Welcome to the Knebworth Covid Response Team Information Pack (doc V 2.0)

Thank you very much for offering to help our team, and the people of Knebworth in these difficult time. We have written Legal advice from a major UK legal Advocacy firm that we DO NOT have to carry out DBS checks on volunteers

About the management team

The Sponsors of the team are our local NHDC counsillors Lisa Nash and Steve Deakin-Davies and the Team Leader is Renata Crome. There are currently 5 members in this team .

The KCRT are endorsed by: Cllr Jean Green, Chair of NHDC, Cllr Richard Thake immediate past Leader of Herts County Council. Cllr Lisa Nash NHDC and Cllr Steve Deakin-Davies NHDC

Plus: Dr Liam Hayes MBBS , Doctor at the Lister Hospital The Right Reverend Michael Beasley The Bishop of Hertford Linda Robertson President of Knebworth WI Canon Jane Hatton Ann Judge Chair of Knebworth Twinning Association Kathy Cole Trinity church Elder Professor Geoff Targett D.Sc Ph,D Robert Wilson MBE Dr Graham Fothergill PhD Joy Hall Officer of Knebworth PPG . Dr Maria Zauter Consultant Psychiatrist Colin Stringer Knebworth Parish council Clare Graham Knebworth Parish council Dr Steve Turley PhD, Darren Gilbert Director Mather Marshall Dr S.George Rahim, BSc, PhD Lisa Kuruvatti Principle Clinical Psychologist and supervisor Rosie Chisnell BSc (honours, Paediatric Oncology)

PLUS many others whom we will load into this list over the next few days.

This link is from the COOP and has useful information about volunteering. How to Volunteer Safely

Key information we need. please email us back knebworthCR@gmail.com

  • Your Name, address, phone (mobile,home), email, role, specialist skills, availability.
  • This information will be stored on a database. From time to time you will be sent information by email or text.
  • We will discuss with you what role you would like and what we need. we always need experts so if you have a special skill please let us know. The main roles are: Street Marshal, leaflet Delivery Team and Supply Team, doing shopping, collecting and delivering goods to people who need help. Specialist expertise such as counsellor , IT, etc also welcome, let us know how you can help.

What we are here for

To help people feel safe, informed, and provided with practical help when they need it and to get your ideas on how to help, reduce social isolation and entertain. To make sure by means of our regular newsletter that older and vulnerable people, some living alone get news, emergency information and local knowledge about which shops are open.

What we do

We have a team of people who take phone calls Emails, and Facebook messages from local people, and they find out what help our local people need.

That team is backed up by Street Marshals who are responsible for a defined area of Knebworth and who will provide practical help in their area.

We have Shoppers who will go shopping and deliver goods to people needing help, food and medicines

The Telephone/On-line team can give access for people who are needing help to a team of subject specific experts, such as Midwives, Nutritionists , Electricians, Plumbers, School Liaison, Teachers and IT people.

How we keep in touch with people

  • We produce a newsletter, with a 2500 print run which is delivered to Knebworth homes. Our Delivery Team are vital to us and play a very important role in helping people be safe, and ensuring we are following the most up to data Post Office mail pandemic safety advice
  • We have a Facebook Page, and twitter account.

We are here to help.

See the Code of Conduct / Legal Below

To minimise viral infection we require you to follow these guidelines:

  • Wash your hands more than 5 times a day with soap and water and for longer than 20 seconds, do not touch your face.
  • When you are not doing volunteer work outside the home, stay indoors.
  • When you are doing volunteer work outside the home keep 2 metres away from anyone you come into contact with. Keep your outside volunteer time to a minimum , eg collect shopping requests together with your own shopping run
  • Always wash your hands when returning home.
  • If you are a Leaflet Delivery Team member, and use gloves then make sure you keep the gloves on for the entire time you are out. If you take your gloves off, then discard them and put a new pair on. For more information on leaflets click here Deliver Leaflets
  • You do not need to wear gloves when handling paper. Do wash your hands before picking up your papers .When delivering leaflets do not touch your face when delivering. wash your hands when you get home.
  • Shoppers. This is an important job. Getting food and medicine to vulnerable people. This role may mean, contacting local people who have contacted our On-Line/Telephone team, collecting money from people wanting shopping, going shopping and delivering the goods to their home. We know that Tesco and other supermarkets may move to contactless cards only and we are looking at how that may affect our shoppers. please click here for more information on Shoppers.
  • We may be instigating a requirement that people pay in advance for shopping by means of cash, cheque or bank transfer to KCRT. It is not the job of the Shopper volunteer to be a credit control person.
  • Shopper Team members will be given training regarding the process of dealing with shopping requests.
  • Street Marshals are our eyes and ears on the street, patrolling there patch looking out for people, keeping them informed and helping them where they can. Street Marshals never enter a persons home due to the risk of infection. See the section labelled Volunteers, page titled Street Marshals for more information.
  • The KCRT may hope to offer an indemnity scheme so that if you buy someones shopping for them you are not left out of pocket if they can’t or wont pay for Shopping Team members who buy shopping on the behalf of people who have contacted us.

