We have a clear guidance policy for Swanage Neighbours volunteers on money, when shopping for people self-isolating during the coronavirus crisis. It is this:
1/ If at all possible, avoid handling money. This can be done by a person requiring shopping, ordering and paying for goods over the phone, and then the volunteer just picks up the goods. We have provided a list to all district coordinators with a list of businesses/shops that are offering this, although it is a limited and changing situation. To the best of our current ability, we are actively working with shops to help them offer these services.
2/ We recognise that Swanage is woefully under-resourced to provide an ‘over the phone’ payment system to ensure that everyone in Swanage who needs shopping, can get shopping in this way. So if a person can only get shopping by providing cash to the volunteer, we advise that cash is put in an envelope and then picked up from the doorstep by the volunteer. The change and the receipt is then returned in an envelope with the shopping. We advise that the cost of shopping is kept to under £20, unless there are extenuating circumstances. We recognise that social distancing and the risk of transmission of coronavirus means that the shopping cannot be signed for.
3/ For those who have access to online cash transfers or cheques, it may be more appropriate for the person who needs the shopping to transfer the money online, or write a cheque, after receiving the receipt. Cheques must only be handled with the appropriate hygiene safeguards.
4/ For those who require shopping but do not have access to cash, cheques or online banking, or alternatively cannot pay, road coordinators must immediately inform their district coordinators. We are in touch with the Foodbank and other agencies, who we are expecting to help people in these circumstances. Dorset Community Action has informed us that Dorset Council are working on making emergency funding available to people who can’t access their cash and they will let us know as soon as they know.
5/ UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES must a volunteer handle bank cards or PIN numbers. If a volunteer is asked to do so, they must inform their district coordinator immediately.
6/ If any person, either a volunteer or person requiring help, has any concerns about money or any other matter, they should, without delay contact the district coordinator. The district coordinator can then escalate the matter to the core team, as appropriate. If it is a safeguarding matter then they should, in confidence, contact Swanage Neighbours’ safeguarding lead, Emily Gadd via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated 31/03/2020