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Surrey Heath Prepared and how it works

What is happening in Surrey Heath (SH) to help the local community during the Coronavirus pandemic?

Each ward in Surrey Heath has established a team of volunteers under a Coordinator who will work to assist those who need help in their immediate local community during the Coronavirus pandemic. A central HQ has been established in Camberley to coordinate support and they can be contacted on 01276 66798.

How are you organised? Who makes decisions?

Surrey Heath Prepared is a voluntary organisation that was formed by a volunteer group on 13th March 2020 to provide Surrey Heath residents with emergency support through the COVID19 pandemic.

Surrey Heath Prepared is organised around electoral wards with coordinators and local volunteers for each ward. We also have a steering group with 5 members that formulate policy, provide direction and most importantly liaise with Surrey Heath Borough Council, our Member of Parliament, Charities, Faith Groups and other stakeholders.

Who is coordinating the support in my ward?

Each ward is led by a coordinator team who know your area well and lead the organisation of volunteers in your area.

Who are you helping?

Surrey Heath Prepared is set up to support residents of Surrey Heath. If you live outside of the area please contact your local council for assistance.

What is the Surrey Heath Prepared HQ doing?

A central Surrey Heath Prepared HQ has been established at High Cross Church in Camberley to coordinate the support effort across the Borough. Phone lines will be staffed 0900 – 1800 for 7 days a week. Out of hours, there will be an answerphone. The telephone number is 01276 66798.

A team of call handlers will respond to calls and emails. They will link requests for support with Coordinators, liaise with the Council and charity support as required and provide advice. They will also have access to a Food Bank and supply food as best they can.

What support is SH Borough Council providing?

Surrey Heath Prepared is the official volunteer network endorsed by Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC) during the COVID19 outbreak. We are in regular communication with SHBC and they have provided us with a liaison officer and immediate funding support.

How do I volunteer to help?

We actively encourage volunteers to come forward as the COVID-19 outbreak may result in restrictions for many months.  Volunteers are needed to help in local communities across Surrey Heath and to help support the operation at the Surrey Heath Prepared HQ in Camberley. If you wish to volunteer please visit the volunteer page here:  www.surreyheath-prepared.uk/volunteer/

Why do you want to know my address, telephone number and email address?

When you register with Surrey Heath Prepared your information will be securely shared with the volunteer coordinator for your local area so that they can respond. If we don’t have your full contact details this wastes valuable volunteer time and slows down our response.

What will you do with my data? Are you following GDPR?

Your personal data will be shared with as few individuals as possible to provide the volunteering service. Data Governance is a top priority for Surrey Heath Prepared and we are constantly looking at ways to improve our Data Security.

Please see the latest advice from the Information Commissioner regarding GDPR and COVID19 https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-and-coronavirus/

I would like to donate some money to help local residents. How do I donate and what will the money be used for?

We would very much appreciate financial donations. The money will be used directly to support local communities across Surrey Heath for the duration of the COVID19 crisis and is administered by High Cross Church. Any unspent donations will be forwarded to the Mayor’s Charities.

To donate:

Please donate online via our Just Giving Page

Or via bank transfer to:

HIGH  CROSS CHURCH

Sort Code: 30-99-80

Account No.: 40208268

Reference: COVID19

Registered Charity 1137310

Are you a UK taxpayer?

By completing and signing a Gift Aid Declaration, We can reclaim tax worth 25% on top of your gift. Click here for the form; print, sign and return to High Cross Church.

Advice on SHP Assistance

I am at home and some need assistance, what do I do?

You can either speak to your local volunteers (if they have already made themselves known to you) or call the HQ on 01276 66798 or let us know through the help page here: www.surreyheath-prepared.uk

I am running out of food and cannot afford to get any myself, what do I do?

If you do not have enough food to support yourself and do not have the means to pay for it, call the Surrey Heath Prepared HQ on 01276 66798 and we will attempt to find a solution to this problem for you.

