- Basic infection Prevention Control (IPC) for people shielding and receiving food boxes or taking transport (Association of Directors of Public Health):Read more
- Basic infection Prevention Control (IPC) when preparing and delivering food boxes (Association of Directors of Public Health): Read more
- Safeguarding and DBS Factsheet: FAQs (Disclosure and Barring Service) Read more
- DBS Applications and Fast-track Barred List check service (Disclosure and Barring Service): Read more:
- Safeguarding responsibilities. Follow the guidance from Birmingham Safeguarding Adults Board: Download BSAB Advice (opens in pdf).
- How to Help Safely (Cabinet Office): Read more:
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Birmingham City Council's Scenario Guidance for the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Read more
- Update on plans to support access to PPE Equipment across the health and care system (Department of Health & Social Care). Read more