Supporting Community Relief

Supporting Community Relief

From COVID-19 to flooding to food poverty and joblessness, Warrington like other parts of the country has had its trials and tests recently.  But the resilience of residents and the strength of our community has been inspirational.  If you are looking to help out with some of the support for these challenges, we share some things to consider as you do.


Providing Emergency Assistance

Including moving individuals and items

All those offering support should be mindful of their own symptoms. Whilst there is an understandable desire for people to contribute at times of need no one should do so if they are symptomatic of COVID-19. This includes very mild symptoms which would not usually keep you at home.

Where possible it is advised that individuals maintain at least 2 metres physical distance and ensure that they are wearing a face covering.

If this is not possible try to:

  • Avoid face to face contact with people – sitting or standing side by side will help to reduce risk.
  • Whilst talking try to do so quietly and avoid shouting.
  •  Keep interactions with others brief – the longer you have contact with someone the higher the risk.
  • Attempt to limit the number of people you come in to contact with from different households.  If there are a number of people helping try to share the workload.
  • Hands should be washed regularly and sanitiser used especially if holding people’s hands when assisting them to safety. In situations where there has been physical contact ensure that the other person also washes or sanitises their hands.
  • If lifting something requires more than one person if possible try and ensure that those same two people ‘buddy up’ and are working together throughout rather than mixing with others.
  • If possible try not to car share with others from different households or support bubbles.  If this isn’t possible hand sanitiser and face coverings should be used if available and those travelling in the vehicle should be physically separated as possible.  It is also important to keep the car well ventilated.
  • Try to avoid touching your face.


Inviting Support In

If you have to invite someone into your home such as a tradesperson, try and maintain social distancing, ensure it is well ventilated and face coverings are used. Think carefully about if this is needed.


Helping With The Clean-Up Afterwards

The person entering the house should only do so neither volunteer nor person they are supporting are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 and haven’t received a positive test result within the last 10 days

As with the above, if entering somebody’s home you should:

  • Maintain social distancing
  • Use a face covering
  • Regularly wash your hands
  • Keep the number of people you have contact with to a minimum.  If something requires more than 1 person to lift it then you should endeavour to partner up with someone
  • Make sure the building is well ventilated
  • Spend as little time in the property as possible
  • Don’t play music which could encourage singing and lead to people needing to shout


Community Facilities / Centres

Where possible the guidance on social distancing should be followed; 2 metres or 1 metre with face coverings and cleaning procedures.

  • Try to keep different households and support bubbles separate where possible
  • Use face coverings if available
  • Keep rooms well ventilated
  • Ensure adequate handwashing facilities are available
  • Regularly disinfect surfaces and common touchpoints



Donating Items

Before donating an item please ensure you have washed your hands with hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds before handling the item(s). You may be able to clean or quarantine items beforehand.

The virus can live on hard surfaces for up to 72 hours. Although none of the below is a hard surface and WHO and Public Health England report of no evidence of transmission from food packaging, you may wish to quarantine any items that are difficult to clean as advised by the guidance below.

During the donation of any item, you should still observe physical distancing and wear a face mask.

After the donation of an item, you must wash your hands again for 20 seconds and follow any specific guidance mentioned below.


Food Packaging

Although it is very unlikely that COVID-19 is transmitted through food or food packaging, as a matter of good hygiene practice, volunteers and recipients of food donations should wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Food packaging should be handled in line with usual food safety practices following existing risk assessments and safe systems of working.

Risk of contamination on hard materials such as tins and plastic containers can be reduced by disinfecting the item. This should be done by spraying a cloth or paper towel and wiping the item to ensure there is no chance of the disinfectant contaminating the food product.

Risk of transmission can also be reduced by keeping the number of people in contact with donated items kept to a minimum before the item is received by the recipient.



Wash items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest water setting and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an unwell person can be washed with other people’s items. To minimise the possibility of dispersing virus through the air, do not shake dirty laundry prior to washing. Clean and disinfect anything used for transporting laundry with your usual products.



When items cannot be cleaned using detergents or laundered, for example, upholstered furniture and mattresses, steam cleaning should be used. Items that are unable to be cleaned should be quarantined for 72 hours.

Other furniture that would not be damaged by a cleaning product can be cleaned with disinfectant.



Providing Emotional / Practical Advice / Support

If someone requires some practical advice or support where possible this should be done virtually (Zoom or telephone for example).  It has to be face to face it is vital that COVID-19 measures are complied with including using face coverings, social distancing and continuing to regularly wash your hands.


Warrington skyline

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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