Durham County Council are offering lateral flow tests for Covid-19 to residents in local venues and need your help. We are looking for volunteers to be at the forefront of the local fight against the virus – you could be part of it!
As we set up and offer local testing facilities, we are seeking to establish a bank of potential Covid-19 Testing Support Volunteers. You will help to ensure that customers are supported in accessing their test. This is an exciting opportunity to play your part in protecting the community and saving lives.
The main aim of the role will be to ensure customers are where they are supposed to be and are ready for their test, as well as providing reassurance throughout the process. The 4 main areas of the role are:
- Managing customer queues ensuring a safe and organised entry to the testing centre.
- Support with greeting, registering customers and preparing customers for their tests including access to kits and directions to swab testing booths.
- Overseeing with staff support the process of customers self-swabbing
- Recording the process and results.
Volunteers can take on a particular area of the role, take on others as they become familiar with processes or become involved in all aspects. There is always time at the beginning of each shift for instruction and recap within a supportive team environment.
It is important to stress at this point that after a successful application process volunteers will be added to a volunteer bank and it is envisaged that they will notified as and when shifts become available at their local centre, which are expected to become busy once fully operational.
The testing sites are operating in a very low risk environment with those with Covid symptoms discouraged from using this process for testing and have found very few positive cases overall. Customers will be seen by appointment in a safe environment following closely guideline and risk assessments and do not wait at the centre for test results
No previous experience is required but we are looking for volunteers with the following skills:
• Being versatile to changing demands in testing centres
• Good communication skills.
• Be able to volunteer flexible hours according to shift patterns and potentially be available at short notice to cover gaps in shifts.
• Commitment to the volunteer role and to following the strict guideline and procedures required as well as keeping up to date with Covid guidance in general.
• Good interpersonal skills and caring nature.
• Empathetic and supportive with those being testing, demonstrating confidence in the testing process.
• Flexibility to change tasks as and when required.
• Must be able to physically stand for several hours with good mobility.
• Willingness to work outside.
• You must not be classified, or live with anyone classified, as belonging to any of the COVID-19 high risk groups (more detail can be found on the government website).
• Volunteers must be between the age of 16-79 years old
Volunteers will also need to have the ability to communicate in a calm and professional manner, take instructions from staff members closely following risk assessment and health and safety directives and the responsibility not to attend sessions if you are feeling unwell or develop symptoms of Covid which must be reported.
Volunteers must be between the age of 16-79 years old.
The testing centres run on different days following and times but following this shift pattern: 8.00- 14.00 and from 13.00-19.00 Monday to Friday and 10.00 – 16.00 on weekends with the expectation that a volunteer will commit to a full shift. The list of centres and shifts are as follows:
• Annfield Plain Library, DH9 8EZ Open: Wednesday 13.30 - 18.30, Friday 08.30 - 13.30, Sunday 10.30 – 15.30
• Belmont Library, DH1 2AA Open: Tuesday 13.30 – 18.30, Wednesday - 08.30 - 13.30, Sunday 10.30 – 15.30
• Brandon Library, DH7 8NN Open: Tuesday 08.30 - 13.30,Wednesday 13.30 – 18.30, Friday 08.30 - 13.30
• Chilton Library, DL17 0EX Open: Tuesday - 08.30 - 13.30, Wednesday 13.30 – 18.30, Sunday10.30 – 15.30
• Easington Colliery Library, SR8 3PN Open: Tuesday 13.30 – 18.30, Wednesday 08.30 - 13.30, Friday 08.30 - 13.30
• Newton Aycliffe Youth Centre, DL5 4HT Open: Monday 8.30 – 13.30, Wednesday 13.30 – 18.30, Thursday 08.30 - 13.30
• Pelton Library, DH2 1HS Open: Tuesday 13.30 - 18.30, Friday 08.30 – 13.30, Sunday 10.30 – 15.30
• Spennymoor Leisure Centre, DL16 6DB Open: Monday – 13.30 – 18.30, Thursday 08.30 - 13.30, Friday 08.30 - 13.30
• Teesdale Hub, DL12 8TD Open: Monday - 08.30 – 13.30, Thursday - 08.30 – 13.30, Saturday - 10.30 – 15.30
• Willington Library, DL15 0PG Open: Tuesday 08.30 – 13.30, Wednesday 13.30 – 18.30, Sunday10.30 – 15.30
• Woodhouse Close Library, DL14 6JX Open: Tuesday 13.30 - 18.30, Wednesday - 08.30 – 13.30, Friday 08.30 – 13.30
• Lanchester Library, DH7 0NT Open: Wednesday 08.30 – 13.30, Friday 13.30 - 18.30, Sunday 10.30 – 15.30
• Trimdon Library, TS29 6PY Open: Monday 08.30 - 13.30, Wednesday 13.30 – 18.30, Sunday 10.30 – 15.30
• Wolsingham Library, DL13 3AB Open: Tuesday 13.30 – 18.30, Wednesday 08.30 – 13.30, Thursday 08.30 – 13.30
Full travel expenses will be offered including a mileage allowance and to cover refreshments. Expenses forms are provided.
Volunteers are expected to successfully complete an online e-learning course and attend an induction session. Further ongoing support will be provided at the testing centres.
Full PPE will be provided during each session.
Facilities are on site to ensure that hygiene procedures are followed.
Support and inductions from Volunteer Co-ordinator prior to taking up your role.
There will be a designated Centre Manager for you to report to who will provide onsite management and guidance
Opportunity to develop new skills and gain new experiences.
The chance to be part of the fight against Covid-19.
Please note you will be applying to be part of a bank of volunteers across 14 County Durham Sites. At this stage the demand for volunteers is unknown and likely to vary across testing centres and it will be helpful to us if you could be as flexible as possible in the hours, days that you can offer and also to be available at short notice.
Flexibility is required by volunteers as testing centres will meet local demand and volunteers may be required to stand down from planned activity and if possible also attend a session at very short notice.