Amport Parish Council has set up a volunteer group for anyone who needs to self isolate due to Corona Virus:
Please contact us on – firstname.lastname@example.org or Mobile: 07553 045280 if you need help with shopping, etc or are able to volunteer!
In mid-March it became apparent that the insidious threat of a pandemic was real and a planned reaction would be necessary. New phrases such as Covid-19 and self-isolation were widespread in the media and Amport PC were aware of the concern in the community and in particular a concern for others. People were naturally reaching-out to their neighbours to offer support, but we decided to augment that service with Amport Parish Community Support. We certainly don’t have all the answers, but a planned yet evolving programme was created whereby volunteers would be contacted to respond to any requests for help from within the community.
I decided that if volunteers were to be asked to respond in this way, then a suitable Code of Conduct should be agreed and affirmed and an outline of how the programme would work should be the basis of the scheme. I have shared these below.
The programme has been soft launched today, Thursday 19th March and there are 18 volunteers already registered. There is a dedicated smart phone to co-ordinate a request for support and the call-out. A leaflet drop to all households within the parish should be completed by the weekend.
I don’t know how the service will be used, if at all, as these are unprecedented times; but hopefully it will mean no-one is left alone should they be asking for support or just a chat.
VOLUNTEER CODE OF CONDUCT
As a community support volunteer for Amport Parish, I agree to the following points:
- I am willing to provide my services as a volunteer. I understand my role in the programme. I will act within these limits and to the spirit of the programme of supporting fellow members of the community in their personal problems however large or small.
- I am willing to abide by the core principles of this programme of confidentiality; being non-judgemental and providing support to those reaching-out.
- I will not act as an expert advisor, nor make decisions for those using the service or act on their behalf. The support offered will be agreed, written and signed for the protection of all parties.
- While I am supporting a fellow community member, I understand it can be easy to become over involved in their circumstances. I understand it is important to maintain professional and discrete boundaries, whilst still being friendly and supportive.
- I undertake to keep confidential the information shared with me by anyone using this programme and these rules and obligations never cease. I will dispose of contact details on completion of support.
- I understand that I have a personal responsibility to ensure secure, safe and confidential precautions when supporting someone. I will update myself on best practice and respect medical advice regarding the physical and mental well-being of others within the community.
- The only time I will break confidentiality and seek wider assistance are in the circumstances where I believe there is a threat to the safety of the individual. In this instance I will seek to escalate my involvement in accordance with respect to the rights, beliefs and opinions of others and the law.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
If you need some help or you are reaching out for a chat for example then contact the co-ordinator on 07553 045280 or email email@example.com
The team of volunteers will then receive an email “someone is seeking support. If you are in a position to provide this support please respond, using reply to all on this email chain”.
The contact details will then be passed to the first available volunteer, this is the only exchange of personal information, and the volunteer will support their client, respecting the agreed Code of Conduct. They will also feedback to the volunteer email chain that their client (no names used) is being supported, hence closing the loop and maintaining a discrete service.
Once the volunteer has completed the support, there is no need to maintain a record they simply pick-up another request or maintain a listening watch or asked to be removed from the email chain. Naturally the person who requested support can either maintain the relationship with the volunteer or ask for support again via firstname.lastname@example.org or 07553 045280
Within the community there maybe interest to intervene on someone’s behalf, please be cautious about making a third party intervention, if you think someone needs help, then please seek their agreement first.
There is the agreed Code of Conduct for volunteers and a system is in place to ensure GDPR compliance, which will be effective if we stay disciplined and don’t use any names in correspondence. Even with the best of intentions, a comment such as “Mrs Bloggs is really suffering, she has stress and anxiety”, would leave us exposed in terms of GDPR.
It will be an evolving programme. The volunteer email addresses will be held solely for this programme. Good luck.
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Amport has a welcoming community, a successful primary school and a lovely pub, a historic church, a bustling village hall and is surrounded by beautiful Hampshire scenery. We are four miles west of Andover in the valley of Pillhill Brook. The civil parish includes the Amport and East Cholderton villages and stretches from Weyhill to Cholderton by way of parts of Quarley and Middlecott.