Here we answer frequently asked questions around volunteering for the NHS run Covid-19 mass and local vaccination programme across Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Are there age restrictions for volunteering?

Yes, you must be 16 years and over, however there is no upper age limit.

Can I volunteer if I have a health condition?

Yes, you can as long as you are not self-isolating or showing Covid-19 symptoms:

·  a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
·  a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
· a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

Will I be vaccinated to volunteer?

Volunteers will be offered the Covid-19 vaccination. It is your responsibility to ensure that you receive confirmation of your first vaccination i.e. confirmation card and are notified when your second vaccination will be. If you require more information on your vaccination, contact your local GP.

Please read the newsletter and other email communications sent to you containing up-to-date information regarding getting your second vaccination as the details may change over time.

Can I sign up to volunteer for the available time slots?

Before you can volunteer will need two references and you will need to complete the three mandatory  eLearning modules before you can be accepted as a volunteer.

When do the time slots start and finish?

This is dependant on each venue, so slot start and finish times maybe vary. You can generally choose a morning or an afternoon time slot.

Can you just turn up to do a time slot?

Unfortunately not. All rotas are carefully put together to ensure a safe and efficient programme is rolled out each time. Our rotas also act as a register so that we are know where each of our volunteers are should we need to know and for insurance purposes.

Who can be a character reference*?

A reference to become a volunteer can be provided by people such as (but not limited to):
·  Teachers, lecturers & mentors
·  Group/club leaders
·  Neighbours
·  Friends.

*Please note each person who provides a reference for you needs to have known you for at least two years and not be a family member.

Will I receive a refreshment when I’m marshalling?

Unfortunately not all centres will be equipped to offer refreshments. Therefore, it is advisable to take your own.

Can I volunteer outside of my local area?

We strongly advise you to choose the nearest centre to you, however we appreciate that this is not always possible.

Expenses are covered for a 20 miles round-trip journey, unless mileage over this amount has been pre-approved.

What will happen when I get to the vaccination centre, will I receive an induction?

You will need to identify yourself to a member of staff and a short induction and orientation of the site will be carried out. You may be asked to do a Covid-19 lateral flow test.

What training am I required to do?

In order to become a Covid-19 mass Vaccination Centre Marshal, you need to complete 3 e-learning modules prior to you volunteering.

·  Data Security Awareness for Volunteers
·  Moving and Assisting for Volunteers
·  Health, Safety and Infection Prevention and Control for Volunteers [updated COVID-19]

The remaining 8 e-learning modules need to be completed by the end of 2021.

·  Conflict Resolution for Volunteers
·  Equality, Diversity and Human Rights for Volunteers
·  Fire Safety for Volunteers
·  Mental Health Awareness for Volunteers
·  Preventing Radicalisation (Basic Awareness) for Volunteers
·  Resuscitation (Basic Life Support) for Volunteers [updated COVID-19]
·  Safeguarding Adults for Volunteers
·  Safeguarding Children for Volunteers

When you go to do your e-learning 15 modules maybe be visible, however you only need to complete the ones listed above.

Where are the local vaccination centres?

Not every area will have a vaccination centre – once your application has been accepted you will be able to see a variety of different time slots to choose from, however there may not be one local to you. Covid-19 vaccination centres are operating across Lancashire* (Blackburn, Burnley, Blackpool, Preston, Lancaster) and Cumbria (Kendal and Ulverston). There are also local venues runs through GPs across both these counties.

*Please note these are subject to change.

When will slots be added for my area?

We are receiving frequent updates from the NHS with their requests for volunteers. As soon as we receive these requests, we then add these to the opportunities section where volunteers can view and sign up for time slots. Please note not all centres across Lancashire and South Cumbria will be utilising volunteers from LVP.

I need to cancel my shift, what should I do?

If you are cancelling a shift more than 72 hours in advance of the shift start time then please go to your schedule on MyImpact and remove yourself from the shift (instructions on how to do this are in the document library, ‘How to sign up for a shift’).

If you are cancelling within 48 hours of the slot start time, then please contact LVP by email or phone.

If you need to cancel a shift less than 24 hours before it is due to start then please call the vaccination centre that you are due to volunteer at and let them know you are unable to attend. Give them your contact details and ask the Receptionist to pass your message to the Centre Manager or relevant person.

If it is in the week from Monday 8am –Friday 4pm please contact LVP on 01772 416417.

Why has my shift been cancelled?

Often there may be a disruption to the supply of vaccines and in certain circumstances this may happen at short notice. We appreciate that this can be frustrating; however, we (or the vaccination centre) have no control over the vaccination supply volume and intake.

