Safeguarding during Coronavirus

Safeguarding Factsheet: Community volunteers during COVID-19 outbreak

This factsheet is designed to address specific concerns that people involved in supporting their community may have at this time.

Published 25th March 2020

From: DBS (Gov.UK)

Summary of Details

  • Where people require support the first option should always be to rely on friends, family, or neighbours who already know one another. If this is not possible, there are some very simple steps that can be taken to make arrangements with volunteers as safe as possible. Particular care must be taken where children or vulnerable adults, such as those with dementia or other medical needs, are helped.
  • Church Volunteers

Many church members are DBS checked and trained. The most important thing you can do as a church volunteer is to ensure you consider safeguarding practices. Adopting simple precautions like keeping records of money spent and providing shopping receipts supports you in helping your neighbourhoods whilst protecting vulnerable residents.

If working in pairs, you must stay two metres apart at all times.

You should go shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, as infrequently as possible. Leave supplies at the door, where possible, to avoid entering another household.

  • Local Volunteers

I would like to volunteer to help those in my street who are unable to leave their homes by delivering shopping or walking their dogs. Do I need a DBS Check?

No, there is no legal requirement for you to have a DBS Check.

However, volunteers will want to ensure that their activities are transparent and trusted by the community they are helping. Simple, practical precautions such as working safely in pairs, keeping records of money spent and providing shopping receipts will help to achieve this.

If they are not from the same household, volunteers must stay two metres apart at all times.

Please remember that gatherings of more than two people in public are currently banned, with these measures being enforced by the police.

  • Is anyone barred from volunteering locally?

The only people who are legally prevented from volunteering with children and vulnerable adults are those who have been barred from doing so by DBS. If you have been barred from certain types of work, then you would be committing an offence by trying to do that work.

If in doubt, please contact your Parish Safeguarding Officer. (Details on website)