Volunteer Information

To be a point-of-contact for the residents in their allocated streets. Receiving phone calls or emails from these residents requesting support that they might need in a number of areas whilst isolating during this COVID-19 pandemic. If you are able to fulfill these support requests yourself, please do so but always remember that the safety, health and well being of you and the resident is paramount, therefore we ask that you follow all social distancing and decontamination guidelines set out within the following areas. If you are unable to fulfill a request or do not feel comfortable doing so, please pass this information to our central team via voicemail on 01271 316590 or by email on info@brauntoncommunity.org and we will follow this up. Braunton Community Network are not only here as a support mesh for all the residents of Braunton, Wrafton and Knowle but as resource for assistance to all the wonderful volunteers helping our village during these difficult times.

Areas of Support Guidance

This was the first and most demanding challenge we at BCN came across. Our understanding of how this need is being met across the village is as follows:

  1. Residents not in isolation or shielding are able to collect their own prescriptions
  2. Those residents that are isolating or shielding have the following options:
    • Friends family or known neighbours are able to collect on their behalf
    • Street Coordinators receive a request and collect for the resident or pass directly to BCN Central Team
    • BCN have a centralised prescription collection team covering all the pharmacies in Braunton and Barnstaple able to collect prescriptions daily, working closely with the pharmacy managers, Caen Medical Centre and our local CCG.

N.B. Volunteers are currently unable to collect Controlled Drug medication under any circumstances. There are conversations occurring at a strategic level to try and resolve this barrier to support.

The two main questions that need to be asked initially when receiving a request for food delivery support are: 1. Can the resident afford to pay for the food that they need? and 2. Do they have access to cash only or a bank card and account?

IMPORTANT NOTE: Cash should not be transferred between resident and volunteer if at all possible. Cash poses a significant risk both in terms of COVID-19 transmission as well as safeguarding vulnerable residents. In order to avoid cash transfer, BCN propose the following options should a resident need food delivery support.

Card/ Account

If the resident has access to a bank card and/or online banking please refer them to online delivery slots with any supermarket retailer initially. Residents can also contact any of the local shops and services taking orders via telephone and offering delivery. A list of these can be found on the Braunton Parish Council website and Plastic Free North Devon website.

Braunton Parish Council

Plastic Free North Devon

Cash Only

If a resident has available money but only in cash or cannot access the Card/Account options, please contact BCN on info@brauntoncommunity.org and we will explain how you can access our Shopping Support Scheme options which avoid transferring cash across the community. In this scheme the responsibility for payment of shopping is passed to Braunton Parish Council as part of BCN with only the collection and delivery of items being undertaken by volunteers.

Emergency Help

We understand that during this time of uncertainty resident’s financial situations may be changing or under pressure. If you receive contact from or know of someone that is struggling to afford enough food and essential items, BCN are working closely with South Street Food Bank in Braunton to offer top-up shopping parcels free of charge and with no eligibility criteria – if you ask for help, you will receive it. Contact BCN on 01271316590 stating ‘need food parcel’, the resident name, contact number and best time to call. A volunteer from SSFB will contact the resident directly to arrange a list of items needed and delivery. South Street Food Bank is open for donations and deliveries on Mon, Weds and Fri 10am – 1pm.

Many people across the village are helping their friends, family and neighbours in all sorts of fantastic ways an in recruiting Street Coordinators, we hoped that many of them would be known by at least some of the residents living in your allocated streets, extending on the natural relationships already present. We know that many Street Coordinators are already keeping in contact with ‘their’ residents and we hope that this two way communication will continue. A quick call once a week to an isolated resident might just be the lifeline that they need to stay mentally okay. If Street Coordinators receive a call from a resident or during a conversation you identify that a person may need additional additional welfare, befriending or mental health support you have a couple of options:

BCN Befriending

We are putting together a team of befriending volunteers that can make dedicated check-in calls to particular residents that have indicated that they may be lonely or would like someone to speak to on a regular basis. We are hoping that Ask for Jake volunteers might fulfill this role as they have had some mental health awareness training but if you know of anyone that would be suitable or would like to volunteer for this role yourself, please do contact us.

Livewell in Braunton

Livewell in Braunton is an established project run in association with Caen Medical Centre and their fantastic Community Connector, Sophie is available to help with a myriad of complex welfare needs. Livewell are an integral partner of Braunton Community Network and if whilst in conversation with family, friends, neighbours or residents you feel that they may need assistance that goes beyond befriending due to other mental health concerns or lifestyle challenges please do get in touch with Sophie on connect@livewellinbraunton.co.uk or BCN on info@brauntoncommunity.org.

We are thinking about the future of Braunton Community Network, if there is one, after COVID-19. In association with Live well in Braunton we would like to hear from all you wonderful people that have generously stepped up to help their community to find out how this looks. What does the village need for its residents? What initiatives or projects would you like to see in Braunton? How can we retain the momentum of community spirit that is present right now to ensure every resident is heard and supported going forward. If you would like to know more or would like to comment, please contact BCN on info@brauntoncommunity.org or 01271316590.

There are many ways that we might find we need a helping hand during this time, so BCN would like to help coordinate that assistance for you. We are currently looking for volunteers or professionals willing to volunteer a small amount of their time in the following areas of support:

Pet Care

Pets are a part of the family and we want to make sure they stay healthy too. Whether it means collecting flea/worm treatment or medication from the vet, dog walking or signposting to mobile groomers. We have volunteers in our central team that can help. Many of these tasks seem to be taken care of by resident’s individual network’s of support but if you come across someone asking for help in this area, please do get in touch.

Household Maintenance

This is a difficult area of support to provide due to the high exposure to risk that comes with entering resident’s homes but as Selaine Saxby stated just this week, tradespeople have been allowed to continue working in homes as long as all safety and social distancing guidelines are followed. We aim to have on our database at least two of the following professionals in each trade that we can call upon if a resident is having a household emergency. We are asking for professionals to fulfill this role because of the increased safeguarding risks that are presented by entering a resident’s home.

Gardening

For many of us during lockdown, gardening has been a reprieve from the monotony and has allowed us to spend time in our outdoor spaces. For those few who may not be able to do this and would usually call on friends and family to maintain their gardens, we at BCN would like to be able to help fill this gap with a couple of professional gardeners available. We have one volunteer on the database that has already helped two elderly residents be able to get out and enjoy their gardens in the sunshine so far. This is important due to the mental health benefits received especially for those that cannot leave their homes for daily exercise.

Braunton Community Network are closely linked with One Northern Devon, North Devon Voluntary Services and North Devon District Council who have a wealth of information on their websites surrounding support and recruitment of volunteers. If you or someone you know would like to offer additional voluntary services in the wider area please register here: https://forms.gle/Z2d7h6NxH1jPKTfi8.

*** Current Social Distancing and Safety Guidance***

Please follow the government guidance that can be found HERE.

North Devon Council are advising that wearing a mask may be beneficial in preventing the spread of COVID-19 to others but may not prevent you from catching the disease if you are wearing the mask. In light of this, we at BCN are going to endeavor to have a small supply of masks available from June that our volunteers who do not have access to one already, can have. If you wear a mask and gloves, please be mindful how you dispose of these after touching potentially contaminated surfaces.

We also ask that you keep up to date on the latest safety guidance so that if you have contact with a resident that does not have access to television or the internet you are able to provide them with up-to-date information.

If you have any further questions or worries surrounding social distancing or safety with your role as a volunteer, please do not hesitate to contact us at BCN and we will call you straight back.