Good safeguarding practice during the covid crisis

We have created this page for all the information regarding good safeguarding practice during the Covid-19 pandemic

Volunteering Safely
A number of churches have contacted us about the implications with safeguarding for the organisation of volunteers responding to the needs of individuals in our communities during this time of ‘social isolation’.  This is a very good thing and fits well with our Rule of Life and Do Ten Things.

Look after the people you know

If you know people who need help, either within your congregation or on the fringes, you should make sure that they are looked after. This will be a great help to other organisations who might otherwise be involved.

If you want to do more

If you feel you can do more than this then consider how best your church can offer support and whether other organisations in your area are better equipped to deal with this situation.

Consider working in partnership with them and signposting any volunteers to that charity/organisation. They will already have people within your community who they are looking after and they might be very glad of any further help you can offer them.

The various Charity and Volunteer Services (CVS) organisations around the Diocese are trying to maximise such assistance and work in partnership with their local authority. What they are trying to avoid is confusion with a multitude of organisations all offering different services.  So look at this first.

Being Good Neighbours

Some churches are encouraging their members simply to be good neighbours and to take personal responsibility for assisting individuals who live nearby. They would do this in their own name, as it were, rather than a church’s name.

The advantage of this is also that long term, after the crisis is over, they would hopefully have formed good relationships with those around them which will last.  In such situations, people will still need to be aware of the issues and to think through various scenarios.

There is a helpful document here on this:

Guidelines for an organised response
if you decide that you still want to organise a response from the church, the following guidance is intended to assist you in safely planning activities, supporting and recruiting volunteers and ensuring everyone is as safe as possible. 

Please note that whatever you decide all volunteers will need to be safely recruited.

1.    Risk assess the activity with an emphasis on infection control and safeguarding those most vulnerable. Have a clear role description for volunteers and ensure they know whom they report to. Do not offer personal care even to church members. 

2.    You need to work out whether some of the work required involves direct contact with vulnerable adults for which appropriate DBS checks will be needed or indirect contact for which a DBS would not be needed.  Making up a food parcel/doing shopping for someone self isolating and delivering that food parcel/shopping and leaving it on their doorstep would not require a DBS but transactions involving money would require a DBS.

3.    The latest guidance of the National Safeguarding Team on DBS checks is as follows:

People with an existing DBS issued by the church should only volunteer with the same group of people that their DBS covers (child or adult).

People known to the church already who wish to become volunteers can only do so for activities that do not need a DBS, even if they have a DBS from another organisation, unless they are personally registered with the update service and can show you the evidence.  They can however apply for a DBS from the church following the safer recruitment process.

People who are not known to the church already cannot be safely recruited and therefore cannot be accepted as volunteers.

If you have any questions or need any clarification about this please consult the Diocesan Safeguarding Team. 

4.    Ensure you have a clear policy instructing volunteers to follow current NHS, Public Health and Government advice if they suspect they have symptoms or come into contact with someone with or showing symptoms of coronavirus. 

5.    Ensure volunteers know who to contact in an emergency, that might be a medical or safeguarding concern.

6.    Check with your insurers that you will be covered for any new activities which intend to support the community due to the coronavirus. 

7.    Ensure that the lone worker policy is followed – tell someone where and when you are going and when you get back, carry a charged mobile phone, make a note of who you have visited, when you visited and whether you had any particular concerns. 
DBS verifying
To ensure that the necessary DBS checks can still be carried out, the DBS standard and enhanced ID checking guidance will be changed for a temporary period.

The change will enable:
  • ID documents to be viewed over a video link
  • scanned images to be used in advance of the DBS check being submitted
The applicant will be required to present the original versions of these documents when they first attend their employment or volunteering role.

The link to this guidance is below

News & Events

National Safeguarding advice

The National Safeguarding Team have produced a number of updates on the Church of England website which you can access here.

National Safeguarding Advice


Coronavirus help and support

For all of our help and support pages on coronavirus go to

National advice

For national advice, digital resources and prayer and worship ideas

Contacting our staff

St James House staff are working remotely at the moment and to cut costs we are using the government's Job Retention Scheme. So we have less staff in work so please be patient.

For help and advice please email Don't ring us we may not be able to answer. Try not to send post. If you can scan and email please do.. If not email for advice.

Please be patient if it takes longer than normal for us to get back yo you