How do I cancel a volunteer shift at the weekend

If you need to cancel follow these steps below:
• More than 72 hours prior to the shift, please remove yourself from the timeslot via the My
Impact app
• If less than72 hours, you need to email lvp@lancashire.gov.uk
• If within 24 hours, please contact the site lead at the vaccination centre. The contact details can be located on the ‘schedule information’ on your volunteer record.

Our office hours are 8am 4 pm Monday to Friday and temporarily Saturday 9am 1pm. Please do not call on a Saturday as our team are working on call and do not have access to the telephone lines, therefore any message you leave will not be picked on Monday morning.

How do I apply?

Please apply via the LVP website using the application form online. Applications may close if there are a large number, but this is kept under review so please check back.

How long will it take to process my application?

It depends partly on how quickly your references and e-learning certificates are returned and to resolve any queries. As the people of Lancashire and South Cumbria have jumped to the challenge, our application numbers continue to increase. This is great, but please bear in mind that this can also affect the timeliness of completing applications. We will be in contact with you as soon as possible, following receipt of your certificates and references.

Can I take my child(ren) with me when I volunteer?

No, children are not permitted.

What do I do if I test positive for Coronavirus?

Please let us know as soon as possible. If you are due to volunteer over the weekend, please let the centre know directly. We have an escalation procedure in place with the NHS.

We know you may feel like you are letting us down, however it is important that you do not volunteer if you are displaying any symptoms. Our office hours are 8am 4pm, Monday Friday. You can call us on 01772 416 417 or email us at lvp@lancashire.gov.uk

What should I do if I’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus?

You need to follow Government guidelines. Visit the gov.uk website for more information.

I still haven’t had my first vaccination – what should I do?

We are aware that there are a few volunteers who have not been offered a vaccination. If this applies to you, please make yourself known to the site lead in the safety huddle at the start of the session. Please note the site lead is different to the Marshal lead the site lead is the person leading the huddles. If you continue to have a problem please let us know and if needed we will escalate this.

You may not get the vaccine before your volunteer time slot starts, you may either have to wait until the end of your slot or you may be asked to join the queue at a quieter time.

How do I get my second vaccination?

Those who:
• Received their first vaccination dose at any PCN or Pharmacy site, and
• Do not have a second vaccination dose appointment booked
You will need, as far as reasonably possible, to have your second dose at the same site you got your first dose, this is due to the ordering process.

The PCN should have taken your name and number when you had your first dose and will contact you directly.

If it gets to 10 weeks after your first dose and you have not been contacted, please contact the PCN to book your appointment within the 12 week window, you will need your NHS number to do this.

Those who:
• Received their first vaccination dose at any Mass Vaccination Centre, and
• Do not have a second vaccination dose appointment booked

To book your second appointment you should go online through the National Booking Service. This can be accessed through this link Book a coronavirus vaccination NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Or if access that way is problematic please phone: 119.
Photographic ID will be required such as a passport or driving licence to prove your identity. If an appointment is not available at the required time trying a day or two later should provide one, as appointment slots are being added daily.

You will require an NHS number: This link will help find it:
https://www.nhs.uk/nhs services/online
services/find nhs number/

If you encounter any difficulties please contact this team at
mlcsu.lsc hsc vaccenquiries@nhs.net

Click here for list of vaccination sites.

I received a parking ticket whilst volunteering, what should I do and can I claim this back?

Most of the sites offer free parking so please make yourself known to the parking attendant/signing in desk. It is your responsibility to ensure you give them your correct vehicle details. If you have any problems, please speak to the centre manager. If for any reason there is no free parking or no availability, then you can claim back reasonable parking fees using the expenses forms. Unfortunately, we cannot reimburse car parking fines.

The centre have asked me directly to volunteer for another day/session – is this ok?

If a site / centre ask you directly to volunteer with them and you have not signed up to the time slot on your volunteer record then please be advised that this agreement is between yourself and the centre and that Lancashire Volunteer Partnership have no involvement in this. We will not be able to allocate any hours volunteered to your volunteer record, nor will be unable to reimburse any expenses incurred as part of this volunteering. We advise you to ensure that the centre/site has adequate insurance that will cover your volunteering.

The centre may be able to take down your name and send it on to us so that we can log your hours and ensure you are adequately insured so please ensure that the site acts upon this.

How can I find out additional information about the centre I am due to volunteer at?

In order to ensure you have all the information you need for your volunteering we will be adding additional information that we hope  you will find useful. More information can now be found within the time slots. In addition to this we have also added more information onto the schedule you have signed up for. All information will be updated as we find out more about a particular centre. To access this information please log into your Better Impact record go to the schedule section and then click the info symbol which should then expand.

