You can only provide support to people who are in isolation if you fulfil ALL of the conditions below:
- You are well and have no symptoms like a cough or high temperature and nobody in your household does.
- You are under 70.
- You are not pregnant.
- You do not have any long-term health conditions that make you vulnerable to coronavirus.
- Households who are isolating as a precaution.
- Households who are isolating due to infection.
- Vulnerable people who have been advised to stay at home for a minimum of 12 weeks.
- People with known mental health condition who live alone.
- Always remember, you should only provide support in person where it is essential for the health or care of a vulnerable person.
- The single most important action we can all take in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives. When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection and save lives. This remains the case when you are helping others.
- You should not go inside the homes of anyone you do not live with, especially vulnerable people or people who believe they may be infected and are isolating themselves. Not following this guidance could put you at risk of infection or risk spreading it to others.
- If you are picking things up for others, try to limit the amount of time you spend outside of your home by picking up essential items for them when you do your own shopping or collect their medicines during the same trip.
- You should stay 2m or six feet away from anyone you do not live with at all times. Do not share a car journey with them.
- You should also regularly wash your hands with soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
- If you have offered to help other people, please do not place yourself in positions where you may feel unsafe, for instance helping late at night.
- If you or someone in your household has shown symptoms, or if you are more vulnerable to coronavirus yourself, then you must stay at home. You still play an important role but will need to do this from home.
- Help with food shopping. If people who are isolating because of coronavirus, need basic necessities, you could do this yourself and leave the groceries on the person’s doorstep. Try to limit the amount of time you spend outside of your home by picking up essential items for others only when you do your own shopping. You could also help those who aren’t as familiar with online shopping by placing an order for them or by talking them through the process over the phone.
- Collecting Medication. You can pick up medicines on someone else’s behalf. People should only request medication that they need, in their usual quantities. Remember to keep a safe distance when leaving any items on the person’s doorstep or drop off area, and make sure that they have collected the medication before leaving.
- Stay in touch over the phone or via social media. Staying at home for a long time can be a lonely experience and may impact on people’s wellbeing. Just saying hello and regularly checking in over the phone or by video-chat makes a big difference to someone’s mental wellbeing.
- Encourage people to stay mentally and physically active. People who have experienced staying at home, have kept themselves busy with activities such as cooking, reading, online learning or watching films. Swap suggestions about how people you are supporting can keep themselves busy. If people are well enough, encourage them to do some light exercise and keep active around the home, perhaps by using an online exercise class.
- Share trusted sources of information. It’s easy to become worried by online information, some of which may be deliberately designed to mislead people. Help your community by sharing trusted information from the NHS, Public Health England or the Department of Health and Social Care.
- While shopping for groceries and/or picking up medication on behalf of people you are supporting, you are expected to make all payments upfront from your pocket. You can either arrange with the person to have them pay you via PayPal which is free to use for personal transactions, direct bank transfer or claim the payment back via the Charlton & Cribbs Volunteer Group fund. It is important that you keep a record along with pictures of all receipts. You are not expected to claim for motor mileage where it is reasonable, however if you believe the expenditure is substantial hence unreasonable, you may claim it via the Charlton & Cribbs Volunteer Group fund.
What if I am worried about someone’s health?
Encourage anyone you are in touch with, or supporting, to use the NHS 111 online Coronavirus service. They should only call 111:
- If they can’t access internet.
- Their symptoms worsen.
- They have been instructed to.
Call 999 if you believe someone’s life is at risk.