Within this pack you will find:
Current government guidance
Hygiene best practice
Is Personal Protective Equipment
Top tips for setting up a
volunteers’ group
Volunteer guidance
Helping with safe shopping for
those self-isolating
Fraud awareness
Quick wins
Are you thinking of providing
food in the community?
Tell us when you’re all set up
Social media advice
Community Engagement
Useful links
Example templates/forms
Due to the ongoing nature of the
situation, information within this
pack is subject to change. We’ll try
and keep it updated as much as
possible but please keep checking
for the latest government advice
and guidance.
We have been really humbled and heartened, but not
surprised, to see so many communities respond with such
resilience and strength to the ongoing and fast developing
COVID-19 situation.
We have seen many excellent examples throughout the county
of how to mobilise help and support for those who need it
most in our communities, whether they’re social distancing, self-isolating or
facing any other difficult circumstances. Therefore, we thought it would be
useful to share some of these examples with you, should you want to do the
same in your own community.
As a council we do not want to step in and take over the groups that have been
set up, and many may not need or want help from us. One of our main aims
has always been to see communities help themselves, and we’ve borne witness
to that in heart-warming abundance recently. Our role is to offer support and
guidance where required and be there for you should we be needed or called
upon. The only positive to this horrible situation is that we’re all in it together,
and the collective spirit of people looking out for one another that we’re seeing
throughout Wiltshire’s communities will see us through this crisis, I am in no
doubt of that.
The government has just announced details on how to help people who
need it while the stay at home restrictions are in place. Please take a look as
this will affect your volunteering –
We hope you find this pack useful and I’d like to thank everyone who has
shared the work of their volunteer groups so far with us, it is really appreciated.
Cllr Philip Whitehead
Leader of Wiltshire Council
In its latest guidance, the government say:
Volunteering will be crucial in the response to
coronavirus and people have not been stopped from
doing this.
However, volunteering that requires going out
of the house is now only permitted in certain
circumstances. If you are well and are not at risk
from coronavirus you can undertake essential
activities including:
Delivering food
Helping people with their medical needs, such as
picking up prescriptions
Providing essential care or to help a vulnerable
person or person(s), including through essential
public and voluntary services, such as food banks,
homeless services, and blood donation sessions
Fore the full guidance, please visit
Good hygiene is the first line of protection against
COVID-19. Public Health England says:
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.
We do not recommend the use of facemasks as
an effective means of preventing the spread of
infection. Facemasks play an important role in
clinical settings, such as hospitals, but there’s
very little evidence of benefit from their use
outside of these settings
These are also not necessary, as good
handwashing and regular use of gel offers just as
good protection as gloves can still carry germs,
so they can still infect you if you touch your face
while wearing them
Is wearing rubber gloves out
in public an effective way in
preventing coronavirus infection?
Regular hand washing
offers more protection
against catching COVID-19
than wearing rubber gloves
You can still pick up
COVID-19 contamination on
rubber gloves. If you then
touch your face, this can be
transfered and infect you.
Identify a core team to run the group – we wouldn’t
recommend one person taking on all the responsibility.
Ensure roles are clearly identified, such as volunteer
coordinator, promoter of group, link person to other
services etc.
Clearly set out your priorities – what do you want to do
and achieve? More importantly, what can’t you do?
Do some research – don’t duplicate the work of other
volunteer groups covering your patch – see what’s
being done and establish what value you can add
or additional services you can provide. Speak to our
Community Engagement Managers (contact details
found within this pack). Also, take a look out our
Community Group Directory –
All new volunteers will be supported by group/name
organiser to ensure they fully understand their volunteer
role and the boundaries which need to be put in place
due to COVID-19, such as volunteer agreement, health
and safety, lone working, confidentiality, safeguarding,
handling money, confidentiality.
Create a basic volunteer registration form that also sets
out the do’s and don’t’s of your group including safety
and confidentiality arrangements.
