Information for Community Champions

As you will be aware over forthcoming months residents will be reaching out to each other and local support networks for help. This is an unprecedented situation, however in anticipation we have drafted some guidance for those involved in the community response to COVID-19.

Keeping yourself safe

In the first instance please take responsibility for your own health by observing the Social Distancingguidance.

Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

They are:

  • Avoid contact with anyone who is displaying symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
  • Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible
  • Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this.
  • Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
  • Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
  • Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services

Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic.

We strongly advise you to follow the above measures as much as you can and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible, particularly if you:

  • are over 70
  • have an underlying health condition
  • are pregnant

This advice is likely to be in place for some weeks.

For more information on social distancing guidelines, please visit the COVID-19 guidance on social distancing page.

What should you do if you or someone you meet thinks that they might have COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called Coronavirus.

You should stay at home if you have Coronavirus symptoms. These are:

  • 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)

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Transfer of the virus

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new Coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

  • It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Measures you can take:

  • Do not enter other people’s home. You must observe social distancing
  • Please use gloves if making deliveries, although be aware the virus carries on fabrics
  • Please use hand sanitiser regularly
  • Wash your hands after delivering items to neighbours
  • As the virus carries on clothing, wash clothes are being in public areas

Government Advice Lines

Should you or someone you know require advice from national government, here are some useful help lines.

Concerns about sharing contact details

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock MP has stated that “GDPR does not inhibit use of data for Coronavirus response. GDPR has a clause excepting work in the overwhelming public interest. No one should constrain work on responding to Coronavirus due to data protection laws.”

However, we will continue to be respectful of people’s privacy.

Purchasing shopping if you are self-isolating or supporting those who are

  • Try online shopping and delivery – Items will be left at your doorstep. In addition to the main supermarkets, some local companies may be offering this service too, so check what’s available in your area. Payment is often taken at the point of ordering. If possible, compile a list of local providers and share with your local networks.
  • Telephone orders – Some large supermarket are now taking orders by telephone. Payment will be taken at the point of placing the order. A Neighbour could collect items and leave on the doorstep. Local shops may be able to offer the same service.
  • Asking neighbours for help – This is a choice neighbours and community champions will need to make for themselves, but our advice is only take small orders, as many items in the supermarket are restricted. Where possible take payment in advance. If this is not possible you will need to assess if the household concerned will refund you. It is easy to transfer funds via online banking. This transaction has to be built on trust.
  • Foodbanks – If provisions are normally accessed via a Foodbank, then please be aware Foodbanks are experiencing a high demand on services. Richard Holmes and Jennie Watkins are liaising with Gloucester Foodbank to assess the situation and identify how local communities can co-ordinate with the Foodbank.
  • Pharmacies – As far as we are aware Pharmacies are still doing home delivers. This will be updated as more information is available.

Caring for Pets

At the moment, there is no evidence that pets can be infected with the new Coronavirus or be carriers of the virus. It is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after stroking your pets for protection against other bacteria such as E.coli and salmonella..

If you have COVID-19, then ideally, you’ll restrict contact with pets and other animals i.e. no kissing, cuddling or stroking. Though there is no current evidence that pets can get the virus, the situation is still evolving, so it’s better to be safe.

Can my dog go outside if I am self-isolating?

People who have symptoms of Coronavirus are asked to stay at home and not leave at all for a period of seven days from when their symptoms started; people who live in a household with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus must stay at home for 14 days from when the first person in the household became ill.

Your dog is allowed out of the house – but someone else who does not live in your household will need to walk them for you while you and they are self-isolating.

Can friends and neighbours walk my dog?

The Coronavirus outbreak is an evolving situation but if the dog walker is healthy and hasn’t been at risk of infection, the risk of spreading COVID-19 is likely to be low, as there is no current evidence that pets or companion animals can be infected with the new Coronavirus or that dogs play a role in the spread of human disease

I don’t have a garden, how can I let my dog go to the toilet?

The best option is to have a family member or friend look after your dog while you are sick. If this is not possible, then you will need to arrange for someone to come and walk your dog.

Before handing your dog over, you will need to ensure that you have washed your hands before and after touching them.

Your dog walker may need a key to your house, and you must not come into direct contact with them while they are picking up your pet.

More formation at

Accessing Public Services

Delivery of Public Services will be under strain over the next few months. Residents should be aware that staff shortages may mean it might take longer to respond to enquiries.

Core services such as waste collection will be prioritised.

Services delivered by Gloucester City Council will be updated at

Service updates will also be available through social media channels



Welfare Concerns

If you have safeguarding or welfare concern.

Things to remember

  • Its really important to be calm collected and gentle
  • Give the person you are talking to time to think. If appropriate, make small talk. (always observe social distancing advice)

Helpful information to collect

  • Name, age and address of person at risk
  • Why you’re concerned
  • Who lives with them
  • Your relationship to the individual
  • Date of your contact with the person concerned.

If you are concerned about the immediate safety of an adult or child please contact the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

If you feel you need to raise a safeguarding alert regarding a vulnerable adult or child call:

  • Adult Help Desk (Gloucestershire County Council) 01452 426868
  • Children’s and Families Helpdesk (Gloucestershire County Council) 01452 426565

Domestic Abuse

If you encounter a Domestic Abuse issue contact Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS) (Open 09:00-17:00, Monday to Friday)

Telephone: 01452 726570



National Domestic Violence Helpline 08082 000247 (24-hour)