This page aims to provide some practical advice on how Muslim organisations can ensure the safety of their volunteers who are supporting the most vulnerable of our society during this pandemic. We are consistently reviewing the situation on the ground and will produce new guidelines as and when the situation changes.
It is vital to acknowledge that in order to protect your volunteers effectively, the aim of your work must solely be to prevent as many infections happening as possible. You must assume anyone could be infected with the virus, and could be spreading it asymptomatically.
There are some key guidelines for all activities:
- Washing hands effectively with soap or hand sanitiser is efficient in removing the virus, reducing the chances of it being passed on.
- If the voluntary work is not delivering food or aid to those in need, and can be done online and from home, then it is important to take that opportunity and advise and help volunteers who can work online and distantly to do so.
- If volunteers have elderly or immunocompromised members at home, they should be advised to prioritise the health of their family members and not risk carrying the virus home.
- It is important to frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces are regularly touched, such as computers and doorknobs.
- Volunteers should be advised not to take public transport if possible.
- Charities should make sure that the emergency contacts of volunteers are up to date.
- If someone becomes unwell, especially with a continuous cough or a high temperature, they should be sent home and advised to follow government guidelines.
- In following GDPR guidelines, data of individuals must not be shared to other groups without their consent.
Advice when delivering items:
When you are delivering items to an individual who is self-isolating, you must ensure volunteers don’t pick up or pass on the virus. Individuals delivering items must not enter the recipients’ home.
When delivering, travel in a way which reduces the risk of exposure to the virus. Try to avoid taking public transport as they are likely to be hotspots for the virus. When you arrive at the recipient’s house, place the items immediately outside the door. Call/text the person whilst standing at least two metres away from the person, making sure they pick it up and take it into their home.
Items like cash should not be taken from a house with people self-isolating.
Advice when collecting prescriptions:
The information needed for this is quite sensitive so must be handled with great care. You must check if the person normally pays for their prescription and if so, arrange to pay for items ahead of time. This would ideally be done through bank transfer to avoid cash handling.
You must consider how the medicine is to be stored. If the prescription contains items that can only be left out at room temperature for a limited time period, you must factor this into your delivery. If you are collecting items which are designated control drugs like morphine, oxycodone or buprenorphine, you will need to present ID when collecting a prescription.
Be prepared – the pharmacy may call the person to confirm they know someone is collecting the prescription on their behalf.
Dropping off advice is the same for dropping off any other item.
Here are some links that may be of use:
Coronavirus: How to help safely (Government advice):
Poster on handwashing that can be used in the workplace:
Covid-19 Mutual Aid website: