We are continuing to invite volunteers back where we have the staffing and resources and it is safe to do so. The health, safety and wellbeing of our volunteers and staff is our highest priority and we can only restart volunteering activity where our risk assessments show that we can do so safely and that the risk of transmission of the virus are as low as possible.
We really appreciate your enthusiasm for supporting our work and it is wonderful that there are lots of you who are eager to get started with your roles again, but I hope that you will appreciate that this will take time. We are also closely monitoring changes to Government guidelines and how they impact the activities we are able to begin again. Please do read through our FAQ’s below to help you to understand what volunteering will be like when you return.
When am I allowed to volunteer?
The Trust is working hard to try and bring volunteers back as soon as is safe to do so, and in line with the ever-changing government guidance. Volunteers will be contacted by staff once we are in a position to bring back volunteers.
What will volunteering look like when I return?
Volunteering may look and feel a bit different when you return and we may have to make further changes as Government guidance changes. Everyone will be required to complete a Returning to Volunteering form and read the Returning to Volunteering presentation before they return. Volunteers will also be asked to sign a RAMS (Risk Assessment Method Statement) document before they start volunteering for the day. RAMS is our new Health and Safety process which has ensures volunteers understand the task and the risk assessment associated with it. Volunteers cannot volunteer if they do not sign this document to confirm they understand how the task should be carried out safely. Whilst volunteering we ask everyone to remain 2m apart, sanitise hands regularly and not to share tools. Unfortunately, the sharing of food and the provision of communal refreshments is also currently prohibited so please bring your own supplies and remember to consume 2m apart.
What if I don’t feel ready to return?
Safety is of paramount importance to the Trust and we wouldn’t want anyone to come back if they didn’t feel ready to return. We can discuss your concerns when we speak to you to see how you are getting on.
What happens if I show symptoms, can I still attend?
Please do not attend if you are showing any symptoms of Covid 19 and inform the member of staff who co-ordinated your volunteering that day. Symptoms include a high temperature, a new continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. You must self-isolate for 14 days. Further help can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/
What happens if a member of my household or a person I have come into contact with shows symptoms?
Please make the staff member who coordinates your volunteering aware you will be unable to volunteer temporarily before self-isolating for 14 days. Further help can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/
How many people will I be volunteering with?
The current guidance states work should be carried out with the minimum number of people required for the task and a maximum of six.
What happens if where I live goes into a local lockdown, will I still be able to volunteer?
If your area goes into a local lockdown your volunteer lead may invite you to come in as the risk is slightly reduced outside when the procedures are followed. If you don’t want to come in whilst your area is in a local lockdown that is fine, just let us know.
What happens if where I volunteer at goes into a local lockdown, will I still be able to volunteer?
If the area your site goes into a local lockdown then your volunteer lead may invite you to come in as the risk is slightly reduced outside when the procedures are followed. If you don’t want to come in whilst the area is in a local lockdown that is fine, just let us know.
I usually car share when I volunteer is this still allowed?
Car sharing is not recommended under current government guidance unless you are in the same household bubble. We are therefore asking volunteers not to car share during this current time.
Will protective equipment be provided?
Staff will be providing the protective equipment for tasks as they did before the pandemic. In some roles it may now require you to take home some of your own equipment but staff will advise on this as it depends on the volunteering role and equipment.
How safe is the equipment?
Staff always strive to keep the equipment in the best condition possible and already carry out regular equipment inspections. During the pandemic staff are also ensuring equipment is disinfected before and after use to make it as safe as possible. The risk is also reduced by volunteers and staff following the procedures on regular handwashing and maintaining safe distances.
Who can I contact if I have further queries about volunteering during the pandemic?
If you have any concerns about volunteering please discuss these either with the member of staff you would normally volunteer with or email firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of the team will get back to you. Please also note not all members of staff are back off furlough yet and many are doing reduced hours so if you are unsure please use the volunteering email where someone will endeavour to respond when we can.