Make your presence known to other local organisations/
services so you can coordinate resources as much as
possible – such as GP surgeries, parish councils, local
charities – people will not likely want to be bombarded
from lots of different groups.
Get a system in place that allows remote working – set
up conference calls using FaceTime, Skype or Zoom.
Use WhatsApp or similar messaging services – it allows
you to communicate remotely in real time – here’s a
useful guide to setting up a WhatsApp group if you have
never done it –
Create material within your local community to tell
them about the service you are providing (examples
found in the ‘templates’ section). It just needs to be a
simple, clear one-sheet of information.
Create clear volunteer identification badges/cards distributed
from a central point so people are clear of your roles.
Where possible set up a new interdependent email address
and a central phone number. This makes it simpler for
people. The number can be transferred to different people
at different times so it’s not just one person’s responsibility to
take all the calls.
Create a log/spreadsheet of requests which will allow you to
manage priorities and identify gaps.
Treat clients’ information in the strictest confidence, in line
with General Data Protection Regulations 2018.
Provide some simple manual handling advice to your
In the work you do, don’t put yourselves at risk of contracting
Have first aid procedures and ensure you keep a first aid book.
Finally, look out for one another – this is a difficult time for
everyone so regularly check that your team members are ok
and ask if they need to talk.
It’s vital your volunteers feel safe and secure in carrying out their
important role. Below is some voluntary guidance that’s been
shared with us that we hope you find useful, particularly for
when assisting anyone in self-isolation:
Always pre-arrange visits with people – don’t ever cold call.
No physical contact with the person (s) you are assisting –
remain two metres apart from them at all times.
Discuss with the group organiser or person you are
supporting, the best way to exchange money (so the process
is open and transparent and can be easily scrutinised if
challenged). Try and not deal with cash.
Do not enter their house – leave the shopping/medication at
the door (having let them know you are there).
If a different help is being provided, such as dog walking,
agree the terms with the individual you are helping.
If in doubt please don’t do it and never put yourself at risk.
Simply say the request for help will be passed on and we will
get back to them.
Ensure before and after your volunteering you wash your
hands with soap and water or use hand gel.
Information from Communities Prepared
Vulnerable persons doorstep check:
Have they got enough food?
Are they warm/cool enough?
Are friends and family helping them?
Do they have enough medicines to last over the next
few days?
If your local shop can take over the phone
payments here is another way:
Self-isolator phones the shopper with a shopping list or
posts it on social media.
The shopper phones the self-isolator and agrees a
ceiling figure for the cost of the groceries.
The shopper picks up the shopping from the local store
shelves and goes to check-out.
The shopper phones self-isolator at home and hands
phone over to check-out.
Self-isolator gives card details for over the phone
payment to check-out.
Shopper leaves shopping on doorstep with receipts.
If the self-isolator does online banking they can
pay the shopper by bank transfer for them doing
their shopping:
Self-isolator phones shopper or posts a shopping list on
street social media page.
The shopper phones the self-isolator and agrees a
ceiling figure for the cost of the groceries .
The shopper purchases the shopping up to agreed limit
and asks for two receipts.
The shopping is left on the self-isolators doorstep by
the shopper with one of the receipts and their sort code
and bank account number.
The self-isolator pays the amount noted on the receipt
via BACS transfer to the shopper.
Find out in your local community which shops,
restaurants and pubs are offering a take-away service
and collate all the details and arrangements for residents.
If some aren’t providing that service, could you help
them facilitate it?
Collate all key local numbers/contacts in one place that
is accessible for residents.
On your website have some downloadable signs for
anyone to use if they wish to indicate to visitors their
status (i.e. self-isolating) or simple text for them to copy
handwritten on paper.
Look to do relatively small tasks that could have a big
impact – phoning someone who is self-isolating or social
distancing just to check they’re ok could make their day.
