Volunteering and support for voluntary groups

Volunteering, keeping safe and support available to groups during the pandemic.

Keeping safe when out

Never put yourself into an environment where you feel there is a risk to yourself or others.

  • Sanitise your hands before you start shopping
  • Be cautious of crowded stores and pharmacies and follow the social distancing rule and supermarket guidance
  • If using your car to deliver items - keep your car clean and disinfect surfaces such as the steering wheel, gear stick and door handles.
  • If using public transport - minimise, where possible, what surfaces you touch and sanitise your hands before and after taking any public transport.

Safe delivery of shopping, essential items or prescriptions

  • When you arrive at the person’s home, sanitise your hands
  • Never enter a person’s home
  • Notify them you have arrived by knocking the door or ringing the doorbell
  • Leave items and receipt on the doorstep and return any vouchers, prepaid card and change, step back at least 2 metres and wait for the door to be opened for the items to be collected
  • Allow the isolating person to check the receipt matches the amount spent
  • When you leave a person’s home, sanitise your hands.

Things to avoid generally

Don't go into anybody’s house. Most of the help residents need can be provided from the doorstep or over the phone. Where it’s unavoidable, ask the resident to make sure you both stay at least two metres apart at all times for their protection, be as quick as you can and avoid touching surfaces in their home to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Under no circumstances should you:

  • support people with their personal care
  • take somebody else’s bank card to make payments or to get cash
  • provide medical advice if you’re not qualified to do so
  • offer childcare if you’re not legally set up to provide these services
  • prepare food for others if you don’t have a food hygiene qualification.

If someone needs help with basic personal care, such as washing or making food, contact Oxfordshire County Council’s Social and Healthcare team.

See If you are worried about someone.

Tell someone where you are 

It’s unlikely you will come across a situation that would put you at any risk, but whenever you’re working out and about in public while you’re on your own, there are some simple steps you should take as a precaution for your own safety:

  • Tell a friend or family member where you are going and what time you will be back.
  • Always be aware of the possibility that somebody might not be who they say they are.
  • Make sure you have a fully charged phone when you leave the house and stay in plain sight and out in the open.
  • Report any incidents to the police by dialling 111. If you’re in immediate danger, call 999.  
  • Tell your volunteering organisation about any issues you have so they can alert other volunteers.