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COVID-19 Call for Volunteers: How you can help

by Now Then Sheffield
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If you'd like to volunteer to support people during the COVID-19 crisis then Voluntary Action Sheffield (VAS) should be your first port of call.

VAS are building a network of community hubs to be a key part of their Voluntary Community Sector (VCS) response to COVID-19 in Sheffield.

The three-tiered response is:

  • Informal & neighbourhood activity - street-level support such as doing errands. Not covered by volunteer insurance.
  • Organised community hubs - trusted, registered organisations with systems & procedures in place for volunteering. You are insured to volunteer.
  • Statutory/city-wide approach - for the emergency response & planning. You are insured to volunteer.

Informal local / neighbour response. Contact groups directly.

To volunteer locally at an informal level, please view the Map of support organisations here & on the Now Then App (app homepage > map) and contact local groups directly.

You can also contact groups through the Sheffield Mutual Aid group on Facebook and local Mutual Aid groups are being set up. View the latest list on the Local Mutual Aid Facebook group and find groups & contact details on the Map to local Mutual Aid.

Do:

Safety:

  • Let family and friends know what you are doing.
  • Keep up to date with the latest NHS Coronavirus advice here.
  • Be aware of fraudsters. Avoid and report any cold callers in your area.
  • Prioritise safety. The community response is about preventing the spread of COVID-19 and providing support for the most vulnerable. If you believe the support being offered compromises this principle, do not engage.

Tasks:

  • Running basic errands e.g. essential food shopping, collecting prescriptions.
  • Connecting people locally with information by phone calls & WhatsApp.
  • Providing emotional comfort and social contact.

Do Not:

  • Go into people's homes or provide personal care - other agencies are doing this.
  • Exchange cash. Don't expect or ask people to pay for support. Use electronic transfers where essential e.g. reimbursement for shopping.
  • Take on too much or offer support that Community Hubs / local charities or Council services can provide. See below.
  • An open and un-vetted list of resources and guidance is available on this shared Trello board.

If the need goes beyond informal support & basic errands, contact:

Organised community hubs - trusted, registered organisations with systems/procedures in place for volunteering.

Volunteer here to support local charities who are responding. This could be:

  • To provide Mutual Aid type support where local groups don't exist.
  • To help call people supported by charities to ensure they are ok.
  • To provide signposting for tasks that go beyond the work of mutual aid groups.
  • To help charities where staff are off sick and tasks can be delegated to volunteers.
  • To do this type of volunteering please complete this form.

Statutory/city wide approach - for the emergency response and planning.

VAS is collecting details of volunteers with DBS checks and care experience on behalf of the Council and local charities as there is an emerging need for basic social care support.

To volunteer for a charity or for the council please complete this form and VAS will share your details with local charities or mutual aid groups in need of volunteers from out of their local area.

Other Useful Resources:

by Now Then Sheffield
Filed under: #Coronavirus

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