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Keep Southwark Safe

Volunteering and other ways to help

Coronavirus (COVID-19): How you can help

As the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) spreads across the country, many community groups and residents are looking out for one another and offering support to people who are vulnerable. This is welcome.

Tell us if you know someone who needs help

If you know of a vulnerable Southwark resident who can’t leave the house due to coronavirus (COVID-19), and who may not have friends, family or neighbours who can help with the delivery of essential supplies, please tell us straight away so we can help them.

How to volunteer

Community Southwark, co-ordinates the voluntary and community sector in the borough. They will be advertising all relevant volunteering opportunities on their website:

Other groups that are looking for volunteers to support residents who are self-isolating or socially distancing include:

Please only volunteer IF you are under 70, healthy (no underlying health conditions) and have no caring responsibilities. Please only volunteer for an organisation that you can reach via foot, bicycle or car (if necessary). Volunteers are strongly advised not to use public transport.

Volunteering: top tips on keeping yourself and others safe

We want to make sure that everyone who volunteers has access to good information about how we all have a role in safeguarding people, particularly those who are vulnerable.  We have made some of our learning resources available to voluntary sector partners and volunteers.

To access our safeguarding e-learning offer, please visit My Learning Source. If you are already registered on our system, you can log in using your email address and password (there is a link if you need to reset your password), otherwise click ‘create new account’ and complete the form and your log in details will be emailed to you.

We recommend that if you are volunteering or wish to help those around you it is important that you stay safe to protect yourself and those you are helping. Here are some important steps you should take:

  • if you feel at all unwell, do not volunteer
  • wash your hands regularly, especially before and after you deliver any items
  • try to support people who live close to you so you don't travel longer distances
  • do not bring people together face to face, be mindful of the governments advice on social distancing and isolating people at greater risk from COVID-19
  • if you make a delivery, stay two metres away from the person who is in isolation at all times. Place the items outside their door and then step away
  • be careful about how you share personal information about yourself and other people
  • be careful about taking money from people to pay for shopping. Consider writing down any payment, so that there is clear agreement. Please be aware that many people may be more vulnerable to fraud at this time

One of the most important ways that you can help is by following the government guidance to stay at home. When you do shop, please:

  • be considerate of others when you shop and only buy what you need. Please refrain from bulk buying as this can sometimes mean that others will be left without and we want to ensure that all our residents, and their families, have access to food
  • if you are able to, please collect your food shopping from stores so that we can keep online delivery slots available for those who need them the most

Our food banks need your donations

All food banks need donations at this time.

  • Southwark Foodbank said they need all donations at this time, needing food as well as personal sanitary products (shower gel, soap, tampons, toothpaste etc).  The address is 121A Peckham High Street, Peckham, London SE15 5SE and they are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
  • Southwark Community Foodbank also needs donations of all types
  • Little Village Southwark continue to support Southwark families via their two bigger hubs in Wandsworth and Camden and are grateful for support to our Virtual Village campaign    

How businesses can help

If you are a local food business who has closed / scaled back and has unwanted stock or surplus food please contact publichealth@southwark.gov.uk and we will help connect you to an organisation who can redistribute your food.

Print at home poster

You can print and display this poster (pdf, 75kb). If displaying in a communal area please follow the social distancing guidelines.  

Page last updated: 23 April 2020

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