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Volunteer guidelines


If you are going out to volunteer, please take this Ministry of Health Ontario Self Assessment Tool on the day you are going out to help someone:

If it is determined that you are at risk of having Covid 19 we ask you to contact us and we will re-assign your task.  Those at risk, may also consider volunteering to be a phone buddy and/or administrative support at this time.


  • Covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or elbow

  • Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately.

  • Washing hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap and drying them thoroughly: o before eating or handling food o after using the toilet o after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose o after caring for sick people.

  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

  • Avoid personal contact, such as kissing, sharing cups or food with sick people.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs.

  • Stay home if you feel unwell.

You should only volunteer if you can say no to the three questions at the top of this page and are following good hygiene practices above – especially prior to and during your volunteering activity. 

  • Under no circumstances should you enter anyone’s house.

  • Be mindful that when supporting those self-isolating they may be at risk of contracting COVID 19 or at risk of carrying it and therefore passing it to you.

  • Be mindful that you may be carrying COVID 19

  • If delivering groceries, library books, prescriptions or any item to someone in self isolation you should maintain a safe distance (2 meters) from that person.

  • If you are delivering to a highly vulnerable household, please drop the goods at their door and text them to advise them the delivery has been made or drop at the agreed time if numbers have not been exchanged.

  • If talking to individuals, please remain outside the house – a minimum of 2 meters away and spend no longer than 15 minutes talking to them.

  • To prevent the risk of theft or accusation please do not handle money or bank cards – deliveries and picks ups for people should be pre-paid for whenever possible.

  • Please keep any receipts provided and pass them onto the individual with their goods.

  • Please advise recipients to follow safe unpacking practices (Click Here for safe practices for unpacking)



  • Do not lend money to the beneficiary or offer to buy them things – this is not your role and if you do it once it is hard to say no in the future

  • If you are paying for groceries in advance, ask the recipient their expected budget beforehand.  Keep your receipt and submit a copy to the volunteer manager before giving it to the recipient.  

  • Don’t give medication – you never know what they may be allergic to

  • Do not transport people as part of your volunteer role – you cannot keep a safe distance and your safety cannot be ensured

  • In addition to physical boundaries – please recognize your own personal boundaries

  • Avoid getting into situations that could be misunderstood – protect yourself

  • Think before you say yes – don’t feel obligated to say yes to a request of further help

  • Remember that the main focus of volunteer support is usually the needs of the other person so don’t burden them with your problems or worries

  • If you feel unsafe or if someone becomes rude or aggressive please don’t enter into a debate with them – please walk away and call the police if necessary. Please let the volunteer manager know so they can either complete the task or blacklist the individual

  • If you experience any negative comments from other members of the public about you supporting those self-isolating, please simply say you are working under guidelines provided by the government – or your community initiative

  • In case of an emergency please call 911 immediately

  • If you feel you are unable to fulfil your role you can withdraw or say no at any time without feeling guilty



Do not discuss the individual, any aspect of their personal circumstances or their family, without the consent of the individual and other than on a need to know basis. The only exception is if the individual discloses that they are being personally harmed or otherwise put at risk or you suspect they need medical or social service support. In this case the volunteer must alert the volunteer manager who will refer the situation to the appropriate intervention or support.

In addition to the general hygiene guidelines above please follow the following when carrying out your role: Handwashing: To be carried out before every volunteer activity.


1. Before you leave the house, wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds and dry them completely, OR; Use 60% alcohol hand sanitizer, applying it to your palm then rubbing your hands together until they are both completely covered in the gel and then letting them dry. This should take 20 secs.


2. When handling any item, whether you are receiving it from the neighbour-in-need (e.g. a letter to be posted) or dropping it off to them (e.g. a carton of milk): Wash your hands, finish your task, and wash your hands again.


3. Don’t touch your face at all. If you do touch your face, clean your hands again before continuing your task.


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*Volunteer Coordinators may survey help receivers after request is completed

Help-Requests may be of two types:

• Phone Buddy: Only vetted volunteers are assigned as phone buddies due to the sensitive nature of the job


• Grocery/Supplies/Medication drop-off: WLW prefers no monetary exchange. Volunteers should try to help requester with online ordering, payment and home delivery, if possible. If not, volunteers are advised to confirm requester budget beforehand, communicate cost via phone and pick up payment while dropping off items. Cash is the last resort. Volunteers should read the guidelines at undertaking to volunteer for We Love Willowdale 

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