Wiltshire Council is fully committed to doing everything
it can to support people, businesses and our local
communities through this challenging time. We are
supporting our Wiltshire food businesses to continue to
prepare and offer food for takeaway and home delivery
– more information is available on our environmental
health webpage –
food-coronavirus. If you are thinking of setting up a
voluntary or charity pop-up community support kitchen
you may not be required to register as a food business –
guidance on the requirement to register
The important thing to remember is that the food you
provide must be prepared in hygienic facilities and
must be safe to eat. Practical guidance on the safe
food handling practices
The best way of making safe food is to do it in a safe
place. Contact your local community centre, public
house or café where they may be able to help by
providing suitable kitchen facilities.
You don’t have to be a trained chef but arranging for the
main food handler to have training in food safety would
help you to make sure the food is safe. Level 2 Food Hygiene
training is available on-line.
Extra care is needed if you are catering for vulnerable
members of our communities e.g. infants, the elderly, the
immuno-compromised and people with food allergens. You
must follow the guidance –
guidance/allergen-guidance-for-food-businesses and
training on food allergens.
Further advice on food safety, food labelling and food allergens
is available at If you then find you still need advice on
how to be confident on how to check that your food is safe,
contact the Food and Safety team at publicprotectionwest@
This is a worrying time for everyone but particularly for the older
and more vulnerable members of our society. Communities are
looking at ways to pull together and provide help to those who
may need or want to self-isolate.
One of the suggestions we are seeing is to offer services to those
who are unable to leave their homes. While we do not wish to
discourage much needed kindness, we are also aware of the
opportunity this provides to rogue traders, distraction burglars,
bogus callers and other criminals.
Here are just some of the scams we are aware of that would be
useful for your volunteers to know, but please note that criminals
come in all shapes and sizes and can contact residents at the door,
by phone, post or online:
Miracle cures or vaccines for coronavirus – there is no specific
treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19). Treatment aims to
relieve the symptoms until the patient recovers.
Home coronavirus cleaning services
People impersonating healthcare workers, claiming to be
offering ‘home-testing’ for coronavirus – this is a scam and
these kits are not currently available to buy.
Emails saying that you can get a refund on taxes, utilities or
similar are usually bogus and they are just after your personal
and bank details.
There are lots of fake products available to buy online that say
they can protect from or cure coronavirus. These will not help
and are designed to take people’s money.
There are new mobile phone applications that claim to
give updates on the virus but instead, they lock your
phone and demand a ransom.
A bank or the police will never ask for your bank details
over the phone.
People offering to do your shopping or collecting
medication and asking for money upfront and then
Tips to avoid being scammed:
Be cautious and listen to your instincts. If you receive an
unexpected visitor use a safety chain when answering the
door or speak through a window. Don’t be afraid to hang
up, bin it, delete it or shut the door.
Avoid letting anyone you don’t know into your home.
Take your time; don’t be rushed.
If someone claims to represent a charity, ask them for ID.
Be suspicious of requests for money up front. If someone
attempts to talk you into accepting a service they are
unlikely to be genuine. Check with family and friends
before accepting offers of help if you are unsure.
If you are online, be aware of fake news and use trusted
sources such as or websites. Make sure
you type the addresses in and don’t click on links in
Only purchase goods from legitimate retailers and take a
moment to think before parting with money or personal
Protect your financial information, especially from people
you don’t know. Never give your bank card or PIN to a
Contact information:
Please report any cold calling of doorstep traders and
canvassers to the police non-emergency number 101 or
the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.
If you think you’ve been scammed, report it to Action
Fraud on 0300 123 2040 and contact your bank.
If you are in immediate danger, contact the police on
If you have vulnerable and/or elderly neighbours please
keep an eye out to see who is attending their property and
report anything suspicious to 101.
What to do if you are worried about an adult?
Adult Social Care
If you are concerned that someone is at risk
or appears to have care and support needs
that are not being met, for example they are
struggling to keep themselves clean or prepare
food, please contact Adult Social Care’s Advice
and Contact Team on 0300 4560111.
