Staying Safe

Can Do Bristol Timebank

Staying Safe guidance

The safety of all Time Bank members is very important to us. We carry out reference checks before anyone can join but the decision to go ahead with any exchange is up to the members. All Time Bank participants are responsible for ensuring a safe and healthy workplace and for taking reasonable care of themselves and others.

Application to be a member & safeguarding checks:

All disclosures, comments and references will be considered by Southmead Development Trust officers who may refer to BCC Officers.

If there is no disclosure, and no adverse comments, all sensitive data will be stored securely and the applicant will be registered as a member of the Time Bank.

If a disclosure is made or there are adverse references, a Timebank Administrator will invite the applicant to comment.

A joint decision will be made regarding the suitability of the applicant and any limitations on the involvement of the applicant that may be required.

A Timebank administrator will inform the applicant in writing of the outcome of the application.

Any references and disclosures will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.

Health and Safety

Staying safe on and offline is a top priority. When anyone joins Can Do Bristol Timebank they are reference checked and you can see a badge on any user's profile to confirm this.

Before undertaking any exchange, we strongly encourage you to message the person and begin a conversation with them. As the Time Bank grows, you will soon get to know other members and build up a useful network of people you can trust and call upon.

Participants must not intentionally or recklessly interfere with anything provided for their health, safety and welfare.

Whenever a participant notices a health or safety problem which they are unable to put right, they must immediately inform a timebank administrator.

Health, safety and welfare matters may be raised by any participant at any time.

Please bear in mind the guidance below, particularly when working in another member’s home.

·        Do not put yourself at risk – if you are not sure it is safe to do DON’T DO IT!

·        Be aware of possible dangers. If you are worried about visiting another member on your own in the dark or in a particular area – discuss your concerns with a timebank broker.

·        Trust your judgement. If anything sets off alarm bells trust your instinct and position yourself for an easy exit.


Emergencies during an exchange

Don’t hesitate – dial 999 and call the relevant emergency service. If you have any doubts whether the situation is an emergency still call 999 – it is far better to be on safe side.

Administer First Aid ONLY if you have a valid First Aid Qualification.

DBS checks

Broadly, this type of informal, community support does not meet the requirements for standard or enhanced DBS checks.

If you'd like to check whether or not the role you're undertaking meets the requirements for a DBS check there is a useful tool on

Lone Working Policy

This policy applies to all staff and members of Can Do Bristol Time Bank.

Individuals are ‘alone at work’ when they are on their own, exchanging on a one-to-one basis with another Time Bank participant, and

  • they cannot be seen or heard by another participant
  • assistance is not readily available when needed.

Can Do Bristol Time Bank does not expect participants to undertake lone working without implementing the safety measures outlined in this document. (See below)

Home visits should be by appointment only. 

  • Where possible, first visits should be made by more than one person (the person offering help, plus one and person receiving help, plus one)
  • The agreed member receiving help must be available throughout the planned visit.
  • Participants working alone should carry mobile phones where possible.

Additional Advice for Time Bank Members undertaking home visits:

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust offers the following advice to participants performing time exchanges at others' homes:


·        Give some thought before you arrive as to what exit strategies you could use if you felt uncomfortable or threatened.


·        Conduct your own risk assessment on the doorstep before you enter. If you feel at all uncomfortable or unsure, make an excuse and leave. Trust your instincts.


·        Be mindful of the fact that you are entering someone else’s territory. Your presence there may be unwanted and/or pose a threat.


·        As you enter, make a note of how the door opens and closes so that you can leave quickly, if necessary.


·        Give the person you are helping an idea of how long the meeting will take and try to adhere to this.


·        Avoid actions or words which may appear judgmental, aggressive or an invasion of privacy or space.


Participants should know that their safety comes first, and should be aware of how to deal with situations in which they feel at risk or unsafe. They should also be able to recognise how their own actions could influence or even trigger an aggressive response.

When you visit someone's home let a friend or family member know the name of the person being visited, and the expected start and end times of the visit; when the visit is complete let the appointed person know you have finished and are safe.  If the appointed person does not hear from you within one hour of the stated visit end time, they must undertake the following actions:

  • Stage 1: Contact you directly
  • Stage 2: Contact the timebank administrator who will attempt to contact your emergency contact.
  • Stage 3: Inform the police, providing details of your last known whereabouts

Normally, if participants or contact people need to involve the police they should do so through contacting timebank administrator, who will record the details of the situation and contact the police on their behalf. However, in case of emergency, it may be more appropriate for the participant or contact person to contact the police directly and then follow up with a timebank administrator as part of the accident reporting procedure.


Reporting concerns:

Adults: Find more information here about reporting concerns of adult abuse.

Safeguarding of children: Report your concerns about a child - contact the First Response Team on 0117 903 6444. For more information click here.

Types of exchange (Skilled / Professional Support)

In general:

If you have any concerns and questions about an exchange ask for more details.

A member requesting help should check the level of experience of the giver. A person receiving time or help should not expect a professional service but should expect a job will be carried out to best ability and a pre agreed and understood standard.

A member offering time should only agree to do activites they feel able to carry out to a safe and reasonable standard.

DIY, home improvements and repairs

  • Do not undertake tasks involving gas or electricity unless qualified to do so
  • When considering more skilled tasks such as plumbing, tiling, plastering or home DIY, only do tasks if you feel able to do so safely

Staying safe during Covid-19

Safeguarding of self

This is hugely important - not only do we want you to continue to be able to help people but we also want to ensure that you and your family are not put at risk.


Follow NHS and Government guidance advice at all times.

Keep a strict 2 metre distance between yourself and others at all times.

If you have been out for a while, visiting various people consider putting clothes straight in the wash when you get home and showering before greeting your family.

If you're delivering shopping/prescriptions/food parcels wash or sanitise your hands after every delivery

All deliveries are left on the doorstep, the door knocked and you retreat 2m. Do not enter people's homes.

If you're giving lifts, the client always sits in the back of the car; sanitise door handles, seat belts and anything else that's been touched by the client after each journey.

Safeguarding of cash

Wherever possible, card payments over the telephone should be utilised. Even some smaller shops have introduced this facility during the current crisis - if your local shop doesn't do it, ask!

If cash must be used, it should be placed in a money bag or envelope with a list. When the volunteer takes the envelope, a photo should be taken of the list and money. After the shopping trip take a photo of the receipt and the change.

Consider a limit of £30 or similar - this protects everyone from any significant loss.

Safeguarding of self-isolating clients/neighbours

Always ask if there is anything else needed and particularly, how the person is feeling - there will be a lot of potential loneliness out there and if you have the time, a 5-10 minute chat (from a safe distance) might be the bright spot in that persons day.

Offer to signpost to other groups and services. Some mental health, counselling services and organisations are offering telephone support and online interactions. Telephone befriending can also be offered through the time bank.

To report concerns see above for more information.


Queries & feedback:

  • Queries and complaints by Southmead Timebank members will be dealt with by the Southmead Timebank officers 
  • SDT may contact BCC officer to discuss complaints received relating to the timebank.
  • Contact:

Queries or complaints relating to Can Do Bristol can be directed to

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