Sub teams

We have shared the work between sub teams , such as the Phone team , On-line team , Leaflet delivery Team , Marshall team , Shopping Team and appointed a team coordinator who will be your immediate point of contact, train you , in discussion with you assign your rotas and tasks . They will welcome your suggestions how to make things work more smoothly

Code of Conduct

  • We treat people who ask for help with respect, kindness and efficiency at all times.
  • We keep peoples family information private, apart from that information we need to help them.
  • We treat fellow volunteers with respect, kindness, and efficiency at all times and we do all we can to work happily with fellow volunteers and will share any problems we have in a calm way, seeking to find win win solutions.
  • We will follow guidance on how to deal with the Covid Virus from KCRT and will implement its recommendations, which may change from time to time.
  • We will follow processes and procedures for dealing with people asking for help in the ways that KCRT recommend, with speed and empathy.
  • We will keep our word, act swiftly and will be focused on how we can help YOU.
  • Our culture will be based on FACTOR 3… Fast, Friendly, Focused.
  • Other policies: We have an Ethnicity and Diversity Policy and a Safeguarding Policy.


In these difficult times we are having to be reactive and swift in how we acquire, process, and store data.

  • We are conscious of GPDR and where we can we will use GDPR rules.
  • It is not our intention to keep or process data after the date the Government states the Covid pandemic is ended.
  • We only record the data of volunteers who send such data to us. Name, mobile, email and landline number.
  • We do not record phone calls nor use cookies on our website.
  • We do not and are not required to carry out DBS checks.
  • We do not record the age of volunteers or anyone who calls us, If you email us we delete it when we have acted upon your request.
  • The data is kept on a secure laptop and is backed up daily in 3 ways. This is to prevent accidental damage or loss of data. The master list is password protected.
  • The only people who have access to the data are the Command Team and three other designated people.
  • The data is controlled by Councillor Steve Deakin-Davies who is a registered person with the Information Commissioners Office.
  • We take all reasonable steps to keep the data safe and we do not share data with outside bodies.
  • We have taken our guidance from KCRT experts and from this firm of solicitors website, Porter Dobson.
  • Information Commissioners Office advice for voluntary groups. Click Here


  • You are volunteering to help KCRT. Covid-19 is an active pandemic virus.
  • If you volunteer and work for us you may become infected with the virus.
  • Any role with us is in a volunteer capacity and we sadly cannot accept any liability for any illness or accidental injury to you or others.
  • You are also responsible for any actions you take whilst carrying out your activities as a volunteer for KCRT ( Knebworth Covid Response Team).
  • You ARE NOT required to have a DBS check.
  • All information in this welcome email is subject to change, you will find up to date versions of all information on our website at www.knebworthresponseteam.org
  • We have endeavoured to follow all local and national guidelines and legal ,and HR practises to safeguard you.

Thank you for helping the Knebworth Covid Response Team.

Renata Crome, Chair KCRT

Safeguarding Policy and Procedures

The Knebworth Covid Response Team is a volunteer group, set up to help people in ,Knebworth get shopping and medicines, keep in touch, be informed on how to be safe and how to get emergency help. As this volunteer group is set up in response to the Global Virus Pandemic and the UK Lock Down, we are very constrained in being able to follow normal safeguarding practise.


