Helping Hands

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:

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, ask to see their ID. If you are unsure whether they are genuine, close the door and phone the organisation/group using a number found on their website, rather than the number on the card.

  • Wait to hand over money.

    Those who genuinely want to help you will be happy to receive a cash 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 – try to pay by cash only

  • 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 cash 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.


  • 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