Adult Safeguarding
If you are concerned that someone is at risk of
neglect or abuse, please contact Adult Social
Care’s Advice and Contact Team on 0300
The Advice and Contact Team is open:
Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 5.20pm
Friday 8.30am to 4.20pm
Outside those hours (evenings and weekends)
please contact the Emergency Duty Service on
0300 456 0100
If anyone is in immediate danger, please
contact 999.
What to do if you are worried about a
We all have a responsibility to keep children
and young people safe from harm. If you
believe a child or young person is at immediate
risk of serious harm or injury, or you believe
a criminal offence has been committed, call
the police on 999. If you believe a child or
young person is at risk of significant harm,
neglect or injury, report your concerns to the
Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on
0300 456 0108. For further information and
guidance please visit
When supporting people through COVID-19
you are likely to telephone them before you visit
them to find out what help they may need and
when you will be visiting. This is also to minimise
any social interaction with the person you are
supporting which you must avoid due to the
Government guidelines of older people self-
isolating. You need to be aware if:
the individual is becoming anxious/aggressive
the individual is more confused than normal
there are potential safeguarding issues
If you have any concerns about an individual
you are supporting you should report it to your
organiser who will inform the proper authorities.
Your organiser will make you aware of your
Volunteer Risk assessment which covers all
potentially tasks or activities you may be asked
to do for COVID-19 related volunteering
The government says:
You should not go inside the homes of anyone
you do not live with, especially vulnerable
people or people who believe they may be
infected and are isolating themselves
You should stay 2m or six feet away from
anyone you do not live with at all times. Do
not share a car journey with them
You should also regularly wash your hands with
soapy water for at least 20 seconds
If you have offered to help other people, please
do not place yourself in positions where you
may feel unsafe, for instance helping late at
More information can be found at
We are keen to understand more about what
is being delivered at a local level to enable us
to provide the support, guidance or resource
that is required. We want to help ensure that
individuals and groups are providing safe and
effective local support to our communities.
We have created a short survey – that we’d ask
you to complete to tell us the details of your
local group.
Social media is a valuable tool at a time like
this, but it can also contain misinformation
and rumour, which isn’t helpful. The following
Twitter – and Facebook – accounts will be regularly
posting out the latest factual advice and
information related to COVID-19:
Public Health England – @PHE_UK
Department of Health and Social Care
Twitter – @DHSCgovuk
Facebook –
Wiltshire Council
Twitter – @WiltsCouncil
Facebook – @WiltshireCouncil
NHS England
Twitter – @NHSEngland
Facebook –
The NHS advises to only trust NHS organisations
on Twitter that are ‘blue-tick verified’
Wiltshire Police
Twitter – @wiltshirepolice
Facebook –
Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service
Twitter – @DWFireRescue
Facebook –
Our CEMs are here to support your local group. They
can help you coordinate, make links with other groups
and organisations and be a constant source of advice and
guidance. Their contact details and the community areas
they cover can be found below:
Amesbury – Jacqui Abbott
01722 434 344 or
Bradford on Avon and Corsham – Ros Griffiths
01225 718372 or
Calne – Jane Vaughan
01249 706447 or
Chippenham – Ollie Phipps
01249 709404 or
Devizes – Andrew Jack
01225 713109 or
Malmesbury – Penny Bell
01249 706613 or
Marlborough – Andrew Jack
01225 713109 or
Melksham – Peter Dunford
01225 713060 or
Pewsey and Tidworth – Richard Rogers
07771547522 or
Royal Wootton Bassett and Cricklade – Jane Vaughan
01249 706447 or
Salisbury – Marc Read
01722 434557 or
South West and Southern Wiltshire – Karen Linaker
01722 434697 or
Trowbridge – Liam Cripps
01225 713143 or
Warminster and Westbury – Graeme Morrison
01225 713573 or
The below links have a lot more information
and guidance to support you:
UK Wiltshire
Wessex Community Action
d-19-vcse-resource-hub WCA is a council for
voluntary services and there to help and support
groups and organisations that need some
guidance. They are offering specific support on
setting up Covid-19 Local action support groups
as well as organisations that may have concerns
about other pressing matters at these challenging
times. They are also putting out weekly
newsletters during this time in order that
community organisations can stay up to date with
both local and national news
Youth Work Support
Volunteer group call-handling script example
d/1SkuSSZEPKVn9FPbwOY1eK1nEyn_ Q2
Universal Credit – coronavirus
and claiming benefits www.
