7 steps to safe volunteering

Keeping everyone safe is top of our priority list. We’ve put together these guidelines to keep everyone safe.

  1. What is Safeguarding?

Safeguarding means protecting the health, wellbeing and human rights of everyone at risk, enabling them to live safely, free from abuse and neglect. As a Street Champion, it’s about us all working together to prevent and reduce these risks and experience of abuse and neglect.

What do you need before you shop for someone?

  • Get a contact number for who is requesting your help – if we’re linking you directly with someone we’ll provide you with a way to identify yourself
  • Speak to them and find out what they exactly need
  • Agree delivery times and drop-off methods
  • How do they want to pay? Avoid cash where possible. Can the requester’s friends/relatives send money electronically on their behalf?
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds before you leave home with soap and water if you can. If you are out and about, keep a bottle of hand sanitiser with you at all times.
  • If you’re using gloves then make sure you still avoid touching your face, dispose after use and wash your hands for 20 seconds  or use sanitiser following this.

Where to and how to shop?

  • Try and find quieter shops, local shops will be less populated.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing. If no tissue, cough and sneeze into the crook of your arm.
  • Ensure you have a low chance of being infected so practice social distancing by keeping a 2 meter distance from anyone, especially when in queues!
  • ALWAYS keep any receipts to share with the recipient
  • Wash your hands just before leaving the store, using the store bathroom or with sanitizer gel.

Delivery and drop off?

  • Wash your bare hands with sanitiser before each drop off and after
  • Gloves may protect the receiver, but you still need to maintain strict hygiene
  • Check packaging: Are things still frozen? Are they sealed? If not use common sense
  • Organise when you are dropping off their items via phone or message and make sure they have received them before leaving
  • Recipients MUST wash their hands after unpacking items. Also recommend washing fresh items i.e. fruit & vegetables and sanitising packaging as much as possible.
  • If they have no other option than paying cash then let the recipient know in advance how much it is so they can prepare in advance. Try to avoid change by rounding things up.
  • Is the item small? Is the person mobile? Post it through their letterbox.
  • Drop all items in front of the door and then observe social distancing guidelines.
  • If your recipient can’t reach the floor or pick things up them hand over things at arms-length and step well back again and remind them to sanitise their hands immediately.

What about prescriptions?

Always pick up in pairs as there may be high street value and there is risk of theft. Always message organisers when you have collected their prescription and when you are delivering. If you’re collecting for someone, remember you are only delivering, not offering advice on how to take the medication. That’s down to the prescriber. When it comes to painkillers (paracetamol, ibuprofen etc. only buy and deliver the recommended amount).

How do we keep people’s personal details safe?

Do you need to share someone’s details? Only do so if you really need to. Their privacy is paramount and should only be done so if they need support. Recipient’s information should NEVER be published on ANY public forum and should be kept to private forums and only shared is absolutely necessary.

How do we keep people’s money safe?

Don’t accept credit/debit cards from recipients to buy resources as this is a safeguarding risk. We recommend wherever possible you do the requested shopping and then present a receipt before asking for payment.

Try not to make purchases for more than £30 for any one person or family also. Keep a strict record of all payments made, take photos of receipts to cover anything lost in transit if you can.

Where possible, bank transfer or PayPal payments should be made to prevent passing on any risk. If this is not possible then disinfect cash payments with soapy water.

If you have any questions, please contact us at southsidesishelpers@gmail.com and we’ll be happy to advise.