Why do some sites have security?

The larger vaccination sites all have security guards to ensure the health and safety of all patients, staff and volunteers. Bag searches are also common practice, so please only take what you need to when volunteering. The larger sites do store vaccines on site, therefore 24-hour security is required. Please remember to take a £1.00 coin with you for your locker.

I am disappointed to see that I can only claim 20 miles round-trip for expenses?

Volunteering for this programme has been very popular. Time slots are released and published as and when we are notified by the NHS and these fill up very quickly. We are very conscious of the current lockdown regulations; therefore we are not encouraging volunteers to travel too far outside of their local area where possible.

I have heard about the GoodSam app run by the NHS and The Royal Voluntary Service for vaccination centres, does this affect my volunteering with LVP?

The GoodSam app is a national programme aimed at supporting the NHS including the vaccination centres. LVP is unique, no other council areas across England have such a partnership and achieved an accolade. In Lancashire, LVP is well established and as you are aware, we were asked by the NHS in Lancashire and South Cumbria to support the vaccination centres –the programme is now well settled and has over 1,400 volunteers. It is a vaccination centres’ choice whether they utilise the GoodSam app and volunteers registered with it, at the present moment there are no vaccination centres in Lancashire that do so. If you know someone who wants to start volunteering at a vaccination centre in Lancashire, please signpost them to Lancashire Volunteer Partnership for the best opportunity to make a difference. LVP is run by public services in Lancashire which means it’s a one-stop-shop for all public service volunteering, including, NHS, Police, Fire and Rescue, Local Authority and Community Support Befriending programmes.

Are there lots of volunteers supporting this programme?

Yes, there are over 1,400 volunteers signed up to help support the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme. You are part of a Covid-19 vaccination army that is helping to change the course of the pandemic.
Week Commencing 8th February 2020, out of a possible 3,259 shifts, LVP volunteers covered 3,205 shifts. Wow, what an achievement – thank you so much!

Why are there no shifts available in my local area?

We appreciate this can be frustrating and are aware that the timeslots fill up very quickly. Unfortunately, our ICT system does not allow us to notify people when new shifts are available. We are trying do more advance planning by releasing more shifts further into the future, however, sometimes this is out of our control.

Why haven’t I received my ID pass and high-visibility vest yet?

We apologise again for the delay, this is due to the lanyards being stuck in customs. We will get these out to you as soon as possible. In the meantime, if you are offered one by the centre please feel free to use, however please do not use any other branded or coloured vests as this may cause confusion around identity etc.

Is there any other volunteering I can do?

Yes, supporting the most vulnerable people in our communities is a key priority for LVP. We are   looking for volunteer telephone befrienders. As a  volunteer you will help to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation by offering telephone friendship. Check out our website for all of our   volunteering opportunities www.lancsvp.org.uk

Additional training information – top tips

Lancashire Volunteer Partnership also has a Disability Fact sheet which contains lots of information on a variety of health issues, along with top tips to aid communication.
Visit this link to download http://bttr.im/u3xi6

Where is the document library?

There is a wealth of information in the document library that can assist you in your volunteering. Why not check it out.
There are two ways you can access the document library:
a) Option 1
1. Log in and select the NHS Covid-19 account (if you do not volunteer elsewhere it will take you straight to the NHS Covid-19 account.
2. Once on that account, files are located on the right-hand side

b) Option 2
1. Click ‘My profile’ in the top right and choose Files
2. Select the NHS account
3. Files will be displayed

When do timeslots get released?

Unfortunately, there is no set pattern and the Better Impact system doesn’t allow us to send notifications out when a time slot is added. We
appreciate this can be frustrating as slots are popular and do book up very quickly.

Can I book a double timeslot?

No – we do not recommend volunteers do two consecutive time slots for health, safety and wellbeing reasons.

Are there any other roles available within the vaccination centre?

We are aware that some volunteers have been asked to assist with admin tasks. This is not part of an LVP Vaccination Marshal’s role and the centres have been instructed that they should not be asking volunteers to undertake this task. If you are asked, please politely decline, and let us know.

Can I take photographs at the vaccination centre?

We know that visiting a vaccination centre and receiving your first vaccine is a huge milestone and some people may want to document this by taking a photograph, but please can we ask that you refrain from doing this inside the centres.

The vaccination centre environment is strictly private and confidential, including sensitive information and also operational and functional aspects that should not be published by the general public.

If you choose to do so outside of the site, then please be mindful of your immediate surroundings and what you may capture in your photograph.

 

We assure you that thorough risk assessments have been conducted and all volunteers will operate in a safe and secure environment.