Wiltshire Council COVID-19 page
Our Community Matter
Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living
Health Watch Wiltshire
Alzheimers Support
Wiltshire Citizens Advice
Carers Support Wiltshire
Mutual Aid
Communities Prepared
The Silverline – 08004 708090 – Free confidential
helpline providing information, friendship and
advice to older people
Kooth – under 18 years until end of
March 2020
On Your Mind mental health
support for under 18 years from April 2020
Mental Health Foundation
Some groups have sent us examples of the
forms and information they have shared with
their local community. These may assist you in
producing your own.
Supporting each other in INSERT ROAD in the event of self-isolation
Have you been told that you need to self-isolate?
Do you need some support?
As you know, the UK could be significantly affected by COVID-19.
The most up-to-date advice for anyone who has recently travelled abroad or who
is experiencing a cough, or a fever, or a shortness of breath can be found at
There is the possibility that over the coming weeks some of us will be advised to
self-isolate as a precautionary measure.
INSERT NAME has agreed to coordinate members of INSERT ROAD
INSERT NAME has agreed to coordinate members of COMMUNITY who are prepared
to support people who have been identified by the NHS as having COVID-19, or those who
have been told to isolate themselves by staying indoors,
and who may need help.
If you have been diagnosed or told to isolate by the NHS and you need help with, for
example, essential shopping or collecting medicines, contact INSERT NAME using the
details found below.
You are not alone; a member of our local community coronavirus group will then contact
you to try to provide support from within the road.
This is not an alternative to the NHS or social services; it will simply be
INSERT ROAD residents looking after each other.
Main contact:
Telephone number:
Email address:
Alternative contact:
Telephone number:
Email address:
PHE has advised people who are self-isolating to do what they can to avoid visitors to their
home and any deliveries of groceries, medications or other shopping to be left at the door so
please ensure that when you are providing support this advice is followed.
If you would be prepared to help a householder in this way, please let
INSERT NAME know so that we can increase the number of volunteers.
Thank you for all your support.
If you have been diagnosed or told to isolate and you need help with essential shopping,
collecting medicines or you need to chat to someone. Please contact us on the number
The parish council is helping to coordinate members of this parish who are prepared to
support those who have been told to isolate themselves by staying indoors and who may
need help. You are not alone if you need to self-isolate.
This is not an alternative to the NHS, emergancy services or social services; it is simply
neighbours and local residents looking after each other.
If you need help with essential shopping, medicine collections or need to chat, please
contact us on the number below.
Public Health England has advised people who are self-isolating to do what they can to avoid
visitors to their home. Any deliveries of groceries, medications or other shopping should be left at
the door. So please ensure that this advice is followed. Volunteers acting on behalf of the parish
council will be covered by the parish council public liability insurance.
If you would be prepared to help your neighbours and other local residents with
prescription collections, essential shopping or similar tasks. Please contact us so that we
can increase the number of volunteers in the parish.
You will need to provide your name, address, telephone number and what you can do to
help. We will do our best to coordinate volunteers and those in need.
NEED HELP? CALL US: .......................
CAN YOU HELP? CALL US: ......................
................................ neighbourhood neighbourhood
The ........................... neighbourhood response is a newly formed team of volunteers
supported by the parish council, working together to help and support our community
through the COVID-19 situation.
1. If you are self-isolating and need
help woth shopping, prescriptions,
dog walking, local transport,
taking your bins out, or just
someone to talk to. Call us on
........................... or register online
at ........................................................
2. Visit our dedicated COVID-19
community website
to stay up to date with the latest
NHS COVID-19 information,
community news and advice.
1. Become a
volunteer by calling...........................
or register online at
Even if you are over 70 and staying
at home as much as possible, you
can still volunteer by helping on
the phone or by email.
