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(60 Posts)
colournanny Wed 13-Jan-21 15:27:40

Hi everyone, what do any of you think of volunteering at local secondary school helping the testing of students once they are are back at school I have been asked if I would help but at what risk to myself I amm64 & Hopefully good health

Ohmother Wed 13-Jan-21 16:17:44

Totally your choice. Is there adequate PPI? Is there reassurance that if anything goes wrong and there’s a complaint (there probably will be in my experience 🙄) that the school will back you and even insure you? Are you marshalling or doing the actual testing?

PollyDolly Wed 13-Jan-21 16:22:12

You might also consider, colournannŷ, that the school could insist on you being DBS checked which you may have to pay for.

Grandmabatty Thu 14-Jan-21 17:11:14

You would have to have an enhanced check and wouldn't be able to volunteer until that was in place. I believe they are now quite expensive. Nothing wrong with asking though.

Redhead56 Thu 14-Jan-21 17:16:30

DBS check price range £20/£40

Kate1949 Thu 14-Jan-21 17:58:12

I used to volunteer in a school. The school paid for the DBS check.

Oopsadaisy1 Thu 14-Jan-21 18:15:32

Daughters OH was asked (told) to do this at his school.
The teachers were only allowed to do 2 hours, with appropriate PPE, so that they wouldn’t be exposed , potentially, to the virus.
As it happened the school had to close the I day after his training day. But I expect he will have to do it after lockdown.
But everyone else is correct you will have to be checked out first, not sure how long they take to come through.
I think you have a few questions for the school before you volunteer.

Ellianne Thu 14-Jan-21 18:21:59

My DH has all the qualifications to do this and would readily assist. There are risks attached, especially age, but if the vaccine were given to the volunteer then why not?

Oopsadaisy1 Thu 14-Jan-21 18:33:22

DHs other half certainly wasn’t offered a vaccine and I doubt that the OP would at the moment , unless she is over 80 or ( in some places) homeless.

GagaJo Thu 14-Jan-21 18:39:10


My DH has all the qualifications to do this and would readily assist. There are risks attached, especially age, but if the vaccine were given to the volunteer then why not?

Brilliant suggestion Ellianne. Anyone prepared to volunteer gets an early shot at the vaccine.

Ellianne Thu 14-Jan-21 18:40:43

I doubt whether the volunteers will be doing the actual testing, more organising the queue of pupils and ticking off the lists. There are even doubts as to whether the army would do the actual tests involving touching pupils in any way. Can you imagine stories from 14 year old girls?
Another issue being considered is what age is considered reliable and responsible enough for the pupil to carry out their own test.

Rowsie Fri 15-Jan-21 09:40:36

I am 71 and am currently volunteering at a vaccination centre. My family and friends were concerned about me volunteering at my age but it is the best decision I have made since lock down. I now feel that I am doing something useful for the first time in months. I am careful and masks and gloves are supplied and my reasoning is that I could as easily get it in the supermarket as the vaccine centre.

JaneJudge Fri 15-Jan-21 09:45:43

My Mum is the same age as you but still in full time employment in a high risk environment, she has been asked to give the vaccine but she has said no, not unless she is vaccinated first! I am a bit aghast people giving the vaccines who are over 40 aren't being vaccinated first - even under 40 tbh

Lucca Fri 15-Jan-21 09:46:44

Except you wouldn’t go to the supermarkets for that long ! But still good for you volunteering.

GagaJo Fri 15-Jan-21 09:52:51

There are even doubts as to whether the army would do the actual tests involving touching pupils in any way. Can you imagine stories from 14 year old girls? Oh god yes Ellianne! Half of them would be swooning at the sight of soldiers. The other half would be making disclosures about improper touching.

KathyAB Fri 15-Jan-21 09:59:13

It sounds as though you have your own reservations because you're asking for advice so "NO" don't volunteer if you have any doubts whatsoever. I would not advise a loved one to put themselves at risk in a voluntary capacity when they don't need to. If it's family that need help, that's different. I'm 64 next month and like you feel confident because I'm healthy but I'm extremely cautious because I'm closer to 70 and past 60. Also I don't want to be a burden on my family or cause them distress if I contract the virus or worse still be unlucky and die. Think of yourself. Younger people have to work to keep themselves or a family God help them, so is it worth putting your life at risk?

Chardy Fri 15-Jan-21 10:03:54

With 1500 army personnel covering nearly 4000 secondary schools and colleges, I doubt they are going to be high profile.

CleoPanda Fri 15-Jan-21 10:16:35

There’s clearly a risk. However nobody could tell you what the risk is.
PP1 isn’t infallible- otherwise medical staff would not have become infected?
Healthy people get seriously ill, as do younger people. Nobody is immune yet.
You have to weigh up how much you want to do it versus the risk you perceive.
Personally, I’m avoiding any supermarket or indoor, closed public environment and have been since this latest variant proved so virulent.
I’ve had it last May but apparently could easily have it again. It’s definitely not an experience I would ever want to go through again.

aonk Fri 15-Jan-21 10:22:41

I’ve been wanting to volunteer in some capacity since the pandemic began. I’d like to be involved either with a food bank or with the vaccination programme. My heart says yes each I think about it but my head says no. I’m quite simply not brave enough to do it. It would also upset my family especially one very anxious DD who tries so hard to protect me and my DH. It’s a very difficult situation and I admire those who volunteer so much.

GagaJo Fri 15-Jan-21 10:26:09

Could you donate food to a foodbank aonk? It would still be helping even if it isn't actually volunteering.

Rosina Fri 15-Jan-21 10:26:16

The enhanced DBS check is free for volunteers - there will be a charge only if the school has outsourced the checking to a company, and even then the volunteer does not pay.

Ellianne Fri 15-Jan-21 10:34:09

The problem with actual testing in schools is that the children trust the teacher, (not random strangers). That rules out army personnel and others getting anywhere near close to pupils. My guess is that these extras would be used as marshalls. (Though 15 year olds are still capable of fabricating "improper looks" to good effect!!)

4allweknow Fri 15-Jan-21 10:43:00

As the law protects people up to age 18 as being a child surely school children won't be allowed to self administer a test. Well done for considering volunteering, don't think I would.

mistymitts Fri 15-Jan-21 11:18:45

The vaccine will protect you from Covid, but not from catching the virus. You could still pick up the virus from the children without knowing and ofcourse transmit it to others who have not yet been vaccinated. After being vaccinated you still need to be careful not to spread the virus if you should catch it.

mistymitts Fri 15-Jan-21 11:20:09

DBS checks are from for volunteers