Can I still volunteer in my local park during the pandemic?
Covid-19 has had, and continues to have, a profound impact on our lives.
Throughout the pandemic, parks and public spaces have been a blessing; places where we can be sociably safe around each other and where we can enjoy the world around us beyond the confines of our socially distanced or isolated homes.
Being safe in parks is possible as long as you follow the simple rules of maintaining a 2 metre distance from others, washing your hands thoroughly when you can and wearing a mask in busy areas.
If you are visiting a park for exercise, walking your dog or just to feel the sun and wind on your face, please respect others, take any litter home and share your enjoyment with us on our social media pages on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook – Friends of Victoria Park Stretford
Here are a few of the answers to the most common questions regarding parks:
Can I still volunteer in parks?
Yes. But volunteer organisers must carefully manage volunteer parties to ensure Covid precautions are in place to safeguard volunteers and park visitors. A thorough risk assessment must be conducted. Work parties may be restricted to six people or deployed in groups of six and must maintain a two metre distance from each other or wear masks if closer.
Can I use exercise or play equipment?
If you are worried about touching equipment leave it alone or wipe down with antibacterials (please take any cloths or empty bottles home to dispose of safely). Do NOT use bleach as this can be harmful to people and wildlife.
Can we organise events in parks?
It is still possible to run a limited number of events and activities in parks and public spaces but you must ensure you are operating within the law, which may change at short notice. You can find the latest Government guidance here. At present, people can gather outside in groups of six from different households. Organisers or group leaders are not included in the six, so you may see a group of seven or eight where organisers are leading a walk, talk or other relevant activity. Typical volunteer roles include watering plants, litter-picking, general maintenance, nature-walks and talks, exercise or art classes. Fundraising events involving gatherings of people are not allowed.
Organisers must ensure any equipment is sanitised and not shared. Details of participants must be recorded for Track and Trace. This can be done as a written list or you can generate a customised QR-Code linked with the NHS Track and Trace App. You can print off copies and participants can scan it on arrival. To generate the QR code you will need your email address and the location of your activity/event.
Who can volunteer?
Anyone can volunteer. Some work might be possible from home and need not involve going outdoors or meeting others. You can volunteer outside your home if:
- you follow the social distancing guidance
- no one in your household has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)
- no one in your household has tested positive for coronavirus
If you are vulnerable but decide to volunteer outside your home, make sure that:
- the volunteering organisation does a risk assessment
- you can work in a separate area away from other people (suitably distanced and supported)
If you have coronavirus symptoms
Do not volunteer outside your home if you have coronavirus symptoms or if you have tested positive for coronavirus. You must self-isolate for at least 10 days from the date you started having symptoms or from the day you tested positive – whichever is the latest.