Community Signposts

As communities deal with uncertainty and isolation during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, there are many who require help from others and many who wish to volunteer their time and services. Find out how to volunteer and how to access support through the Scottish Government’s Ready Scotland website.

By following five simple guidelines, both those in need of help and those wishing to provide help can ensure that they stay safe.

Local Authorities or community groups can download this advice as an A5 leaflet to be distributed to those who may benefit from it.
You can also download a social media pack here – see below for links to download images.

Advice for Those Requiring Help

    • Stop uninvited callers on your doorstep.

      Don’t feel obliged to answer the door to anyone you don’t know.

    • Check who you are dealing with.

      If you are not familiar with the caller and they say that they are from an official organisation or community group, phone the organisation/group using a number found on their website or through a phone directory. Genuine callers will be happy to wait while you do this.

    • Wait to make a payment.

      Those who genuinely want to help you will be happy to receive payment once they have delivered your items to you.
      NEVER give your card details or any bank details to someone at the door.
      NEVER hand your bank card to anyone at the door
      Many supermarkets have now introduced ‘volunteer cards’ to allow customers to purchase an electronic gift card and send the link to their volunteer. The volunteer can print a barcode or collect a card, which can be used to purchase groceries. This avoids making cash or card payments and should protect vulnerable consumers from fraudsters.

    • Avoid cyber and phone scams

      There are plenty of fraudsters who are using the Coronavirus outbreak to take advantage of people. Get your news and information from trusted sources and keep up to date with the latest scams by signing up to receive our Scam Share bulletin.

  • Report suspicious callers or activities

    If you feel unsure about a doorstep caller, contact Police Scotland on 101. In an emergency, call 999
    Report all scams to Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000

Advice for Those Providing Help

    • Join an existing community group or organisation.

      Avoid cold calling people – if you want to volunteer your services, find out how to sign up through the Ready Scotland website. You can also find verified organisations or community groups through Neighbourhood Watch Scotland. This will make vulnerable consumers in your local area feel safer.

    • Carry verifiable ID.

      If you are volunteering for an organisation or community group, they should have a point of contact that people can call to verify your identity. The person you are offering to help must be able to check that you are who you say you are.

    • Wait to receive payment.

      Don’t take a payment from anyone up front – wait until you have successfully delivered their items.
      NEVER accept anyone’s bank card or sensitive information such as PIN numbers or bank account details.
      Many supermarkets have now introduced ‘volunteer cards’ to allow customers to purchase an electronic gift card and send the link to their volunteer. The volunteer can print a barcode or collect a card, which can be used to purchase groceries. This avoids making cash or card payments and should protect vulnerable consumers from fraudsters.

    • Protect others in your community

      If you see or hear about anyone suspicious who is cold calling people in your community, report it to Police Scotland on 101 or 999 in an emergency.
      Report all scams to Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000
      Encourage people to sign up to receive localised alerts from Neighbourhood Watch Scotland.

    • Distance yourself from others.

      Keep at least 2 meters away from other people – leave deliveries at the door and take steps to keep both yourself and those you are helping safe from harm.
      Get the latest advice from the NHS