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Advice for Community Groups

This checklist has been written with established Community Resilience Groups in mind, but can be used by any group of people who want to consider how they can help people in their community through the coronavirus outbreak in a way which is safe, sustainable and protects the vulnerable.

If you would like to set up a new community resilience group, guidance is available.  These groups provide great help not only during the current challenges, but also in future during bad weather or other disruption.  


Follow advice - protect yourself and those you want to help

  • By protecting yourself and your family you are already supporting your community by reducing the spread of coronavirus.
  • Do not volunteer to help if you or a member of your household has symptoms. 
  • Follow the appropriate isolation advice before resuming any volunteering activities, and check our guide on helping in your community safely.   
  • All the latest evidence-based advice on protecting older and vulnerable people is on NHS Inform. Before you make any plans with your community, please ensure you are familiar with this advice.

AND REMEMBER: We should now all be staying at home and only going out for essential reasons to reduce the spread of coronavirus.



  • Keeping lines of communication open with members of your community will help everyone to still feel connected to each other – even if we all have to keep a bit of physical distance for a while.
  • Communicate with local residents through online tools and keep in touch regularly with updates, news about the community, and sharing the latest advice from NHS Inform and Scottish Government.

Supporting vulnerable residents

Coronavirus could impact on vulnerable or elderly residents in a number of ways. If your group can help vulnerable residents then you must consider how to do this is a way which is safe for them and for your group members. For example:

  • PHONE - Exchanging phone numbers with your neighbours (if you don’t already have them) and keeping in contact with each other via phone or text.
  •  DELIVERIES - If your group is doing essential deliveries of food or medicine, ensure you follow NHS guidance. Do not volunteer to help if you or a member of your household has symptoms - follow the appropriate isolation advice before resuming any volunteering activities.

  • SAFETY – Vulnerable residents may find themselves vulnerable to scams. Sign up to Neighbourhood Watch Scotland alerts to find out about scams in your area and share this through your groups online communications.

Integrated response

Community resilience groups are an essential part of response and recovery when working with responder organisations such as their local authority, NHS and emergency services.

Ensure that your group is connected with the responders in your area – starting with your local authority’s emergency planning team.  

If you have a Community Emergency Plan it would be good to revisit that or consider developing a plan now.


Sources of advice