As we follow the road map out of Lockdown we need to make sure we stay safe and follow the guidance from the Council and Government on how to meet as Friends Groups.

The rules on tasks and event will remain the same over the next few weeks as laid out below and we will let you know if there are any changes.

You can start making plans for events in the summer and discuss these with Marion Phillips from the Greenspaces Team as usual.

Summary of new task day procedures:

  • You can meet outdoors to volunteer only if you can do so safely following the COVID-19 guidelines of 2m distancing, face coverings and hand/tool sanitisation:
    • All volunteers should be asked to bring their own masks/face shield and gloves if possible.
    • Task leaders to ask all volunteers to use hand sanitiser (a bottle of hand sanitiser is available to each group on request).
    • Any equipment needs to be wiped down by the task leader with disinfectant before and after the task.
  • As greenspace volunteering is classified as a work activity, groups are not restricted to six people.  However, numbers still need to be carefully managed to ensure social distancing can be maintained. Volunteers attending activities will therefore still be required to pre-book with the task leader to ensure sensible group numbers are adhered to and contact details can be recorded.

  • Tasks should avoid busier times in the greenspace and task leaders will need to make dynamic risk assessments on arrival to assess if the task location/or timing will need to be amended to account for other park users, ensuring social distancing.

  • All volunteers must be asked to confirm they do not have COVID-19 symptoms upon booking and at the pre-task talk. A sign in sheet including contact details must be kept by task leader (task leader to complete, it will not require the signature of each attendee).  All volunteers must notify the task leader if they get COVID symptoms within 14 days of taking part in the task so that others can be notified.

  • Any volunteers currently shielding for any reason cannot start until at least 1st April 2021 and a personal risk assessment has to be carried out for each individual person.

  • If undertaking a regular activity, those within a group should remain consistent as far as possible (i.e. Volunteering bubbles)

  • Volunteer First Aiders are to follow Medway Council’s guidelines.  Masks and gloves will be provided for first aid kits.

As usual, Medway Council will require notification from Task Leaders of all activities planned and task specific method statements and risk assessments for approval a minimum of 1 week before the proposed task date (ideally more if possible).  Please note when completing your task documents, to consider the additional elements that will need to be discussed in the pre-task talk with volunteers on site.

 Specific guidance for first aiders has also been circulated to the groups.

Please note that Marion Phillips, Greenspace Partnership Officer, can be contacted for support if you are thinking of planning a greenspace activity or with any questions about the above procedures.