In the fight against coronavirus we have only one weapon. That is the trust we place in one another to follow the rules.
KEEPING SAFE DURING RESTRICTIONS
As we move through each of the phases of restrictions we will be keeping a close eye on the most relevant guidance provided to us by the Scottish Goverment and local health protection teams. Rowan Alba CARDS staff risk assess all engagements between volunteers and individuals receiving support. The most important aspect for you is reading and understanding the guidance, then supporting your client to collaborate with you in keeping each other safe. You may be the first person to discuss the guidelines with them in an informed way, so it is key to set clear boundaries and stick to them. Your specific visit will have already received a ‘baseline’ Risk Assessment which will follow a traffic light system, This keeps you and your client involved in the decision making process at every step.
FOR THOSE WHO HAVE HAD VISIT PLANS APPROVED
Comprehensive risk assessments and visits plans are in place through collaboration between the CARDS Team, volunteers and service users. There is more to consider than just ‘planning to meet up’. Out door meetings will need to be planned around the weather, and finding a dry, comfortable place to meet. We also need to ensure we can get PPE to you, should you encounter a situation which requires you to wear it eg meeting at a bus stop, or other covered areas. Individual plans for you and your client have now been finalised so everyone that wants a visit can continue to receive our service. If you have not already agreed your visit plan, read through the guidance on this page, then give us a call to help fill in the gaps and get your visits back on track. The general rule of thumb is meet outside where you can and if it is not possible meet indoors with added precautions. We will help you every step of the way.
FOR THOSE WHO ARE WAITING ON HAVING THEIR VISITS APPROVED
As above we are risk assessing the volunteering role, the travel to the volunteering visit and the visit itself . CARDS staff will continue to gather information and feedback from other professionals in social care as we move back in to the community outreach services and add to our understanding of best developing best practice in this area. However, when it comes to knowledge of the environment and the individual themselves your expertise will be invaluable to this process. A member of the CARDS team will have a focussed discussion with you, based on government guidance, which will produce the finalised visit plan. The client and volunteer will lead this and be at the centre of the decision making process.
The only expectation we have, is that everyone who delivers or receives the service, feels comfortable in their decision to do so.
MANY VISITS WILL REMAIN RESTRICTED TO TELEPHONE ONLY
There will be many reasons that some visits continue to be restricted to telephone sessions only. CARDS will continue to proceed with appropriate caution, and with the health and wellbeing of everyone involved in visits at the heart of all decisions made. We now have additional resources in the form of a team of highly experienced locum workers. We have developed this new resource in coordination as part of our response to lockdown, and the continual development of the service that CARDS provides. These former volunteers embody the very spirit of collaboration, and bring their enthusiasm, energy, and commitment to help us support the most isolated and at risk individuals through this current crisis, in line with government advice. Our team of Locums and CARDS staff will be able to take on signposting, risk assessing and in general doing the admin behind the scenes to make sure that this person does not fall of our radar at any time.
ON CALL ROTA
Rowan Alba On Call Rota is on hand to deal with any emergency situation that may occur during your visit with your client. From time to time we may need to make changes to this rota so please remember that it is your responsibility to check who is on call before your appointments. Save all the numbers in your phone now as CARDS so you can access them easily or if you are having trouble accessing just call our head office or one of our services.
At CARDS we have recently included a PEER SUPPORT element to complement the range of the support that we can offer. This step was taken in response to feedback received from our volunteers and clients who felt that the sharing of “Lived Experience” in the correct context would be beneficial in supporting positive change.
POLICIES, PROCEDURES AND FRAMEWORKS
Here are some of the documents that we refer to when we are making decisions that affect our staff, service users or our volunteers. Some of these frameworks inform the way we work and some are just useful to get a feel of our values. The only obvious gap here is the wishes of the service user. This is where our curiosity lies, our desire to learn progresses and the relationship you provide helps along the way.
CARDS Volunteer Resources
The intention of this list is for the volunteer to be able to provide information on sources of support, advice or activities to clients when they request it (sign posting). Volunteers should not attempt to give any advice they are unsure of without contacting CARDS staff first.
Please ensure that if any incident occurs or any situation arises that the volunteer is unsure of it should be immediately reported to the CARDS staff (or on-call out of office hours).
In the event of an emergency the CARDS volunteer should contact emergency services immediately on 999.
”I visited Tom for a year, then he started to have his daughter and grandkids round. He said he had learned how to let people back in to his home. Two years in and now he only drinks at night and helps with the kids homework twice a week”Ben. Volunteer Befriender.