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Volunteer Newsletter March 2020

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Up My Street | Rural Kirklees

This is a project operated by the Denby Dale Centre, supporting and working with front-line community groups across local neighbourhoods in rural Kirklees. Welcome We would like to welcome you to our amazing network of community groups across Colne Valley, Holme Valley and Dearne Valley, the rural area of Kirklees. We are proud to be a part of your neighbourhood where so many people are joining the forces to help the important local people, especially those who are vulnerable.

Anything that you do to help with our relief of the stresses of living in an area where infection is widespread. Important messages in everything that we do is around these three themes:

• Safeguarding

• Infection Control

• Resilience

Corona Virus Corona Virus is known as different names, and has been around for such a long time. Covid-19 is a version that first emerged in 2019 and first reported in China. There has been much research about the virus and we have learned that it is spread by touch and airbourne. The most common transmission is by touching an area where someone infected has touched, and then touching your own face. Some reports of petrol pumps spreading the virus has some form of virtue, but so does door handles, push buttons like at car park payment machines or lifts.

The UK government has suggested social distancing as part of the control of spreading the virus, where we keep a 2 metre or 6 foot distance from one another. Cleaning companies have talked about leaving the floor cleaning, but to focus on door handles, especially metal door handles, and button areas. Consider anything that you touch that someone else touches – if you do, your guidance is to wash your hands in hot soapy water for at least 20 seconds. In the absence of running hot water and soap, then an alternative is anti-bax style hand steriliser.

Face masks increase your contact to your face, and some have suggested that this may increase risk. Other barriers like gloves are good, however you must bear in mind what you touch with a gloved hand, which may have virus particles on, and then removing your gloves and touching the same area – an example is a car door handle, when you help someone, open your car get in, and then take your gloves off, and then later open the same door without gloves on, say back at home where you feel safe!

Social Media

Social Media, especially Facebook recently, has provided a significant platform for groups to come together with a mutual call to arms. This has brought significant numbers of people together for the common goal of helping others. Unfortunately, social media has two dark sides:

• Fake or misleading information – reports that are not from official or trusted sources

• Infiltration of ill-minded people – especially with less empty properties for burglaries, some ill-minded people are turning to scams and frauds to generate their income

If you are sharing news about Corona Virus, please try to do so from reliably sound sources. Please also consider some ideas that are created, and despite being really useful for vulnerable people to identify how they are, can also help abusers find our most vulnerable.

However, there are some great ideas being shared around and are worth sharing.

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Following on from the Social Media notes above, the community has a responsibility to ensure the people it helps does not put people at harm, or in a worse outcome than they originally were. I am saddened to read that in Kirklees, some vulnerable people have already been scammed out of their cash by who they thought were trusted people, because they had pushed an official postcard through their door that said that they can trust them.

The Up My Street volunteers have all had one of two levels of safeguard checks for them to do the role that they are doing. Regulated activity requires a DBS certificate, which could be transferred from other work. Our Safeguarding Policy needs to be followed at all times, and is available at Infection Control Further to the notes above about Corona Virus, we would like to add the important message of infection control to protect:

• You, the volunteer

• Your family and others in your household

• The people we are helping

Simply, we do not want the work that we do to cause anyone any harm. To achieve this, we need to seriously stop and think about everything that we are doing, step by step. Wherever you can, wash your hands; if you cannot, anti bax your hands. Using gloves, like surgical gloves, are great, but consider what you touch with them on and without them on. Consider if you pass anything to anyone or receive anything from anyone. For example, we have eliminated the need for volunteers to pass money to and from our service users, to avoid contamination in that form.

Let’s look at the roles individually:

Volunteer Shopper and Delivery – users will book a shop to the value of £5, £10, £15, £20 or £25, over the phone or online. We will then telephone to ask a volunteer to do a shop as close to that value as possible. The volunteer will shop preferably with a gloved hand, and then deliver, preferably from a gloved hand, to the doorstep. The shopping is left on the floor and customer alerted by either doorbell, knock or phone call the latter is preferable. The driver should retreat away from the door and shopping, to more than six foot away. It is safe for the driver to chat with the customer to make sure they are okay, and even to share the experience of the shop/supermarket. Any concerns for that individual should be reported back to either their line manager or Gateway to Care.