2. Complete, copy and letterbox
drop the ‘help message’ below
to any of your neighbours who
you think might need help or
companionship. Take care to keep a
safe distance of 2m (7ft).
My name is ...........................................................................
I live locally at .......................................................................
My phone number is ............................................................
If you are self-isolating due to COVID-19 I can help with:
Just call or text me and I’ll do my best to help you (for free)
Picking up shopping
We are all in
this together
and no-one
needs to be
Posting mail
A friendly phone call Urgent supplies
As a small organisation with two staff and a small number of volunteer
councillors, the parish council can not attempt to resolve all of the needs of those
within our parish. However, we will do our best to support teh communities of ..
................................................ Our approach will be flexible and will adapt to
respond as the situation develops and to any changes in our capacity. There is
currently a lot of support being offered on social networks and so our focus will
be particularly on residents (particularly older residents) who are not engaged
with social media.
Our current priorities are as follows:
1. To provide information pointing people to the latest advice and
information from Wiltshire Council and voluntary organisations. For those
who are online we will use our website, Facebook page and (if possible) our
parish magazine/newsletter to do this.
2. Our aspiration should be that every house in the parish has
had a note put through the door with the contact number of
neighbours willing to help. Much of this is happening spontaneously
already. We will encourage people to follow Wiltshire Council’s advice on
this, providing downloadable copies of notes and offering to deliver printed
copies to people willing to deliver to their street. We will ask streets to let us
know when this has happened and keep a spreadsheet to map coverage. We
will identify gaps in coverage and encourage local residents and voluntary
groups to fill these.
3. To provide a point of coordination for local voluntary groups and
a point of contact for Wiltshire Council and local residents. We
will facilitate an initial in-line meeting for local voluntary groups and those
interested in volunteering. Our aim is to be in a position where we can keep
a record of groups willing to provide help and have a public telephone
number and email address for people to contact with requests for assistance
or offeres to help and then refer these on to local groups.
All of the above does not remove the need for individuals who are able to
support any small organisation majority of help to come from your neighbours.
The purpose of this letter is to ensure that
all residents of .................................. are
aware of sources of advice on the COVID-19
pandemic and to explain the steps being
taken in the village to help deal with its
effects. It includes information for those in the
community who may require assistance – in
particular the elderly and infirm, those living
alone and without their own transport – on
who to contact for help. Any help provided
is not an alternative to the NHS,
emergancy services or social services; it
is simply neighbours and local residents
looking after each other.
This letter has been produced by the COVID
emergency committee for ......................... to
oversee local action. The COVID emergency
committee are:
The list of areas and coordinators, with their
contact details is detailed below. Please
contact the coordinator for your area if
you need help. If there is no reply from your
contact, please phone one of the others on the
list or ................... on ................................
If you have established arrangements for
neighbour support please continue to use these.
Coordinators will have a list of the volunteers
to call on to provide assistance. However, we
envisage a large group of volunteers will be
needed as there is likely to be much to do. If
you are under 70 years old, have not already
volunteered and are prepared to join the list.
Please contact ................... on ........................
Volunteers may be called on to:
Phone vulnerable people to check they are
Collect and deliver medication
Collect and deliver food and other essential
Provide assistance with online ordering
Assist in the event of household emergencies
Practical help is vital, but it can be depressing
and lonely being on your own. Your COVID
coordinator or .............................................are
just a phone call away. So please give them a call
and know that you are not alone.
To ensure that all involved are safeguarded,
we need to have agreed arrangements for any
contacts in providing the assistance outlined
above. It will not involve anything requiring
direct physical contact. As with the general
advice, the key to this will be in ensuring all
parties keep their hands washed.
Those requiring help are asked to ensure
that their hands are washed prior to handing
over prescriptions, shopping lists and money
to volunteers. Volunteers should ensure that
they wash their hands (or use gel) before
completing deliveries.
North ..................................................
IN NEED IN ....................................
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