Keeping Everyone Safe
Volunteer Driver Guidelines
- Always ascertain if the client would like some physical assistance or guidance with walking, entering and exiting the car.
- If appropriate, the position of the seat should be adjusted – an example might be a client’s leg that cannot bend.
- Remain by the car door, handing the seat belt to the client.
- Prior to moving, check the client’s seat belt is secure. If not, please ensure it is secure.
- It is preferred that Clients remain seated in the car until the Volunteer opens the car door for them to exit. This should eliminate any slight danger to other pedestrians and would guard against the possibility of wind taking the car door against another parked vehicle. However, more active and independent clients may wish to open the door themselves, so it is important that you have parked in a safe place.
- Clients should not be exiting from a car ‘roadside’. Where there is an accompanying adult, this person should be seated behind the client, therefore no exiting ‘roadside’.
- The car should be parked as close to the pavement as possible, to eliminate difficulty between the levels (road – pavement), though be aware that some clients who use a frame may prefer to stand on the road first, then step up onto the pavement. Try to park as close as possible to the entrance of the venue.
- If you have agreed to assist a client with their own wheelchair, be sure that you have the strength to lift the wheelchair into the boot of your car. Clients MUST be able to transfer themselves from the wheelchair to the car seat unaided. Volunteers can hold the wheelchair steady and assist with balance but they are not covered to lift clients. If they should fall, the volunteer must call the emergency services.
If there is any incident or accident to the Volunteer or the Client, please notify the Duty Officer asap so that it may be considered by them and details logged in the accident/incident report log. Any general concerns about a client’s well-being should also be reported to the committee via the Duty Officer.
Duty Officers’ Guidelines
Duty Officers are in the front line and should get sufficient information about the client’s needs, in order to both select an appropriate volunteer and be able to give the volunteer sufficient information on the client, the venue and purpose of the visit. Having briefed an available volunteer, they should ask if the volunteer is still happy to take on the Job. This is particularly important where wheelchairs are involved. Not all venues have disability access or are wheelchair friendly.
Clients’ needs might include – assistance with walking, using a walking aid or requiring a wheelchair at the venue because they can only walk short distances. Or indeed, needing to bring their own wheelchair.
- Also, consider the possibility of hearing difficulty, following a hearing test and essential guidance after eye treatment, when sight may be temporarily impaired following a procedure.
- Our records should be appropriate and volunteers should be made fully aware of the client’s difficulties, physical or mental. This should be taken into account by the volunteer, when dealing with the client.
- If the client needs to use their own wheelchair, check with the accepting volunteer regarding their ability to lift it both in and out of their car boot.
In order to facilitate our Duty Officers’ task, we have created a Client Registration form, which must be used for all new and re-joining clients. Relevant details should also be noted on the client’s card.