SAFE cic’s advice to volunteer groups helping vulnerable people during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The impact of these challenging times upon the welfare of the most vulnerable in society cannot be underestimated.
With people self-isolating, families facing immense financial pressures, schools closed and all of us uncertain about what the future may hold, we have put together our top 10 safeguarding tips for the many generous and dedicated volunteers setting up schemes, groups and organisations to help vulnerable people at home.
This is not a guide to understanding or dealing with the spread of, and subsequent illness caused by, the virus. These top 10 tips are a practical tool to help safeguard everyone requiring help and those providing it.
SAFEcic is a not for profit community interest company dedicated to improving Safeguarding throughout the world. As part of our Community Objectives, SAFEcic is also offering our normal online Safeguarding training courses at cost price to anyone volunteering to help others. Most groups would only need one or two people to be trained, so this offer is strictly limited to 4 courses per order. Follow this link or email us for details.
1. Each group should nominate someone to act as Lead for Safeguarding to escalate any identified safeguarding concerns including:
- mental health issues
- domestic abuse incidents
- child abuse
- any financial irregularity such as taking money for shopping which is never delivered
3. A recording and tracking system should be implemented
4. All volunteers should live locally or be known to others in the group.
5. No close face-to-face contact should be made when delivering shopping or medicines. Volunteers should not enter the home of anyone who is self- isolating.
6. All food delivered must be appropriate for any food allergies and dietary requirements and items requiring refrigeration or freezing should be delivered promptly.
7. The person being helped should be aware of any financial payments due and how payment is made securely and safely.
8. Ideally, prescription medicines should always be picked up someone known to the patient and arrangements made with the dispensary.
9. Everyone receiving help should understand how to report any concerns regarding the service they receive or volunteers within the group
10. Everyone should be aware of any escalation of ill-health of volunteers or those at home and refer to NHS 111 online.