Last updated: 30th June 2020, Checked: 4th Nov 2021
Diagram showing 'communicate' highlighted

This guidance intends to walk you through returning to deliver services safely. Please also refer to the official health and safety advice: Government guidance and Health and Safety England.

Communicate new measures

One of the key themes we observed from speaking with organisations in the sector is uncertainty. Clear communication with the right people will help to mitigate any fears about returning to in-person services.

What to do

Communicate your plan
  1. Communicate measures with clients, staff, volunteers and partners
  2. Set a time-frame for returning
  3. Explain your decision making process
  4. Advocate for testing and reviewing plan together
  5. Communicate both in-person and digitally
  6. Ensure those who don’t have access to a phone or IT equipment can access the information

Communication methods

With staff


    Outline your health and safety plan for returning to in-person delivery of services.

    You could use a tool like Google Docs to produce this.


    Verbally brief the staff on the plan and allow time for questions.

    With volunteers


    Outline your health and safety plan for returning to in-person delivery of services.

    You could use a tool like Google Docs to produce this.


    Print copies of the document to post to those who don’t have IT access at home. 

    If meeting in person, consider printing copies of the document for volunteers to take home. 

      With partner organisations


      Create and circulate a shorter summary version of your plan highlighting the specific key points that are relevant to partners e.g. what you can and cannot help with and how to make a referral.

      Suggest ways that partners could align their procedures to minimise confusion of clients accessing them.

      Invite questions or suggestions.


      Identify whether there are any key people that require a verbal briefing, e.g. if a specific organisation directs a lot of clients to your organisation.

        With clients


        Decide on the most appropriate digital method(s) for your clients.

        If you use a mass-text service, make sure you use clear and easy to understand language.

        Invite questions or suggestions.


        Decide on the most appropriate method(s) for your clients e.g. leaflets, posters, telephone.

        Give verbal briefings, using interpreters, e.g. when you phone clients to book appointments.

        Create leaflets to post directly or to distribute in key places.

        Put posters up, e.g. outside your venue.

        If you are a housing provider, you can create posters to put in shared living spaces.

        Factors to consider

        Translate your communications for non-English speakers. (VIR and GCP both have community enterprise translation services employing refugees).

        Check with volunteer interpreters who speak the language of the clients you are trying to contact, to see if they are willing to help translate resources.

          Provide time for feedback and questions

          1. Before plans are implemented, ensure there is sufficient time for staff and volunteers to ask questions about the new measures.
          2. Create and encourage people to use confidential communication channels. This can enable people to raise appropriate personal circumstances e.g. health conditions that could put them at risk. 


          These resources are built by you, for you.
          Email us if there’s anything you would like to add.

          Email us