Covid-19 Group – Guidance on Running a Volunteer Community Group (click on the link above for the full document, please let us know if you require a Welsh Language version))
This guidance is for new informal community groups. Consider if you can work under an existing local group or organisation that already has procedures in place to keep people safe, insurance and is able to support volunteers.
Local sources of help are listed at the end of this document.
We suggest you register your group and look at advice available from:
- Your local County Voluntary Council https://thirdsectorsupport.wales/contact/
- Covid-19 Mutual Aid Society https://covidmutualaid.org/
GENERAL ADVICE ON RUNNING YOUR GROUP
- Every community will need group coordinators to oversee their group and the work of volunteers. These are usually well known and trusted people in your community such as the local councillor, the person who runs the local shop and the people involved in running existing groups. People who have experience, organisational skills, can support volunteers and are trusted.
- A group can be difficult to set-up and keep going, establish a coordinating group (depending on the size of your group) of at least 3 or 4 people is ideal.
- Give people clear roles so you share the workload – someone to look after volunteers, to oversee communications, someone to be in charge of safety, money, recruiting and support volunteers, promotion, social media, etc.
- Do a risk assessment and write a risk plan (see COVID19 Group – Guide to Risk Assessment). Safety is the number one priority – how will you keep volunteers and the people who you support safe?
- Make sure you follow the advice from Public Health Wales on not spreading Covid-19.
- Make sure you get the help you need. Be realistic, there are some things you cannot help with. Contact your local Councillor or County Voluntary Council, who will be able direct you to where you can get further information and advice.
- Don’t be afraid of bending rules that prevent your group from doing what you think is right and important, as long as you are still keeping people safe. For example, some rules on sharing information may need to be put to one side to get people the help that they need.
- Only share personal and confidential information with a small number of people who need to access it. Keep information secure, and do not share personal, sensitive or confidential information on line.
- Discuss and share group rules on social media.
- Make sure your volunteers can be easily identified, for example, with a t-shirt and an ID card.
- Keep a list of all the people you are helping and all your volunteers. Try to set this up securely on-line (for example, Google Docs), so more than one person can keep the information up to date.
- Have a procedure that is confidential for raising safety / safeguarding concerns.
- Your group will come across things that are difficult. You are not alone. Ask for support.