  • We cannot guarantee that any volunteer who works with us with last more than one day, so most safe guarding procedures are not appropriate.
  • We have been informed in writing by the legal advocacy organisation POhWER that we do not need to carry out DBS checks, we are not required to do this. Click here for POhWER
  • Due to having no stability in who is working for us as volunteers on a day to day basis, we cannot carry out DBS checks. It would be pointless. It would take 5-10 days to get DBS and that volunteer may well have left on day one after helping us for 3 hours.
  • Any of our volunteers may get Covid-19 at any time so we have no stability in our volunteer help-force.
  • Our Command Team has changed its membership twice in 7 days as Command Team members show Covid-19 or stress symptoms, this means we do not have a structure able to check and request DBS or other any other checks.
  • We are working, as a volunteer group, to HM Government rules as of when the Lock Down went into force. “to provide care or to help a vulnerable person”.
  • The KCRT is a voluntary group of friends and neighbours helping to care for local people, it is not an emergency service, the NHS, or Age UK, its local volunteers helping local people.

What we can do:

  • Record the name (etc) of volunteers who are DBS checked.
  • Provide ID cards for volunteers who are likely to stay. These cards are approved by:
    Cllr R Thake, Hertfordshire County Council.Cllr Lisa Nash NHDCCllr Steve Deakin-Davies.NHDC
  • Have a procedure, where volunteers and the people they help, in our Knebworth Community. can report safeguarding issues to named persons for action, and the named person will contact the appropriate Police, Local Government or NHS organisation for action.
  • Use DBS checked persons when we can.
  • KCRT believes it will be providing help for local people for around 12-18 weeks.
  • If a vaccine for Covid-19 is found and works and is given to the entire population and the Government declares the pandemic is over KCRT will close.If a vaccine is not found, KCRT will continue, to prepare, ready for the possibility of Covid-19 outbreaks during the 2020 winter period. Should KCRT still be around.
  • We will have a stabilised volunteer list, we will know who stood with us.We can look at DBS and other checks and policies as appropriate.

Our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion

  • Equality, diversity and inclusion are central to everything we do at KCRT.
  • We aim to celebrate the diversity of all people, and to support everyone to overcome the barriers to their full inclusion and participation in society.

What do we mean by diversity and inclusion?

  • We are all different. We come from different backgrounds, have different family structures and relationships, come from different geographical places, have different faith and belief systems, see the world differently and have different abilities. These differences can be very obvious but some can’t be seen. Diversity is about positively valuing and harnessing these differences.
  • Inclusion refers to a person’s experience – whether that’s at work, when using public services or in wider society – and the extent to which they feel valued and included
  • KCRT understands that positively valuing diversity and inclusion can make organisations better; helping us learn, innovate and deliver benefits for the people we’re here to help. We strive to value and harness diversity in everything we do, including making our services inclusive and accessible to everyone.

What is KCRT’s position on diversity and inclusion?

  • Age UK will not tolerate any discrimination, victimisation or harassment on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
  • We are committed to tackling the inequalities and exclusion experienced by many people, and promoting equality and inclusion of all people from diverse backgrounds in all areas of our work.

How do we do promote inclusion in our work?

  • We respect the diversity of all, our volunteers and advocates, and understand that they have different needs, choices, cultures and values. We do everything we can to ensure that we’re as inclusive as possible in all areas of our work and operations, whether that’s providing services for local people, campaigning and influencing, or as a volunteer group

Within our policy and campaigning work

  • Some people experience discriminatory treatment. KCRT works hard to make people’s voices heard on the issues affecting them during the Covid-19 pandemic, by providing phone lines, email addresses and street marshals to find out what people need, and to help them to cope.
  • In developing all of our policy positions, we are committed to promoting equality and diversity, and tackling discrimination, promoting the human rights of all people, including dignity, security and opportunity, and enabling people to contribute and participate in society and local communities as best as we can during this Covd-19 pandemic and Lock Down,.

As a volunteer group

  • It’s just as important that we respect and value the diversity of our staff and volunteers.
  • Our Command Team are responsible for leading and modelling our commitment to promoting equality and valuing diversity to create an inclusive culture, for changing how we do things, delivering improvements and monitoring progress, facilitating the sharing of best practice across our organisation, and ensuring that KCRT meets our obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and all other relevant legislation to the best of our ability during this Covid-19 pandemic..

Why do we do this?

