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Advice for informal voluntary groups to help protect volunteers and public

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Click here to read information on the status of Community Action Norfolk's Services. As well as links to other information and advice
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This information is designed for informal voluntary groups, to help them maintain the safety of the volunteers they are managing during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as those they are trying to help.

Along with Norfolk Community Foundation, Voluntary Norfolk and Momentum we are coordinating Norfolk’s COVID-19 volunteering response. If you would like to be part of a registered and insured Good Neighbours Scheme Response Team email [email protected]. Volunteers can also register here for other vital roles. 

Boundaries 

  • Decide the type of help and amount of time you are able to give to volunteering and stick to this 
  • Share only the information you feel comfortable to share and no more than is needed to do your role 
  • If you are providing telephone support, you can keep your number private by dialing 141 before the number you are calling 
  • Don’t do anything you feel uncomfortable with. 
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    Confidentiality and data protection 

  • Be aware that you could be given personal data. This is any information about a person which can identify them to others, in any format eg their name, address etc 
  • Don’t discuss or share data or information about the support you are providing, except with those who need to know to aid you with your volunteering 
  • Store data as securely as you can i.e. by password protecting it and keep it in one place where possible 
  • Delete data securely once you have finished with it - shred / burn any physical documents 
  • The only exception to discussing and sharing personal data is where there may be a safeguarding risk to an individual. For example if you have concerns about the safety of a child or vulnerable adult (see below) 
  • Be aware of your responsibilities and use a common-sense approach! 
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    Safeguarding 

  • Safeguarding means protecting someone’s right to live in safety, free from abuse or neglect 
  • Everyone has a responsibility to look out for others. If you think someone is not safe or could be being abused in some way, then you should report this to the Norfolk  Safeguarding Adults Team (tel. 0344 800 8020). In an emergency, call 999 
  • If the person you are concerned for talks to you about their wellbeing, take time to listen carefully and don’t ask probing or leading questions. You may be the first  person they have told 
  • For more information, please visit the Norfolk Adult Safeguarding Board website and the  Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership website. 
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    Health and Safety 

  • Follow current guidance on washing your hands (ie for at least 20 seconds with soap and water) coughing into a tissue and staying 2 metres apart from others not in your family home 
  • If you are dropping items off at people’s homes, leave items on a doorstep, knock and stand back. If you are exchanging items, make sure both of you wash your hands. There is information about cleaning items available on the internet. 
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    Gifts 

  • Do not accept or ask for a loan from anyone you are supporting 
  • Do not get involved in making a will with anyone you support 
  • Do not accept substantial gifts from anyone you support (a modest gift like flowers or chocolates is okay!) 
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    Volunteering is so rewarding but for everyone to get the best from it it must be carried out safely. Thank you for helping your neighbours during this pandemic. 

    Useful contact numbers 

  • Norfolk Safeguarding Team        0344 800 8020
  • Age UK Norfolk                              0300 500 1247
  • Carers Matter                                0800 083 1148
  • Citizens Advice Bureau                03444 111 444
  • Community Action Norfolk         01362 698216
  • National Dementia Helpline       0300 222 1122
  • NHS Direct                                     111
  • Samaritans                                    116 123
  • Trussell Trust Foodbanks            01603 251733 (Norwich area) /  01362 850624 (Mid-Norfolk)
  • POhWER (Patient Advocacy)       0300 456 2370
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