Oxfordshire County Council: Staying Safe Guidance for Volunteering during COVID-19

We have recently updated the County Council’s staying safe and safeguarding guidance to be in accordance with updated government advice on how volunteers can stay safe and keep others safe while helping-out and to bring this together with Oxfordshire safe-guarding advice which has been frequently requested. This can be found here: Covid-19 Volunteering.

As the situation changes we will keep this guidance under review and up-to-date.

In particular we wish to highlight the main points from the government’s ‘Look after each other campaign’ that includes clear guidance on how to stay safe volunteering. This can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-how-to-help-safely–2/coronavirus-how-to-help-safely.

The key points are:

1. Stay safe as a volunteer

You can leave the house to help someone, for example to take them food and medicine.

If you are doing this, you must:

  • stay outside their home if you do not live with them, especially if they are at a higher risk from coronavirus or have symptoms
  • limit the time you spend outside your home for example by picking up their food or medicine with yours
  • stay 2 meters (6 ft) away if you do not live with them
  • not share a car with them
  • regularly wash your hands with soapy water for at least 20 seconds

If you do not follow this advice, you could put yourself at risk of infection, or risk spreading it to others.

If you or someone in your household starts to show symptoms, or if you are at high risk of severe symptoms yourself, then you must stay at home.

1.1 If you’re worried about someone’s health

Contact the NHS:

If you are worried about someone’s mental health, tell them to get help and support from Every Mind Matters.

2. Stay safe if a volunteer is helping you

Read the guidance on staying at home.

If a volunteer is helping you while you stay at home:

  • do not give them your credit or debit card numbers or other financial information
  • ask for ID if someone you do not know calls at your home
  • only share your phone number or address if you need to
  • only give your information on a need-to-know basis
  • do not let them pressure you into giving information

Remember that volunteers should not enter your home.

If you have serious concerns about the behaviour of someone who is helping you, report this to the police.”