Someone has come to my house asking me to give them money so they can buy food for me. What shall I do?

Under no circumstances should you hand money over to someone who is not a trusted friend. Regrettably there may be some people who seek to take advantage of this situation to scam people out of money.

A genuine Surrey Heath Prepared volunteer will never be offended if you wish to check their identity with the Surrey Heath Prepared HQ. If in doubt, or if you need help or advice, contact the Surrey Heath Prepared HQ on 01276 66798.

How are you prioritising people’s requests?

Requests for help are prioritised by local coordinators based on need and the availability of volunteers. Please bear in mind we are not resourced to provide emergency support. If you need emergency assistance please contact 999.

Are your volunteers DBS checked?

Please assume that volunteers do not have a current DBS. Many of our volunteers do have DBS but most are not portable. Surrey Heath Prepared undertakes volunteer work that does not require DBS. In exceptional circumstances, two volunteers will work together to manage safeguarding risks.

I’m concerned about a stranger coming to my house. How do we know that the volunteers are genuine?

Our team of volunteers are all drawn from your local community. They may already be known to you, be your friends or close neighbours. In these urgent circumstances we, regrettably, neither have the time nor resources to fully vet all volunteers.

If you are in any way concerned about the identity of a volunteer, ask them to wait at the door of your property and call the Surrey Heath Prepared HQ on 01276 66798.

I need food, but money is becoming very tight. What do I do?

If you are running short of food and do not have any money for more groceries, please inform your volunteer and they will ask Surrey Heath Prepared HQ for emergency assistance, which may come in the shape of a food parcel from the food bank.

I need to buy food and I have money but cannot get to the shops. What shall I do?

If you are able to pay for your groceries online, you can order via ‘Click and Collect’ and a volunteer could undertake collection if necessary.

If you are not a user of online shopping, a local volunteer may be able to purchase your groceries for you, although the cost would be added to a bill that would be presented to you at the end of the isolation period.

I have special dietary requirements, will this be covered in food parcels?

When you ask for food assistance, please let us know your specific dietary needs and we will do our best to meet them. Please understand that we are very limited in terms of what food we have been donated.

I am not geared up to homeschool, what support can you offer?

We are not able to assist with homeschooling but there are plenty of websites available to help you. Some are listed here: https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/free-home-schooling-apps-and-websites

I have to work and have children, will you send someone to babysit for my children?

No, we regret that is not possible. Our volunteers are not authorised to babysit children. Please seek advice from local childcare facilities or social services.

I am stuck at home on my own and would just like someone to talk to. How can you help?

Please contact the Surrey Heath Prepared HQ Helpline on 01276 66798 and they will arrange for someone to get in touch.

I need help with transport. How do I get help?

Surrey Heath Prepared are not in a position to offer transportation assistance. Please contact Surrey Heath Borough Council for community transport assistance. More information on this at https://www.surreyheath.gov.uk/residents/communities-wellbeing/community-services/community-transport  or call Surrey Heath Borough Council on 01276 707100.

I need medicine from the pharmacy but cannot get there to pick it up. Can you help?

Please contact the Surrey Heath Prepared HQ Helpline on 01276 66798 and they will try to arrange this for you.

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National and other advice

What is Surrey (Heath) Police’s advice at the moment?

Surrey Heath Prepared are not in a position to offer advice on policing matters. For the latest advice at your location please visit www.police.uk/surrey/

What is the latest stay at home advice?

The Latest Stay at Home advice can be found here.

What national advice and support is being provided?

Visit the Government website which provides the details: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus. The Government has announced a series of measures to help prevent the spread and to support businesses and communities. These are likely to evolve so do stay up to date with the news and website.

Where can I get medical advice?

Visit the NHS website which explains the symptoms, how to help prevent it spreading and what to do if you think you have contacted it:  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ Your local Surgery website will also provide clear guidance and explain how they are operating.