Section 1: Communities Together code of conduct
As a participant of Communities Together, I agree to:
- Adhere to NHS guidelines on avoiding infection.
- Respect other participant’s privacy, confidentiality and viewpoints.
- Not pressure another participant to accept my religious beliefs or political views.
- Not to ask for or accept money, gifts or tips from other participants (unless covering previously agreed costs for materials/food or fuel).
- Respect a ‘no smoking’ policy.
- Treat other members respectfully.
Section 2: Health and Safety
Every effort is made by Communities Together to ensure the safety of all members. However, the network relies on goodwill. If you have any concerns about any particular participant, please contact email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Section 3: Rights and responsibilities
Communities Together values you as an individual and recognises its responsibility to maintain high standards for all participants. Equally, as a member you have responsibilities towards the organisation and other participants in the scheme. This section sets out the rights and responsibilities of members.
Rights of Communities Together participants:
- To be treated with dignity, care and respect.
- To ensure those receiving help are comfortable with the activity.
- To clearly explain what will take place within each activity and that they will help to the best of their ability.
- To maintain confidentiality.
- To contact Timebanking UK or your Street Coordinator should a difficult or uncertain situation arise.
- To be prompt and always complete help offered to the best of your ability.
Section 4: Complaints Procedure
Communities Together aims to provide a mechanism of support for local people and communities seeking to address the COVID19 crisis. People who are involved are helping one another to the best of their ability. This is not a professional service but more about neighbourliness.
Do not ask anyone to do a task which you might usually ask a professional person to carry out. People involved do this at their own risk and should not undertake any aspect of helping anyone if they feel uncomfortable in doing so.
Should you become unwell please do not offer help and assistance and adhere to the current government guidelines BUT please do request help for yourself should you need it.
If you are unhappy about any aspect of the process, please contact your Street Coordinator and they will advise you.
Making a written complaint
If you wish to raise the matter more formally, please write to Timebanking UK, Brick Row, Stroud GL5 1DF
All written complaints will be logged. You will receive a written acknowledgement within five working days. The aim is to investigate your complaint properly and give you a reply within 10 working days, setting out how the problem will be dealt with. If this is not possible, an interim response will be made informing you of the action taken to date or being considered.
Any urgent or serious complaint
If you have a more serious issue then please call your emergency services if waiting for a written response is unsuitable.
Section 5: Communities Together Policies and Procedures
Timebanking UK and Made Open are the partners of Communities Together and as such we adhere to our standard policies which include:
- Equality and Diversity
- Health and Safety
Section 6: Lone working guidelines
All home visits should be by appointment and be pre-arranged by the person who lives at the property.
Participants should be in contact before and after the planned visit, even if this is outside normal working hours. Where possible, first visits should be made by more than one person, especially if little is known of the participant. Lone visits should not be made to participants who have a known history of violent and aggressive behaviour. The agreed contact person receiving help must be available throughout the planned visit. Participants working alone should carry mobile phones where possible, and they should let a friend or family member know where they are going and when.
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust offers the following advice to participants undertaking home visits:
- Give some thought before you arrive as to what exit strategies you could use if you felt uncomfortable or threatened.
- Conduct your own risk assessment on the doorstep before you enter. If you feel at all uncomfortable or unsure, make an excuse and leave. Trust your instincts.
- Be mindful of the fact that you are entering someone else’s territory. Your presence there may be unwanted and/or pose a threat.
- As you enter, make a note of how the door opens and closes so that you can leave quickly, if necessary.
- Give the person you are helping an idea of how long the meeting will take and try to adhere to this.
- Avoid actions or words which may appear judgmental, aggressive or an invasion of privacy or space.
Participants should know that their safety comes first and should be aware of how to deal with situations in which they feel at risk or unsafe. They should also be able to recognise how their own actions could influence or even trigger an aggressive response.
When you visit someone's home, make a friend or family member aware of the name, address and contact number of the person being visited, and the expected start and end times of the visit; when the visit is complete let the appointed person know you have finished and are safe. If the appointed person does not hear from you within one hour of the stated visit end time, they must undertake the following actions:
- Stage 1: Contact you directly
- Stage 2: Contact the person you visited
- Stage 3: Contact the Street Coordinator, who will attempt to contact your family
- Stage 4: Inform the police, providing details of your last known whereabouts.
In case of emergency, it may be more appropriate for the participant or contact person to contact the police directly.
Participants should ensure that all incidents where they feel threatened, or unsafe, even without a tangible event or experience, are reported, including any incidents of verbal abuse.
Section 7: Policy Statement
Communities Together is committed to providing help and support to all of our members. This is an emergency support platform designed to facilitate a swift response to the COVID crisis, and, while Timebanking UK and Made Open will do their best to ensure support is given in a safe and timely manner, participation takes place at participants’ own risk.