  • Society cannot improve for anyone while people are treated unfairly because of their age, or their ethnicity, gender, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or because they are disabled.
  • It is unlawful for organisations to discriminate on the grounds of gender, gender identity, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation and disability in employment and training, and in the provision of goods, facilities, and services, except in very limited circumstances.
  • We believe an inclusive society where everyone is treated with dignity and respect will benefit all people and will also help to develop greater social cohesion, tolerance, stability and prosperity in the wider society in these times during this Pandemic.


Scene setting:

  • KCRT is not an employer, it is a voluntary group set up to help people in Knebworth cope with social isolation, illness, and lack of basic food and medicines, social contact and feelings of lack of personal safety. KCRT will only continue to be active as long as local Knebworth people need our support during the pandemic, and in the absence of a Covid-19 vaccine, prepare for further outbreaks of the virus during the winter months in 2020.
  • We are working under severe constraints. This is a Pandemic Viral event.We often do not know if a volunteer who works with us in the morning will be helping us again in the afternoon of the same day. We may never hear from them again. This is what is happening to our volunteer team now. Volunteers may become stressed and leave, they may develop Covid-19 symptoms, we cannot guarantee that KCRT monitors ethnicity and diversity, we can guarantee that anyone who wants to help us will be accepted.

Knebworth Covid Response Team Constitution

1. Name of the KCRT

The name of the KCRT is the Knebworth Covid Response Team, also known as KCRT.

2. Purpose of the KCRT

The Purpose of the KCRT is:

i) To help the residents of Knebworth (over 2,500 homes and approximately 4,700 people) cope with the significant changes and restrictions affecting their daily lives that have and will continue to occur due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK;

ii) To be in place to inform and support residents of Knebworth as long as but no longer than necessary while Covid 19 requires an ongoing and significant restrictions to daily life for residents.

3. Aims of the KCRT

The aims of the KCRT are:

i) To inform the residents of Knebworth during the Covid pandemic period about keeping safe and how to comply with official instructions, according to NHS and UK Government Guidance;

ii) To provide information regularly via social media (Facebook and the KCRT Website) and leaflet delivery, especially to the older and more vulnerable of Knebworth residents who do not have computers or smart phones, and to those who are self-isolating or become ill with Covid-19;

iii) To provide support to the residents of Knebworth in a variety of ways including but not limited to:

  • Street Marshals who will regularly walk the streets of Knebworth and look out for anyone signalling they need help;
  • Shopping teams who may deliver food and medicines;
  • Befriender teams who may call isolated residents who would like someone to chat to;
  • Maintaining a list of local expertise for callers to contact (volunteers or commercial) for example  Counsellors, Nutritionists, Electricians;
  • Delivering a newsletter/leaflets giving contact numbers, lists of local shops open, and how to get help with shopping and medicines;
  • A dedicated telephone helpline, manned by a team of volunteers, to take requests for help;
  • A dedicated email address, manned by a team to take requests for help as well as check across Knebworth Facebook sites for requests for help;
  • Creation of a website to provide key information on how Knebworth residents may access help from the Knebworth Covid response team, as well as local shops and services and other information to help the wellbeing of Knebworth residents.

iv) To be prepared to continue to support Knebworth residents during a further outbreak in the winter months of 2020 if such occurs and no effective vaccine is generally available.

4. Powers of the KCRT

In order to achieve its Aims the KCRT may:

i) Raise money;

ii) Open bank accounts;

iii) Recruit Volunteers;

iv) Set up websites, Facebook pages and any other form of social media, and set up administrators for such sites;

vi) Organise training;

vii) Work with and adopt best practice and activities from other Covid-19 groups in the UK.

viii) Organise and carry out any lawful activities that may help it fulfil its Aims.

