WAMA volunteers undertake a wide variety of tasks, and you can choose whatever suits you. Some example tasks include picking up shopping, posting mail, making a friendly phone call, ordering and collecting prescriptions, helping with urgent supplies and assisting local businesses with deliveries.
WAMA volunteers do not give health or other professional advice, go into other people's homes or provide lifts.
The WAMA process
Once you have completed the volunteer sign up sheet, you will be given access to a list of requests for support. The requests change daily, so it's a good idea to get in the habit of checking it as often as you can manage. When you want to take on a task (for example, one in your area), you simply mark it as 'in progress' and then 'complete' as appropriate.
Contacting the person requesting help
As you may be contacting a person you don't know, we ask that you 'block' your phone number if you would like to keep it private. Once you are in contact with someone who has asked for help, you can decide between yourselves whether that is a one-off or continuing service. If the help is one-off we ask that you remind them to fill out another request the next time they need help.
It's important that you see any task you've volunteered for through to completion. If for any reason you can't, we ask that you contact the WAMA team. It's important that you keep secure personal information about the person you are helping (see our notes on data protection below).
The way you are reimbursed for incurring shopping or prescription costs is agreed between you and the person you are assisting. We suggest that people set a £20 limit per assistance and that you get receipts to confirm how much has been spent.
We ask that you do not take people's credit or debit cards to do their shopping. Wotton Co-op has a portable card reader available which you can take to the home of the person you are helping if you need to. Find out more about the Co-op's portable card reader on YouTube (video length: 4:37). You could set up a Paypal or BACS transfer between you. It's important to ensure that both parties stay secure.
You can learn more in Gloucestershire Community Help Hub - Advice for Volunteers.
Delivering shopping safely
We ask that all WAMA volunteers use gloves to handle shopping or money. These can be single-use disposable gloves, or regular gloves that can be washed after each use. When you are dropping off shopping or deliveries, you can leave these on the doorstep before ringing the doorbell and stepping back 2 metres before the person you are delivering to answers the door.
We ask all our volunteers not to enter homes or properties and to use hand sanitiser between deliveries if they are making more than one. We also have a safeguarding system in place, so if you are concerned about someone you can email us to talk through your concerns.
Data protection (GDPR)
We want to ensure we follow good GDPR practice and look after the data and personal information that has been shared by those seeking assistance.
Wotton Area Mutual Aid is committed to the protection of children and vulnerable adults who fall within its
Our safeguarding policy sets out the best practice for our Group to respond to safeguarding
concerns and applies to all volunteers and those requesting help.
Membership of WAMA
Although we aren’t a charitable registered organisation, WAMA has a set of guidelines and a basic
constitution. In the constitution it says that all of our WAMA volunteers become members of the group as soon as they sign up, as this is we are just a mutual aid group of individuals supporting their neighbours.
There is a co-ordinating group of WAMA administrators, and volunteers can stop being a member at any time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
As a volunteer, we ask that you:
- Do not share the data/information that you are given with anyone else;
- Do not leave the data/information visible in public space;
- Delete the data/information once you have used it.
Our volunteer newsletters give a great insight into what kind of work the group is undertaking and the difference volunteers make to residents and businesses in our community:
Areas we cover
Wotton Area Mutual Aid (WAMA) was set up to cover Wotton-under-Edge and its surrounding villages, based on the areas supported by the two GP surgeries in the town.
Some villages have their own support groups but WAMA does respond to all requests that come directly to us.
Areas covered are indicated within the map alongside this and include: Wotton, Charfield, Wickwar, Hillesley, Hawkesbury, Cromhall, Tortworth, Tresham, North Nibley, Ozleworth, Bowcott, Whiteway and Stancombe.