COVID-19: Volunteering and accepting help from others safely

Volunteering to help others who may be less able to help themselves during the coronavirus response can be a really great way to support your local community.

Ways you might want to help include:

If you want to volunteer to help others in Somerset, the best place to go is the Coronahelpers website: https://www.corona-helpers.co.uk/

Spark Somerset have some useful guidance for those looking to set up a community support group in response to the coronavirus: https://www.sparksomerset.org.uk/guidance-cov-19-groups

The latest guidance from the government for those who are looking to volunteer can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-how-to-help-safely–2

How to stay safe when offering others help

Some things to think about if you are volunteering:

  • Minimise the time spent outside of your home and ensure that you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your home. This still applies if you are delivering food or prescriptions to a member of your community on a voluntary basis
  • Anyone volunteering to help others should NOT be symptomatic, self-isolating due to a household member’s symptoms, in a high-risk group, or over 70 years old, although you may still wish to help by speaking to neighbours over the phone if your are in one of these groups
  • You must follow NHS advice on avoiding spread of infection including thorough handwashing https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
  • Leave shopping or medications on the doorstep and call the person to let them know it’s there. DO NOT enter other people’s houses

How to stay safe when accepting help from others

If someone is offering to do shopping or run errands for you, the following guidance may help:

  • Share shopping lists electronically where possible, for example over email or WhatsApp.
  • Payments for shopping should be made AFTER the shopping has been received when a receipt is given. A bank or PayPal transfer is preferable. Make an agreement when the shopping bill will be paid by.
  • Do not give your debit or credit card to someone else to use
  • Agree on a maximum spend – for example £30 per shop.
  • If someone is offering to help you and you do not feel comfortable – trust your instincts and decline their offer of help.
  • Never feel pressured into accepting someone’s offer of help

Scam awareness and safety

Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards have produced some helpful guidance about scam awareness and keeping safe. Have a look at the infographic they have produced below.

More information about how to keep aware and stay safe from scams is available on the Healthy Somerset scams awareness pages.

Somerset Coronavirus Appeal

Somerset Community Foundation has set up the Somerset Coronavirus Appeal to raise funds for local charitable groups that are supporting the most vulnerable people affected by the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) and, looking ahead, to ensure that when the time is right we can help our communities recover well.

If you’d like to donate, please go to www.somersetcf.org.uk/appeal