Please follow these guidelines and if you have questions/concerns, please raise them with your team leader or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
We are sorry that we cannot accept volunteers to offer support who are over 70 or live with someone who is over 70, or has a pre existing condition that puts them at risk. This is in line with government guidelines on volunteering at this time. They can of course help in other ways, for example by joining Cheerful Chats.
Guidelines for Milford on Sea Mutual Aid Volunteers.
We are a community group for people who live in the Milford on Sea area, including Everton, Keyhaven, Lymore and Downton to support the older and/or vulnerable people during the weeks ahead. This could include younger people, who are self isolating. The people you are offering this support may be vulnerable. Please let us know if you are worried about anyone and we will inform the appropriate people. Don’t take risks. Stay safe yourselves. We all have a responsibility to each other. The Group is now under the umbrella of the Milford on Sea Charitable Trust, so volunteers are covered by insurance.
- We suggest that you use the slips which are on our Facebook page, attached to our emails, and in the Parish Office, to make contact with your neighbours/the area you’ve been asked to cover. Some people are writing more personalised letters, which is great. Maybe you could use the slip as well. These are becoming familiar, as they have been on national TV, so hopefully won’t be ignored. Remember to wash your hands before writing and posting these slips!
- We have organised volunteers into teams. This is an effective and safe way to work. You can support each other, and if someone in a team has to self isolate, there are others to take over. We are still adding volunteers to the teams. Let your Team Leader know if you are feeling overloaded.
- We have a list of all the teams and team leaders that we can supply you with.
- Please avoid normal face to face conversations on the doorstep, as this could unknowingly spread the virus. And of course some people will be self isolating because they are ill themselves. But do wave from a distance or through the window! We’ll all need to see friendly faces. If you need to speak to the person who is self isolating, adopt the Post Office method. Knock, and then step two metres back.
- Volunteers should always wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer before handling the items they are leaving/delivering. Current NHS advice says the virus can survive on surfaces for days, so we need to be as vigilant as possible. Check the gov.com website or NHS website for the latest information
- Leave all supplies/deliveries at the door or an agreed safe place.
- Teams will identify people needing support and the admin team will pass on requests that come in centrally. Emails are are also coming in from relatives of people, whom they are unable to support themselves. It’s a good idea to stay in touch with the relatives.
- We do need to manage expectations of what we can offer. Explain to people that we are using local shops unless there is a significant and justifiable need to go elsewhere.
- We do not recommend money changing hands, to keep everyone safe. Many people will shop themselves online, and only need prescriptions or some fresh things like milk. However it’s often the oldest and most vulnerable who do not use the internet. We are working closely with local stores. Please check with your team leader on how our priority shopping scheme works.
- If you see or hear of anyone asking for payment, bank details, or anything similar, please report this to the police and to us IMMEDIATELY. Unfortunately some people may use this crisis to try to take advantage of others and we want to make sure our group is doing everything possible to prevent this from happening.
- Should a person being offered support make unreasonable demands or behave in any way to abuse the good will of the volunteers, then support may be withdrawn at any time. Please notify the central team and we can notify the statutory services. Do not put yourself at risk.
- If you have concerns about anyone’s wellbeing, please contact the NHS if it is urgent, or contact us for advice. We links to Social Services and have contacts with organisations such as the Alzheimer’s Society who might be able to help.
- Please do not offer medical advice to anyone, or post on our Facebook page any speculation about cures/vaccines/preventatives - there is a lot of misinformation floating around the internet and we want to stay focused on providing practical help. Follow the current NHS guidelines which you can find on www.nhs.uk
- Do not post anyone’s personal details, including your own, on Facebook, and notify the admins at once if you see anything on the Facebook page and we will take it down.
- Your details. We are logging names and the roads you are covering on a spreadsheet, so we know what’s happening, along with how we can contact you. We will will not share your details outside the group of volunteers, other than to those seeking support.
- We will supply group leaders with other leaders email addresses for the sake of effective working, so you can support one another. Many teams have set up WhatsApp groups, which is a great way to stay connected.
- We are all volunteers, so assume no responsibility for the activities of individuals. . This group and its processes are developing all the time in response to the changing situation.
- Please take care of yourselves. You are a precious resource.