St John Ambulance is trialling a return for door-to-door fundraising from today (Monday 6 July) as lockdown restrictions ease in England.
The health and first aid charity, which has been actively supporting communities and the NHS since the start of the pandemic, suspended this activity in March, at a time when all supermarket collections and other fundraising events were also cancelled.
After careful consideration, a small team of 15 fundraisers from the ethical fundraising service, Wesser, will now begin a trial of door-to-door fundraising, on behalf of St John Ambulance.
It's hoped the activity will help raise awareness of St John’s work during the outbreak of the virus, and also gain public support to back the charity’s essential contribution further and for longer – including continuing a role in supporting the nation’s health beyond the end of the pandemic.
Christian Parry, St John Ambulance face-to-face fundraising manager, said: “We have taken this decision after a great deal of thought and consideration. As a clinically-led organisation we have worked hard to ensure this will be undertaken sensitively, safely and responsibly.
“We will be adhering to all Government guidance for COVID-19, as well as guidelines issued by the Fundraising Regulator and the Chartered Institute of Fundraising.
“We appreciate these are difficult and highly unusual circumstances for everyone, so we’re incredibly grateful for any support the public gives.”
As well as receiving additional training, Wesser fundraisers will wear personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing measures will be upheld by remaining two metres apart at all times, and when a member of the public needs to input details into a tablet device, this will be extended to them via a stick which will support the weight of the device. The stick and device will be disinfected before and after use.
Christian continued: “Ensuring people feel comfortable and safe is our absolute priority. We are grateful that the public continues to be hugely supportive of St John Ambulance, but we absolutely recognise that not everyone will want to donate or engage with us in the same way as they did before.
“Any addresses where there is no answer to a single knock or ring of the doorbell, or where someone feels uncomfortable opening the door to our team, perhaps because they’re self-isolating, will be left immediately in a polite and respectful manner.”
The trial, which is expected to last one to two weeks, will be monitored daily. This includes evaluating feedback from members of the public and the fundraisers themselves; this will help to shape the next steps as St John looks to expand this activity.
For more information, including some ‘frequently asked questions’ visit www.sja.org.uk/get-involved/donate-and-fundraise/ways-to-donate/face-to-face-fundraising/