5. Leadership and Management of the KCRT

The KCRT shall be led and managed by a small team of Knebworth residents known as the ‘Command Team’ organised as follows:

i) The Command Team comprises a Chairperson, Secretary, Head of Volunteers, Head of Supply Team, Head of Online & Phone Teams, Head of Operations (including Finance), Treasurer;

ii) Command Team membership may change frequently due to illness or other commitments and will vary in size for the same reasons;

iii) Duties and responsibilities of the Command Team are to deliver the Aims of the

KCRT and in particular:

a) ensure volunteers have all relevant information regarding the role they are performing and how to ensure their own health and safety in exercising their role on behalf of the KCRT;

b) responsible for fund-raising and appropriate management and reporting of funds;

c) responsible for seeking legal advice as appropriate regarding the structure of the KCRT and in carrying out the Aims of the KCRT.

iv) The Command Team make all decisions regarding the membership, funding and operations of the KCRT, in consultation with volunteers and other local stakeholders, where appropriate; As KCRT cannot guarantee that any Command Team member will stay with the Response Team, or may get Covid-19 we are operating in an ad-hoc mode where roles traditionally seen in voluntary organisations (Chair, Secretary, Treasurer) may have to be shared, changed or suspended.

v) Command Team meetings will be held at least weekly with a quorum of 3 members present by social media link and chaired by the Chairperson or if the Chairperson is not able to chair meetings the other members of the KCRT Command team will agree a person as Chair for that meeting.

vi) Voting will be by a show of hands. If there is a tied vote the Chairperson may have a second vote.

vii) Command Team members can be removed at any time by means of a two thirds majority vote of the Command Team Members. In exceptional circumstances the Chairperson may remove a Command Team Member.

6. Membership of the KCRT

i) Membership of the KCRT is open to all persons or organisations based in the NHDC Knebworth Ward Area, and from time to time other local villages to which the KCRT chooses to offer help.  Members must abide by the rules of the KCRT (including safeguarding, health rules as stated by the UK Government and Royal Mail, equality and diversity and our code of conduct), which may change as the Covid-19 pandemic evolves.

ii) Membership is open to anyone regardless of Gender, Race, Nationality, Disability, Religion or Belief (see the KCRT Equality and Diversity Policy).

iii) Members do not have voting rights (see para. 5 above). As this is a Covid-19 Response Team, all decisions are made by the Command Team in consultation with KCRT volunteers, experts as needed (e.g. legal or health & safety advice) and local people where appropriate.

iv) Members may join the KCRT at any time by informing the KCRT Command Team by email, social media or other means and may leave the KCRT in the same way.

v) Due to the nature of the Covid-19 pandemic no all-member meetings are planned. The Command Team will endeavour to provide updates on funding and operations to funders, volunteers and any other relevant parties, initially after 6 months and to hold a full volunteers and funders meeting should the Government declare the lock-down and the pandemic over.

7. Funding of the KCRT

i) The KCRT may seek funding by applying for grants and asking for donations from any lawfully constituted organisation, group or individual.

ii) Any money obtained by KCRT shall be used by KCRT to deliver its objectives, including paying for specific expertise to support the operation of the KCRT and paying some key volunteers if the needs of local residents require it; funds may also be given to other local organisations helping people in the Covid-19 pandemic;

iii) The bank account currently being used by the KCRT will be converted by name to become the official KCRT account as soon as possible. (bank regulations and limitations permitting);

iv) Bank Transfer payments will be made on the authority of two named Command Team members.

8. Alterations to the KCRT Governing Document

i) Any changes made to this Document must be agreed by two thirds of the Command Team.

9. Dissolution of the KCRT

i) The KCRT may be wound up or become dormant at any time if agreed by two thirds of the Command Team;

ii) Any funds or assets may be held in the KCRT bank account to deal with a possible re-outbreak should the Government indicate that such is likely, or, if the Government states the Covid-19 Pandemic is over and is not likely to recur, assets and funds will be donated to local Knebworth organisations as agreed by a two-thirds majority of the full Command Team, and in consultation with any organisation or individual that has donated money and the money is unused.

Background to the creation of the KCRT

The world is dealing with a Global Viral Pandemic.

It is affecting the UK in serious ways, specifically with everyone being in a Lock Down, and with rising infection and death rates.

The KCRT is a voluntary group and as such cannot guarantee that any volunteer will remain with the organisation for more than 1 day.

It is expected the core activities will take place for 18-20 weeks from when the Government launched the lock down in late March.

It is possible that KCRT will still be in existence later in 2020 to prepare for a further outbreak of Covid-19 in November 2020.

The KCRT has been advised in writing by Pohwer, a leading legal advocacy service, that there is no requirement to carry out DBS screening of volunteers, the KCRT does not meet any of the criteria for DBS checks. The KCRT has a safeguarding policy.

Version 1.1 10/4/2020

Adopted: 6/4/2020