Guidance for Volunteers

Advice and Guidance for Volunteers who may be interacting with the most vulnerable

How to keep yourself and others safe

Before you volunteer you must make sure you are not a person who is considered vulnerable before you help others.  Check the criteria on the NHS website here:  If you fall into any these categories we appreciate that you want to help and are grateful but please don’t put yourself and others at risk.  If are a volunteer and you start to feel unwell you must, stay at home and look after yourself first, this will also protect the most vulnerable that we are trying to help.

  • Ensure you are familiar with your group’s safeguarding and personal safety policies.
  • Where possible, introduce yourself (carry your ID, driving licences or corporate ID with you) and let them know which organisation you represent.
  • Volunteers should ensure they have a low chance of becoming infected.  Where possible follow social distancing protocol (keeping 2 metres away) and don’t take unnecessary risks.
  • If possible wash your hands or use hand sanitiser gel after every visit.  If you are visiting a person to find out if they need help, knock on the door then step back, ideally 2m, make them aware of the organisation you represent before asking them what they need assistance with.
  • Make sure their request is for one of these things: food and supplies; collecting prescriptions and medicine; sending or collecting post; check-in calls.
  • Confirm their address and how they can pay.
  • Do not take someone’s bank card.
  • You will need to discuss the exact delivery details with them personally. When delivering items Do Not go into any houses. Place the items to be delivered on the doorstep before communicating with the person/family in isolation (call them on the phone, send a text message, ringing the bell or knocking on the door) & take at least 2 meters 3 steps back from the door.
  • Get conformation that the person has received it before you leave. This is to protect both you and the person you are delivering to.
  • Take care when handling food/items to minimise contact and try to wash your hands frequently ideally between each drop off or use hand sanitiser (if you have it).
  • When you have finished your rounds, and before eating and drinking, thoroughly wash your hands with water and soap for 20 seconds.

General Volunteer Safeguarding Advice

Let your family and friends know where you are going and what you are doing.  Remember you can support family, friends and neighbours via video calling them too.  Don’t take on too much.  Sometimes it’s better not to offer than let people down.  If you have concerns about a neighbour, friend or family member in West Berkshire, please call the Community Support Hub on: 01635 503579 or email on:

Only share official information given from the main government and NHS sites.  If you feel comfortable, challenge misinformation.  Follow Public Health England advice.  Wash your hands regularly, for at least 20 seconds.  Avoid touching your face.

If you are worried about symptoms, please consult the NHS guidance.  If symptoms are severe call NHS 111.  Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment.  Immediately stop carrying out deliveries or in person support work.  If you are collecting a prescription for someone else, follow NHS guidance.  Most prescriptions are sent electronically direct to a pharmacy from the GP surgery and you can collect the medicine on their behalf if the person has told the pharmacy that they are happy for you to do so.  In rare cases where paper prescriptions are used, the patient and person collecting will need to fill out an FB10 form.