Keeping People Safe

Keeping People Safe

This section focuses on things to think about to keep yourself and others safe.

Keeping Yourself Safe

Boundaries

You should have within your role description or conversations with your volunteer manager a clear understanding of what the role is but also what the role isn't.

Things which are considered to be good practise when thinking about boundaries:

  • Avoid giving away too much information about yourself and personal details.
  • You may end up forming friendships with the people you support, if this happens, let your volunteer manager know and you can support someone else and support your new friend seperately
  • Try not to launch into conflict.   If you are having problems with a volunteer or person you are supporting, talk to your volunteer manager or leader for support.
  • Don't go over and above the roles, tasks such as cleaning, personal care, legal advice and other life 'admin' are set for volunteers with lots of robust training and support systems or paid staff.  Even though the person might need this support, don't be tempted to offer it yourself, talk to your leader.

Gifting

Volunteers should not accept gifts, gratuities and bequests from clients, their family or friends. If the situation arises then politely explain that it’s your role to support people and not appropriate to accept personal gifts for services provided, though the gesture is appreciated.  

Dealing With a Concern

You may have a concern about something a person has said or something you have seen which you think could mean the person you are supporting could be experiencing harm or is at risk of harm.  Always know who to talk to in your group about such concerns and talk to them (and only them) about the situation.

General Safety

  • Make sure someone knows where you are going and once you are finished let someone know you are done.
  • Try and stay in areas where there is good lighting, you might need to carry a torch for dark paths and help yourself feel more secure.
  • If possible, park close to where you are volunteering and make sure you have an easy route back to your car or to a more crowded area if on foot.
  • If you have one, make sure you have your phone charged and you have saved important numbers rather than you having to look them up.

Also, remember to try and keep a focus on your mental wellbeing.  You can find resources and information here - Happy OK Sad (warrington.gov.uk)

 

Keeping Others Safe

Being Observant

When you are working with the people you support stay observant.  Make sure they are alright by asking general open questions but don't interrogate them.  If you are able to see them, do they look like they are getting what they need?  Are there any concerns you might have that they are coming to harm?

Do remember that this might be the first time you have encountered someone that needs this kind of support and you may be surprised, shocked, upset or angry about that you experience.  This is someone's life and it is not for you to judge their situation but also not dismiss it either.  Talk to your volunteer manager / leader about what you have experienced and are feeling to get some more understanding.

Given some of the situations raised by the pandemic (families not being able to see each other for example) you may be the only eyes that someone has on them in the week, so an informal enquiry as to their wellbeing in a quick chat might make a big difference to someone's wellbeing.

Scams

We are aware that, unfortunately, a small number of unscrupulous individuals may be taking advantage of the pandemic to try and scam vulnerable people. If you have contact with isolated or vulnerable people, please remain alert to the possibility of scams and if you have any concerns to report these to Trading Standards on 0808 223 1133.

More information and advice on COVID19-specific scams can be found on the Friends Against Scams website -  https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/article/505/beware_of_covid_19_scams

Confidentiality

You will be a party to a lot of sensitive information and will gather new information as you deliver your role.  It is important for the wellbeing of everyone involved that you do not discuss cases with anyone other than the team you are working with.  The only time you would break confidentiality is if there is a safeguarding concern that someone has or could be harmed.  This would only be discussed with your team leader or volunteer manager.  

If you have been affected or upset by anything you have seen or experienced speak to your volunteer manager.

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The Gateway, 89 Sankey Street, Warrington, WA1 1SR Tel: 01925 246880
Registered in England & Wales as a Registered Charity 1129343
and as Company Limited by Guarantee No:6805818

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