Safeguarding and community resources

Find out how to safeguard vulnerable people, as well as some considerations when setting up your own community groups.

Safeguarding & community resources

The community have rallied together to help vulnerable people during the pandemic. In this section, we'll provide the help you need in regard to ensure safeguarding practices are upheld during this time. This page will help you keep yourself and others safe. We'll also give you guidance on how to manage a community group to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all involved. 


Groups responding to Covid-19 (Corona Virus)

A few things to consider when setting up or running an informal community

This guide is meant as a starting point to help volunteers, leaders and those we are helping stay safe. It is not a set of rules to follow, but is intended to stimulate thought. Each group will need to create their own ways of working to suit their area and their community. It has been put together to help you avoid unintended negative consequences while you do your best to help those in need.

Misunderstandings and raised tempers can be common in stressful situations. Although everyone’s motives within your group are genuine, it is important that you take steps to protect the vulnerable and volunteers from the virus and also from malicious/false allegations, stress, overload and abuse.

Things you may need to consider

Who else? 

  • Before doing anything, check if anyone else has already set something up in your area. New groups are being updated all the time!

Your objectives

  • Be clear about what you want to achieve. It might be to help housebound people with shopping, to set up a system to identify and reach out to those in need, and/or to support people facing financial hardship due to loss of income. Your objectives may change over time. Try to ensure that everyone involved understands what you’re doing so your activities are coordinated and expectations are managed.

Risks

  • Complete a risk assessment – looking at the risk to people being helped, volunteers, organisers.
  • Draw up some simple advice to volunteers and those they are helping to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus. For instance, not entering a home; keeping a safe distance, washing hands before handling shopping.
  • What methods will you have in place for a volunteer to report someone potentially having the virus?
  • What procedures will you follow to reduce the risk from scammers and false accusations? For instance, volunteers never taking a bank card to pay for shopping or to get cash; certain named volunteers dealing with cash; limiting the cost of any shopping; volunteers not entering people’s homes; buddying volunteers.
  • If the situation continues for an extended period, you may also wish to consider having different volunteers help the same person (this reduces the possibility of inappropriate relationships forming).

Wellness

  • Ways to mitigate volunteers receiving calls at inappropriate times of the day and night?
  • Ways to reduce the stress and demands on volunteers.
  • Have a plan for volunteers coming down with the virus. How will you cover? How will you support the volunteer?

Expectations

  • In moments like this everyone wants to help, which means people may put themselves in uncomfortable situations. Make sure all your volunteers are aware of expectations, and that they are not required to do anything beyond the agreed task.
  • Will volunteers shop for alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceutical drugs? If you have a policy of not buying alcohol you may wish to consider uncomfortable aspects such as that alcohol withdrawal can be life threatening for someone who is alcohol dependent.
  • How will you deal with complaints if a volunteer has to substitute products or if items are missing?

Data

  • With so much going on, it might be easy to forget that if you hold someone’s data (phone number, address, etc) you have a duty to keep this safe. Simple precautions such as password protecting electronic documents and locking away printed documents will suffice.

Safeguarding

  • What criteria will you have as to who can volunteer and how? Older volunteers may still be able to help with administration, even if self-isolating. Will you have a minimum age?
  • Will a member of your group act as the safeguarding lead? How will people report concerns? Will you provide your volunteers with information and telephone numbers to report safeguarding concerns?
  • What advice will you give volunteers if they are concerned that someone needs medical treatment?

To report a safeguarding concern in Monmouthshire:

Check Monmouthshire County Council's page for up-to-date information 

If you have a concern about an adult or child at risk you need to speak with the relevant duty officer.  In the first instance please always contact immediately via a telephone call. The email addresses are for info. 

Adults services:

Duty phone number: 01873 735492

Duty email address: mccadultsafeguarding@monmouthshire.gov.uk

Out of Hours and Bank Holidays Emergency Duty Team: 0800 328 4432


In an emergency dial 999


Childrens services:  

Duty phone number:01291 635669

Duty email address: childduty@monmouthshire.gcsx.gov.uk  

Out of Hours and Bank Holidays Emergency Duty Team: 0800 328 4432

In an emergency dial 999


Other sources of help:

Click on the buttons below to be directed to the websites.

These guidelines were created on 1 April 2020 in line with current government advice. Should anything change, please also check the government advice for the latest recommendations. 

Government Advice 

Safeguarding factsheet 

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