This page was last reviewed Monday 5th June 2023. 

Please see our main dedicated web hub on coronavirus and MND for advice, FAQs and links to the organisations providing the most up to date information.

Coronavirus and MND hub

Guidance to volunteers on face-to-face volunteering

These guidelines emphasise our values of putting people with MND at the heart of what we do, of openness, respect, and collaboration. Our aim is that all people living with and affected by MND can receive support from the Association in a way that is comfortable and appropriate for them.

As a volunteer it is important that you feel comfortable and supported to carry out your volunteering activities in a safe environment.

Please do liaise with your Area Support Coordinator if you need guidance regarding the changes.

Some ways you can protect yourself and others from viruses such as COVID-19

Do not volunteer face-to-face if you feel unwell

If you have a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, have lost your sense of taste or smell or feel unwell in any way please stay at home and do not volunteer face to face.

If you have had Covid-19 please do not resume face-to-face volunteering until after producing a negative lateral flow test result and you feel well enough to volunteer again.

Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds

We advise you to wash your hands frequently whilst volunteering. The NHS says that washing your hands is a key part of preventing the spread of viruses such as Coronavirus. 

Work within the preferences of the people you are supporting

We know everyone has different comfort levels. Before meeting in someone’s home you should check if they would prefer you to wear a face covering and or take a lateral flow test. If you need to purchase face masks, lateral flow tests or hand sanitiser to complete your volunteering, please do so and claim repayment through the expenses system. 

Meeting in well ventilated or outdoor settings can reduce the risk of spreading infection so might be an option individuals are most comfortable with.

When meeting in public settings such as clinics you should follow the guidelines set by the space.

Before meeting with a new person you are supporting we ask that you discuss the available support options with them and consider the best way to approach the visit. You can use the support volunteer checklist and our outlined 'Safe Behaviours' checklist to do this. The outcome of this should be that you are able to meet in a way that works for you both.

This checklist does not need to be manually filled out or stored but please take time to discuss the points it contains – it is designed to support you to carry out conversations with those you will be supporting.  

Have your vaccines

Please take up all vaccines against respiratory infections that you are eligible for. This includes booster vaccines for COVID-19 and other respiratory infections such as flu. If you are not eligible to receive a free NHS flu vaccination and would like one please claim this back via expenses.

More information about the vaccine can be found on the government website or the NHS website.

Non Invasive Ventilation (NIV)

Non Invasive ventilation is an aerosol generating procedure and increases the risk of transmission of respiratory infections, including COVID-19 to others if an individual is infected with the virus. This is because NIV releases small airborne particles to the surrounding area. The risks are increased further indoors. 

Due to this increased risk we suggest that where possible NIV users take a lateral flow test before attending indoor Association events such as support groups or meetings or before a home visit take place. If the lateral flow test is positive a home visit or attendance at an event should not take place. As people with MND are eligible for COVID-19 treatments they should follow the government advice to access this.

Accessing Lateral Flow Tests

As people with MND are eligible for COVID-19 treatment they can also access free tests.

It is our intention that users of NIV are not left out-of-pocket for the purchase of tests so we would ask that branches and groups consider how these might be provided for those attending events or ahead of visits.  It may be that the branch or group holds a small stock of tests and gives these to attendees at events ahead of their planned visit to the next one or they are passed on in a similar way at home visits.

Getting out and about

All face to face volunteering activities have restarted but it is still important that these are carried out in safe way.

When planning a meeting or event in a public venue a risk assessment must be carried out which considers the risks. Please share this risk assessment with your Area Support Coordinator or Regional Fundraiser ahead of the event taking place.

In addition to carrying out this risk assessment we ask that you follow the advice and guidance of the premises that you are meeting at regarding face coverings and coronavirus testing.

Get in touch with MND Connect

MND Connect is available Monday to Friday between 9am – 5pm and 7pm – 10:30pm. Calls to this number are free from landlines and mobile phones within the UK and do not appear on itemised bills.