This is basic guidance for communities coming together to help each other out during the current crisis.

It has been issued by Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector, part of Glasgow’s Third Sector Interface.

Across Glasgow, communities and neighbours are coming together to try to help in any way they can. We need to ensure that those who are volunteering are kept safe, and that those they are assisting are not placed at risk. So we’ve pulled together some guidance and information to help.

1. DON’T DUPLICATE EXISTING SERVICES

If there is already a community or voluntary organisation – and we include churches and housing associations here – organising in your neighbourhood, please make contact with them and offer to work with them rather than setting up something new. Established organisations will already have in place safeguarding and data protection policies, and will have appropriate insurance.

To find out if there is an organisation working in your area, please use the GCVS Directory, which is being updated every couple of days.

You can see this and learn more about it here; http://www.gcvs.org.uk/blog/glasgow-community-support-around-covid19-directory/

2. KEEP UP TO DATE WITH NEW INFORMATION

Twitter is the best and quickest way to share information more widely. Make sure you follow @GlasgowGCVS and @GlasTSINetwork on Twitter and watch for further information. Use keyword searches on social media to find out if there is anything already organised in your neighbourhood. Follow local accounts.

3. THINK ABOUT SAFEGUARDING AND SAFETY

Informal neighbourhood initiatives providing support to neighbours are not registered charities, and cannot be expected to have the same levels of protocols and policies. But following the basic principles of safeguarding and safety are vital to protect vulnerable people.

We advise reading and following the guidelines produced by Volunteer Glasgow, available here; http://www.volunteerglasgow.org/volunteer/covid-19-what-volunteers-and-organisations-should-know/

4. FOLLOW NHS GUIDELINES

You need to follow NHS guidance on isolation and on stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This link should guide you or your local action group if you are e.g. delivering shopping, picking up prescriptions etc. Speak to people through doors rather than directly or keep at least two metres (about six feet) away. Make sure you are all washing your hands frequently and wipe down anything you deliver e.g. with antibacterial wipes.