Thank you to everyone who has built upon their existing networks to provide street level support across the communities of Wrexham County Borough. There is a tremendous effort at the moment to develop support and ensure the safety and care of our vulnerable neighbours.
Support at Street Level
How to Volunteer:
At AVOW we are actively recruiting volunteers for deployment into various roles. If you know of anyone who wants to volunteer outside of their own Street Level activity please ask them to register on https://bit.ly/2QgCtfd
Mapping community support:
All Community Councils will receive a letter from Wrexham County Borough Council to give an overview of what is happening on the ground – it is vital that this information is provided as soon as possible so that a central resource can be created for use by people in communities and other agencies.
The Wrexham Community Map is now available to view and further information will be added as we receive it,
If you are another Group or Organization taking on a support role but not linked to the Community Council, please email email@example.com so that we can signpost appropriately.
Organisations in the local area
There is a Bank of Volunteers in the local area who have signed-up via the Volunteering-Wales platform that are available to support your community.
For more information and to access this support please contact AVOW by phone 01978 312556 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Individuals are eager to help across many role, with various skills, qualifications and some who have already been DBS checked.
Safeguarding Volunteers and residents needing help:
If organisations have had DBS systems before they should carry on processing the same way for their volunteers at street level.
AVOW can process DBS checks for individuals dealing with vulnerable adults or positions of trust, any organisations looking to access this service please email email@example.com
There are further guidelines on safeguarding through the Gov.UK guidelines.
If an individual is offering to volunteer to someone they don’t know, they should be issued with a letter or ID badge from a Community Council. If this is not possible the contact details of the person who is sending someone to help should be made available.
Everyone involved in the community response needs to ensure taking everyone’s safety and wellbeing as a top priority.
Handling other people’s Bank cards:
One of the biggest concerns is how can volunteers do shopping for others without cash. There is currently no easy system that is 100% risk free, remember only a small number of people may pose a risk and that most people can be trusted.
One way is to shop local with the person phoning the shop to place an order and pay over the phone as many smaller shops may be able to take manual payments. Your local Street Level volunteers can then pick it up and deliver!
All community Street Level organisers should create a list of local businesses able to carry-out over the phone transactions or deliver – many butchers, Fruit and Veg shops are running delivery services.
If you have details of business that can operate delivery please mail firstname.lastname@example.org to go on the overview database. AVOW will be compiling a list of known, available resources shortly.
Message for household if giving your card out:
- First try a family member, friend or neighbour you know
- Try and find a local shop that will take over the phone payments
- Check if the volunteer has a DBS (Note this is not 100% safe)
- Make sure that you agree approximately how long someone would be in possession of the card (have the person’s name, mobile phone and address details)
- Check online as soon as possible that the transactions match a shop receipt
- Check the receipt to make sure all items are yours
- Ensure that the card when given back is cleaned
- Give your card to someone you don’t have contact details for. Verify it is their phone number
- Do not give your card to anyone who knocks on your door you do not know.
- Do not expect to pay for someone doing shopping.
- If someone does not return with your card or shopping inform the Police (they could be doing the rounds and trying the same with someone else).
The following is a sample set of words that could be used by organisations providing support:
(name or organisation) is providing the information of a possible volunteer to help with your needs during the Coronavirus crisis are unaware if they have a current DBS certificate. It is your responsibility to check that you are comfortable for the person to do shopping or any other support you require as we cannot be held responsible.
With the increased restrictions on movements, a Telephone Tree is a simple way to encourage communication during isolation.
Start a phone call at the roots and work up to the branches – every time you receive a call make sure you call someone else.
Talking with people is a way of helping isolation and people’s mental health.
Stay safe when supporting others
- Keep washing your hands often for 20 seconds.
- Stay at least two metres – about four steps – away from people you’re helping.
- If you’re trying to help someone with very serious issues – don’t be afraid to flag with appropriate statutory services.
- Support family, friends and neighbours by phone or video call.
- Offer to run errands for people but stay outside of people’s homes.
- Let family and friends know what you’re doing.
- Don’t take on too much – it’s often better not to offer at all than to let someone down.
Community Councils and community organisers should when possible reimburse people who are using a car to pick up other peoples shopping or other travel. The arrangements should be made locally, there is a small amount of funding available from AVOW provided by Wrexham County Borough Council. For further information community organisers can contact Katherine Prince by email email@example.com.
Many people are asking about making large quantities of food and doing a delivery to people in isolation. Care needs to be taken when preparing food that goes beyond a family sharing a meal with a neighbour.
Mass cooking should be avoided as much as possible due to hygiene related issues however, some organisations may already habe the capacity for this and will be aware of the precautions.
It is better to encourage people to make an extra plate and donate to a neighbour.
Free School Meals
Wrexham County Borough Council have started with a Grab and Go system around several locations in Wrexham for parents to collect a lunch pack for their children. This has only just started and will evolve over the weeks. There are still plans potentially for an all Wales voucher system to be used in local supermarkets.
It is vitally important that communications around communities are effective, it is best that every message where possible is sent electronically using an email newsletter, Facebook, Whatsapp Group and using the Telephone Tree system.
People who are isolated can get all the national information from the national press but they should be kept up-to-date with anything happening in your own local community at least once a week.
Keeping in Touch – emotional support:
There are several online resources to help people with their personal wellbeing. It is important that organisations look after the wellbeing of their staff and volunteers to help them carry on with their roles.
It cannot be underestimated the level of emotional support people will need to get through by talking to each other. There is further information available on emotional support from mental health services on our website, or support for young people.
Support for Organisations:
Welsh Government have announced guidance for the Third Sector on their website.
There are several funds emerging in the current situation and these will be promoted on our website and social media channels as they come out.
For more information on the latest announcements please join our Funding Advice Facebook Group, or contact Funding Officer Nigel Davies by email firstname.lastname@example.org
AVOW hope to keep this as a weekly briefing to share with our communities support information and guidance- if there are particular issues you want information on email email@example.com
The content of this briefing is provided for information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content. We do not accept responsibility for any errors, omissions, misleading statements or the consequences thereof. AVOW Terms & Conditions.