Home Coronavirus: Community response Community Support & Volunteer Line for those affected by the Coronavirus
help during coronavirus from volunteer hub helpline

Community Support & Volunteer Line for those affected by the Coronavirus

by Gemma Melling

Do you need extra help during the Coronavirus outbreak – or do you want to offer a helping hand?

A new Coronavirus Community Support and Volunteer Line has been created for Knowsley residents needing additional support during the outbreak and for those wanting to volunteer their time or services to help those in need in their local community.

This helpline is available for:

  • residents that may need additional support during the outbreak, such as vulnerable residents accessing food supplies.
  • local businesses seeking advice or the latest Government information – Knowsley Council’s Business Support team can help.
  • local businesses urgently seeking additional staff recruitment and residents looking for work – you can also contact Knowsley Works
  • those wanting to volunteer their time and services to help those in need in their local community.

This move is yet another example of the Knowsley Better Together initiative which sees the council working in partnership with residents, businesses, partners and the voluntary sector – to make a lasting difference in the community.

Anyone needing support can call freephone 0800 073 0043 from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm at weekends and bank holidays. Please note, to assist our teams, if your call at the weekend is about a non-urgent matter, you will be asked to leave a message and a hub operative will return your call on Monday. Urgent matters will be dealt with during the call.

The same number can be used by local businesses or organisations offering support and would-be volunteers.

Callers will be asked for details and will either be signposted to the relevant support, or be linked with a service or volunteer who can offer support.

There is also online forms which can be completed by both those requesting help and those seeking volunteering opportunities:

View the Volunteer Hub privacy notice.

Guidance for volunteers

Firstly – thank you for volunteering! Whatever time you can give, you will be helping make a real difference to people in our communities.

Here are some answers to the questions we know you’ll have:

General FAQs:

Phone our Community Support and Volunteer Line on 0800 073 0043 or you can register your interest by filling in our online form.
Yes, of course, but you will be volunteering to help Knowsley residents. We would aim to match you with Knowsley residents as close to your area as possible.
There are a number of volunteering opportunities, including: • Shopping collection and delivery • Packaging of food items for distribution and delivering food parcels • Dog walking • ‘Check in and Chat’
When you complete the application form you will be asked to express a preference for the type of volunteering you would like to do.
Wherever possible we aim to match people with a volunteering opportunity of their choice in their local area.
The application process asks you to specify which day, and time of day you would like to volunteer, e.g. morning, afternoon or evening.
We can’t guarantee volunteering opportunities for everyone. This will be subject to demand and whether local community groups need additional support.
Yes, if you live nearby you could walk someone’s dog or visit a supermarket within walking distance. You could also assist with phone-based tasks like ‘check in and chat’.
Yes, we have a ‘check in and chat’ scheme whereby you can offer your time to ring someone who may be lonely or self-isolating for a chat.
The minimum age for volunteering is 18. If you are 70 or over, or part of the ‘shielded’ group we would ask if you could get involved with the ‘check in and chat’ service. Find out more about ‘check in and chat’.
You don’t need to have a DBS, but we will ask if you’ve been barred from working with any groups of people. We may also conduct our own background checks.
The volunteer guidance includes some useful information about safeguarding to help you spot any signs of abuse or neglect and advice on what to do. Important information about safeguarding.
You may hear or receive personal or confidential information while volunteering. You will be asked to agree to the council’s policies in this regard when you sign up as a volunteer. We will also provide guidance about how to manage that data. Here’s some useful information about Protecting Personal Information.
We will adhere to the latest Government PPE guidance regarding the provision of PPE. Here’s some useful information about Personal Protective Equipment.
Here is the Government guidance which provides information about those offering support to vulnerable members of the community.

 

Questions about the collection of shopping & provisions

No. This will depend on your personal circumstances and how comfortable you are about walking or using public transport.
The resident you are matched with provide this information.
Yes, we advise a limit of £50, or 20 items. You should also consider the amount of shopping you can comfortably carry, especially if you are shopping for a number of households.
No, to avoid contamination we advise you buy new carrier bags at the supermarket / shop.
We advise volunteers should visit no more than one supermarket.
The person whose shopping you are buying will be asked to supply you with either cash or an online volunteer shopping card. Under no circumstances should a volunteer handle bank cards. Here’s some information about how to purchase a volunteer card.

 

Questions about dog walking

Yes, Government guidance permits this volunteering activity.
We wouldn’t advise this as you will not necessarily know temperament of new dog, and the two dogs may not walk well together. Here’s some useful advice about dog walking.
No, we wouldn’t advise this.

 

Download all our volunteer guidance:

These guides have been produced to help our volunteers.