This website has been put together very quickly as a response to the COVID-19 crisis facing everyone. The aim is to connect the huge volume of voluntary groups emerging and create a place where those without internet or Facebook can ask a friend, neighbour or family member to post a request from anywhere and we will connect you to your local support group.
Admin users of a community group register with the site, and are approved by site administrators.
Admin users of a community group can then register their local admins and volunteers themselves with delegated authority for speed of deployment. You will be asked to provide details of the relationship with the volunteer where it exists or details of what common sense checks you carried out before allowing them to volunteer. i.e. I have seen their ID via text, link or video and have a screenshot.
Requests for help are then routed to the local group who can quickly match the need to the volunteer in the system with a few clicks. At that point, the contact information is provided by email along with a random safe-word (known only to the admin, volunteer and person requiring help) and a reminder of the golden rules.
There is a full audit trail of the admin, the volunteer and the request for help stored which can be monitored by site administrators, in due course if it becomes necessary
Volunteers who are registered will have a unique ID code and the ability to download and print a badge to provide comfort to those they are helping or to provide proof of volunteering should they be asked about a specific journey.
We then verify their email before they can accept volunteer requests. Admin users go through the same process. We provide a full audit trail and database of requests for help and those offering help. The personal details of those asking for help or registering are confidential and only passed to the person in need once the local admin user has approved the request and matched to the volunteer in the local area through the local group. We know it is not perfect, but we will continue to take advice at all levels and improve the system and service as time passes.
Do not exchange money. If goods need collecting, they must be paid for directly by phone or online and left in an agreed place outside a property.
Do not have personal contact with anyone. Always follow the active social distancing policy and all guidance for volunteers issued by the authorities.
Do not enter a property. If someone needs help indoors, find the appropriate service who can help or report back to your administrator. If you have to go into a property for an emergency, please report it to your groups administrator who can record it on the specific request for help.
Do not accept a lift from anyone you don’t know. If travelling in a vehicle with someone who is not a friend or family, please ensure someone knows where you are going and who you are with. Please keep safe at all times.
Clerksroom is a national barristers chambers. We are a group of 130 barristers and 23 staff who provide legal support to lawyers, businesses and members of the public. We have been operating from our HQ in Taunton, Somerset since 2001. The directors are Stephen Ward & Harry Hodgkin. Our accountants PKF Francis Clark have agreed to oversee all financial aspects of the website, development costs, crowdfunding contributions and provide a full set of accounts following the immediate situation to provide full transparency and audit trail. To be published here.
On 16 March 2020, our Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised everyone in the UK against "non-essential" travel and contact with others, as well as suggesting people should avoid pubs, clubs and theatres, and work from home if possible.
On the 19th March 2020, The Queen told UK to 'focus on the common goal' in coronavirus message. She stated: “This Nation’s history was forged by people ‘coming together to work as one’.
We can all agree those are quite sobering statements. Our reaction to the developing crisis was to work out a plan to put our experience in technology, organisation, innovation and law to immediate use to provide help to the community who will be facing ever increasing issues and also to help mobilise the huge volume of volunteer support also offered in the community. We devised a plan to build localvolunteer.co.uk and within 4 days our team were re-purposed to help with this project. We have submitted details to central government to advise them of our project, the timelines and functionality.