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Restarting face-to-face group activity

With things now feeling more ‘normal’ and the summer holiday season coming to an end, we’re seeing an increase in the number of groups now ready to restart some face-to-face activity. It’s great to know that some of our service users, many of whom have been physically isolated for so long, will be able to resume the social contact which means so much to them.

This also seems a good time for a reminder about the five-step process all groups need to follow before restarting any face-to-face activity:

STEP 1: Attend one, two or three Zoom sessions (depending on the face-to-face activity you wish to restart)

We’re running three different types of Zoom session:

  1. SLA – To support the restart of services provided by a professional through an SLA:
  • One-to-one services (such as individual podiatry or physiotherapy sessions, or financial advice from a CAB partner)
  • Services for more than one person (such as group exercise classes)

Sign up for an ‘SLA’ Zoom session here.

  1. Social – To support the restart of social activities and meetings:
  • Socials and meetings in managed venues
  • Socials and meetings outdoors
  • Events run by a professional organisation (such as a canal boat trip)
  • Coach trips
  • Meetings in private homes

Sign up for a ‘Social’ Zoom session here.

  1. Fundraising – To support the restart of fundraising events:
  • Store collections
  • Having a stall or cheering point at organised events
  • Street collections
  • Organising low-level physical events (such as wheel and walks)

Sign up for a ‘Fundraising’ Zoom session here.

The content of each type of Zoom session is different, because different new paperwork is required for restarting services, social activities, or fundraising.

For each of the three categories (services, social activities or fundraising) you wish to restart, you need to send a volunteer to the relevant Zoom sessions. The volunteer who attends needs to be a Coordinating Team member and/or the person who will lead on restarting the service/social activity/fundraising event.

A friendly reminder; you must not restart a service/social activity/fundraising event unless a volunteer from your group has attended the relevant Zoom session, as the restarted service/social activity/fundraising event will not be covered by our insurance.

Click the links above to register for the session(s) you need to attend.

STEP 2: Complete the relevant new documents (you can find the links here) for the service/social activity/fundraising event you wish to restart.

STEP 3: Upload the completed documents to the Portal (and update the service entry, if necessary).

STEP 4: Email the Volunteer Support Team ([email protected]) to notify them that the documents have been uploaded.

STEP 5: Wait for email confirmation that your paperwork has been approved and the service or activity can restart. We’ll turn this around as quickly as possible, but please allow five days to hear back from us. We can’t approve documents unless someone from the group has attended the relevant Zoom session (see Step 1 above), so please also factor this into your timings.

Risk Assessment for unmanaged venues

Until now, we’ve only been supporting groups to restart face-to-face socials and meetings in managed venues. This puts the burden of ensuring COVID safety on the venue rather than our volunteers. You can find our definitions of ‘managed’ vs ‘unmanaged’ here. (Services run by a professional through an SLA have been able to restart in unmanaged venues, as all the COVID safety responsibility is taken by the Service Provider.)

But we realise that some groups in more rural areas have struggled to find managed venues to replace the unmanaged places they were using before the pandemic. We’ve therefore put together a Risk Assessment document for groups who wish to organise meetings or socials in unmanaged venues, where an appropriate managed venue is not available.

You can find the Risk Assessment here (plus the other documents which need to be used alongside it).

If you wish to restart a social or meeting in an unmanaged venue, you need to follow the five-step process above, including sending someone from the group to attend a ‘Social’ Zoom session. This meeting will take you through the process and explain the documents relating to the Risk Assessment. If a representative from your group has already been to a ‘Social’ Zoom session, there’s no need for anyone to attend again.