Guidance for residents who need support from volunteers during the Coronavirus pandemic
If you are not sure about an offer of help, then ask someone to leave their details and talk to someone you trust about it.
Receiving Help with your Shopping
If you need help with your shopping from a volunteer that you do not know then it is best if you only ask the volunteer to just buy you the essentials, so you are only dealing with a small amount of money:
- Ideally do not make payment in advance of shopping being collected, agree an approximate cost in advance and pay once you have received your shopping and seen a receipt.
- Ideally ask for the shopping to be left on your doorstep or if this is not possible keep at least two metres (three steps) away from each other. Never allow a volunteer to enter your home.
- Do not hand your credit or debit card to anyone or write out a cheque without putting the amount in and never write your PIN number down or give it to anyone else.
- Wash your hands using soap and hot water after handling cash.
Receiving Help with Collecting Medication
If you need to collect medication but you cannot get out because you are self-isolating then initially phone your pharmacy or check online to see if they can deliver. If your pharmacy cannot deliver your medication and you need the help of a volunteer then ring ahead to let the pharmacy know that a volunteer will be collecting your medication.
Receiving Befriending Phone Calls
Never give out your personal details such as your date of birth or your bank details to anyone over the telephone.
If you are expecting a caller, for example from a charity and they have an identification card, then you are advised to check their identification. Do not rely on the telephone number they give you as it may not be genuine. Verify their identity, by ringing the charity using the telephone number listed in the phone book or on the internet. If you have any concerns or suspicions, then ask the caller to leave and close and lock your door.
If you are arranging by telephone for a volunteer to come and help you, then it may be worth considering agreeing a password with them over the telephone so that when they come to help you, they can state your agreed password to verify that they are the volunteer that you have already spoken with.
Some residents have been requesting help from volunteers in their community by posting requests for help on Facebook, and including personal details such as their address and phone number. Including your personal information in your posts could make you vulnerable to identity fraud or scams. You are therefore strongly advised to be mindful about the amount of personal information you include in your posts.