Chatterbox – users will register for the service, which is an over the phone service. The volunteer will not have any contact with the user, therefore there are no risks of infection and can be completed by someone in isolation.

Dog Walker – the volunteer will arrange over the phone what time they are coming. It is preferable that the dog walker uses their own dog-lead, to avoid contamination that way. The dog-walker should try to avoid contact to the dog or the collar wherever possible. It is advised that the dog-walker does not take the dog off the lead to avoid additional contact to the collar, which the owner may also have had, or going to have. Dog-walkers should use their own dog poo bags, again with a view to avoiding contamination.

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It is expected that 80% of the Kirklees residents will have the corona virus by the time we come out of the other end of it, maybe in 12 weeks-time, or even longer. Our systems need to be resilient to cope with this, and our own team’s absences. Office Team – we have 12 people operating remotely of each other in a virtual-office to avoid an office team crossinfecting each other, and being off sick at the same time.

We have established, for each role, a reserve person trained to keep the job going, and also two further staff just in case it gets really bad – yes, that is four levels of resilience to keep the administration operable for you. Volunteers – we will intend to hold-back an amount of volunteers good-will to use when the first wave of volunteers become self-isolated due to infection. We of course hope we can control infection, however we are being realistic that the infection will be widespread and relentless.

Our services are also being supported by redloyed staff from our wider partners Kirklees Council and Locala Healthcare cic. Services We are offering the following services: Food Delivery Service – we offer £5-£25 purchases, in £5 increments paid for over the phone or online. People can request certain items on their shopping if necessary but this is subject to availability. Volunteers make the purchase themselves, and will be reimbursed from their line manager (the person who asked them to do the trip) up to the value of the food order. There is no travel expenses paid for this service.

Chatterbox – we offer phone buddy service, where volunteers make a call at least daily. This can be two isolated people that are buddied together and help each other. Chatterbox is a service to help us keep an eye on each other and report any concerns to the authorities to ensure anyone who needs additional care, can get it. Walkies - we offer a volunteer dog walking service. Daily or every other day, depending on breed. There is no charge and no expenses available. It is expected that this is neighbours helping neighbours.


Volunteers are at the absolute heart of what we are, what we do and who we are. We appreciate anything any person does to help anyone else. We need volunteer shopper/drivers, chatterbox and dog walkers. We have a few people to be on standby for admin roles too.

All our volunteers have to be registered, completed safeguarding checks and be willing to make a difference.


The Denby Dale Centre Training Manager is developing some distance training and looking at using the @DDCtrainingWY Facebook page to make training available to you. Previous to Covid-19, we would supply free training to all our valued volunteers including food hygiene, first aid, mental heath first aid, moving and handling, fire safety and dementia friends. These are of course face to face and have halted until after the outbreak.

We would like to provide some sensible approaches to training via an informal stream of subjects like first aid, moving people, lifting and infection control. We will inform you direct when this is happening.

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Protecting Data is very important and we ask that any personal information you receive as part of your role with us, is destroyed once it is no longer required. Paper copies should be shredded and electronic data should be deleted and then purged. If you have any questions or would like to raise a concern, please do not hesitate to contact us, initially via your line manager. Our GDPR Privacy Notice can be found at .


Communication is very important, and so is you knowing who your line manager is, for you to go for help in the first instance. Team leaders for the local teams are listed below. Your line manager will give you there contact details and whether they operate a local Whats App group:


  • Clayton West Ruth

  • Scissett Ruth

  • Shelley Carol

  • Upper Denby Gill

  • Birds Edge Roz

  • The rest of HD8 Jeanette

Holme Valley

  • Meltham Ian

  • Netherton James

  • Holme Gareth

  • Holme Valley Dougs

  • Holme Valley Gillian

Colne Valley

  • Slaithwaite Hannah

If you are struggling to get through to your Line Manager, message Denby Dale Centre at

Thank You

Just a final note, on behalf of all those residents in isolation, self-isolated and families of them – Thank YOU!

Projects are operated by the Denby Dale Centre, charity 1118128 Unit 12b Springfield Mill, Norman Road, Denby Dale, HD 8 8 TH

We aim to connect people, relieve loneliness and isolation, and improve quality of life, by providing community activities, community transport and places for people to meet, to live a fulfilled life.

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