VOLUNTEER GUIDELINES

Our valuable volunteers are playing a critical role in serving our community during these uncertain times. To ensure their safety and the safety of our residents, we regularly update our volunteer guidelines based on the brilliant examples that they are already setting.

The latest copy of these guidelines could be found here.

We expect the volunteers of this group to continue to:

  • Minimise physical contact with the people that they are working with, whether it is the team of volunteers, the suppliers or the residents that they are supporting
  • Frequently use hand sanitisers and wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Stay more than two metres away from others wherever possible
  • Carry out strict hygiene and social-distancing measures and follow Government and NHS guidelines, not only when they are volunteering and supporting our community, but at all times
  • Try to make and receive payments by card, instead of cash. Residents could also make payments via bank transfers
  • If they are handling cash, store the money in a bag or container that is used solely for this purpose
  • They should explain to the resident before the visit that they will place the items on the door step and step back a minimum of two metres to avoid any physical contact. Any conversations with the resident will take place while the volunteer is at least two metres away
  • Stay vigilant, not only about the risk of infection, but also about any other suspicious circumstances and decline the invitation of any resident to go inside their home
  • As they are representing Darlington and our community, be kind and courteous no matter how difficult the situation becomes
  • Remember that their personal conduct and character will reflect on this project -positively or negatively- as they are ambassadors for the group

Frequently asked questions for volunteers:

Who do I contact if I have a question or encounter a problem?

If you require assistance or have questions, you could contact your Area/Ward Champion if you know who they are. Alternatively, you could email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What should I do if I think I have COVID-19 Symptoms? 

If you are concerned about your health in relation to Coronavirus and believe you have symptoms then you need to pause your voluntary service and self-isolate for the required period of time. Please check out the Public Health Guidance to identify how long you need to isolate for.

Do I have to use personal protective equipment (PPE) or face coverings?

The only volunteer task for which we recommend using gloves is dog walking. Gloves should be used for the duration of any volunteer dog walk. If you don’t have disposable gloves, we can provide these – just email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gloves are not necessary for volunteer tasks other than dog walking, as good handwashing and regular use of hand sanitisers offer just as good protection and gloves can still carry germs, so they can still infect you if you touch your face while wearing them.

Instead, we ask volunteers to ensure good hygiene as the first line of protection against COVID-19 and to adhere to Public Health England guidance which says:

  • Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to. If you don’t have any hand sanitiser just email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can provide some to you
  • To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue in a bin immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitiser
  • Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people

In line with recent guidance from the Government volunteers are advised to wear face coverings when in public places for example when in supermarkets. A face covering can be something as simple as a scarf or bandana which can be washed and reused. Single-use face masks should not be reused, but should be disposed of after use.

Further information can be found here.

If you use any PPE or face covering then it’s important that this is used and disposed of correctly. Incorrect use of PPE or face covering carries a greater risk then not using PPE or face covering at all.

  • When using gloves ensure that you wash/sanitise your hands before putting them on. After removing the gloves wash/sanitise your hands immediately
  • If using a face mask and gloves then these should be put on and removed in the correct order:
    • Wash/sanitise your hands and put on the mask
    • After putting on the mask wash/sanitise your hands again before putting on gloves
    • When removing the gloves and face mask, please remove the gloves first to prevent the risk of contaminants from the gloves coming into contact with your face. Wash/sanitise your hands again. Remove the mask and then wash/sanitise your hands
  • Ensure that any potentially contaminated PPE or single-use face covering is disposed of safely. Do not leave used PPE or single-use face covering in public waste bins. Carry a small bin liner with you and put all used PPE or single-use face covering into it to take home

This video could provide a useful illustration, particularly steps 2 and 4.

Do I have to accept every request that comes through?

No, only commit to what you can. Also, if you accept a request, but then find that you can’t make it, then simply contact your Area/Ward Champion if you know who they are. Alternatively, you could email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How will the person I’m supporting know that I’m a legitimate volunteer?

You will be asked to show your Key Volunteer letter, along with a valid form of ID, please make sure you have your phone on you and don’t hand your phone to the isolating person.

What should I do if I encounter any violent or aggressive behaviour?

Do not engage in any dialogue with members of the public displaying aggressive behaviour. If you feel physically threatened ring the police immediately on 999, otherwise ensure the incident is reported as soon as possible to your Ward Champion.

© Darlington Support UK | Terms | Team