👋Welcome to Covid -19 Mutual Aid Redbridge.


💜This is a community organising page to support the most vulnerable and isolated in our community during Covid-19. As such we have a responsibility to make sure we keep people and their details safe.


🔹 First and foremost volunteers should make sure they are fully well to help. If you, or someone you have had contact with, has developed symptoms you must self-isolate. See more detailed guidelines on the gov.uk page here. We have lots of ways you can help from home and it is paramount that the virus is not spread further. Key NHS recommendations you should follow all the time:

  • If you cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow or a tissue .

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitiser if you can’t.

  • Avoid touching your face.


🔹 To this end public transport should be avoided wherever possible and following social distancing rules, especially if shopping for someone. If this is not possible it is vital that all surface and items are disinfected before they are delivered.


🔹 Volunteers should always wash their hands and/or sanitise hands with hand sanitizer before handling the items they are leaving/delivering to community members. Current government advice says it is not known how long the virus can survive on surfaces, so we need to be as vigilant as possible. We understand not everyone is able to follow very detailed disinfection protocols but we encourage you to do as much as you can to minimise the risk of transmitting the virus to the vulnerable.


🔹The key recommendations we recommend you always follow are: wash your hands as much and as often as possible, for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitiser in between this, whenever possible, and regularly disinfect surfaces. Where you can, wipe/spray items you are delivering with disinfectant before you take them to the person - there is a detailed protocol on how to do this here: https://queercare.network/policy-for-doing-support-work-in-the-covid-19-pandemic/.  If you know someone is immunosuppressed (e.g they are being treated for cancer) then it is vitally important that you follow a full disinfection protocol which can be found here. If you can’t do this, please contact another volunteer who can to protect everyone’s health.


🔹All items/deliveries are to be left at the door or an agreed safe place. No face to face contact should happen and no-one should enter the property, or seek to enter the property. While there may be emergencies, this is to protect both volunteers and those receiving help from infection. Additionally it provides an extra layer of security and reassurance so unscrupulous individuals cannot abuse the trust placed in us.  


🔹Once items have been delivered to the door/safe place, the volunteer(s) should retreat back to the street (at least 2m away but where possible more) and call the recipient to let them know they can collect.


🔹 If you see or hear of anyone asking for cash, personal information, bank details, bank cards, or anything similar in order to go shopping for someone, please report this to the police and admins IMMEDIATELY. Unfortunately some people may use this crisis to try to take advantage of others and we want to make sure our group is doing everything possible to prevent this from happening.


🔹 We do not recommend money changing hands, to keep both the vulnerable and volunteers safe. Use click and collect services - Sainsbury’s offer phone ordering and so do many local shops where orders can be prepaid, or call ahead to ask if they can take payment over the phone. Pharmacies offer delivery in many cases so calling them directly to arrange this is best. 

🔹Where payment is needed we recommend that the requester and the volunteer pre-agree a shopping list and budget of maximum £30, and volunteers go in pairs or small teams. 

🔹The volunteer is to make sure they obtain a receipt and take a photo of it before including it with the items. 

🔹The volunteer should be reimbursed by the recipient or by someone else on their behalf, ideally by bank transfer so there is no opportunity for the virus to spread. If cash is used, it should be sealed in a plastic bag/envelope and disinfected before being handled by the volunteer.


🔹We have cancelled leafleting for the moment. We encourage you to post either of these as posters when you do your weekly shop or exercise: (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1L_8GoI1zQ572fBZtElFfQZI9vNEwK7Rf/view?usp=drivesdk) (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wJ_OfNm7xyudIj9zZmlOckdTKq-s629PRR4Gg6Lfc_4/edit). Please do not knock on doors to have face to face conversations, as this could unknowingly spread the virus! If you need support in meeting the requests you receive, you can seek help in the Whatsapp group, or Facebook group first - but you must avoid giving out the requester’s details. Have any deliveries etc sent to you or someone else which can then be passed on. 

🔹We have a ‘Someone needs help’ Google Form which you can use to report concerns over someone who is vulnerable, or requests that you have not been able to manage within your local or ward group. It can be found here: https://forms.gle/sABNX5iHqg3DkQCQ8

🔹If you have an immediate safeguarding concern over a child you should contact Redbridge council’s Child Protection Team on 020 8708 3885 (emergency number 020 8708 5897)

🔹If you have an immediate safeguarding concern about an adult you should call Redbridge Council’s Adult Social care team on 020 8708 7333 (emergency out of hours line 020 8554 5000 ) or the police on 101.


🔹 We encourage you to spread the word of this group and the Facebook group to friends/family/colleagues who may need help, or would like to offer help. Setting up smaller groups within your own wards is a good idea to make things more manageable, so please do go ahead. The more the merrier! We also know many of the vulnerable may not have access to Facebook and Whatsapp. We suggest each Whatsapp group leaflet their local shops/community centres etc using the template here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wJ_OfNm7xyudIj9zZmlOckdTKq-s629PRR4Gg6Lfc_4/edit 

We suggest buying a cheap PAYG sim with a new number just for this to avoid putting personal numbers in the public domain. 


🔹If any volunteers are under 18 they should be buddied up with an adult they know - ideally a relative -  to make sure they are never sent on requests alone, and that they are not left/sent to meet strangers by themselves.


🔹 Do not offer medical advice to anyone, or post speculation about cures/vaccines/preventatives - there is a lot of misinformation and we want to stay focused on providing practical help. If asked, advise people to follow the current NHS guidelines which you can find here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/


We are all volunteers so assume no responsibility for the activities of individuals. Please be vigilant and use common sense moving forward.