Good Neighbours Scheme - Mutual aid groups

The Plymouth Good Neighbours Scheme was set up in March 2020 to help manage the community and voluntary response to the coronavirus pandemic.

As well as helping individuals to play their part, we are also working with exisiting groups to provide support and mutual aid via our partners Our Plymouth and the Plymouth Octopus Project (POP+)

Mutual aid is where a group of people organise to meet their own needs, outside of the formal frameworks of charities, NGOs and government.

If you are a new group, the Our Plymouth website has resources and information that will help you set up and manage mutual aid groups

Mutual aid groups that agree to our code of practice will receive a mark of recognition, priority listing on the Plymouth Online Directory and will be added to the community self help map. 

If you need more information about the Good Neighbours Scheme email

Good Neighbours Scheme Code of Practice

Please read the code of practice for group leaders and volunteers below. If you're happy, follow the link to become a part of the Good Neighbours Scheme. 

It is important to follow government guidelines including: 

  • Do not volunteer if you have symptoms or are in a vulnerable category
  • Stay 2m away from anyone you do not live with at all times
  • Regularly wash your hands with soapy water for at least 20 seconds

See the government guidelines on how to help safely

If you are asked to do something which may put any member of your group at risk, please ask the vulnerable person to contact Caring for Plymouth


A nominated ‘group leader’ should: 

  • Lead the voluntary effort of the group
  • Have a sound understanding of the nature of the crisis and agree what help they wish to offer the community which is manageable and within safe working practices and volunteer skill sets
  • Monitor government guidance which may affect the work of volunteers e.g. on social distancing, restricted movement, and shielded communities. 

The ‘group leader’ should ensure that:

  • Volunteers and other members of the group are advised to not under any circumstances enter people's homes. If this is asked, then they should advise the resident to contact Caring for Plymouth
  • Staff and volunteers are aware of, and adhere to, relevant government guidelines which may affect their work e.g. on social distancing, restricted movement, and shielded communities
  • There is a code of conduct in place for volunteers to follow
  • Volunteers do not participate if they: show signs of being unhealthy; are under the influence of drugs/alcohol; do not follow instruction for safe working; are unable to fit into any of the needed tasks; have issues with the DBS check; live with someone who has the virus or is vulnerable to it
  • Volunteers are trained where appropriate
  • Volunteers are aware of safeguarding processes and know how to report any potential safeguarding issues
  • Volunteers know where to refer if the vulnerable person has additional needs not defined as ‘in scope’ of the purpose of the group. These residents should be referred to Caring for Plymouth
  • To assess the risk to volunteers, and vulnerable people from the tasks that volunteers deliver and identify risk reduction measures
  • Volunteers activities are tracked and recorded
  • They do not encourage activities which highlight a person’s vulnerability including the red flag/green flag scheme
  • Food safety guidelines are followed where a group is offering food services to the community. 
  • Safe and secure methods of payment are followed. Which? have put together a list of the safest and most secure ways to pay a shopping volunteer. If you are unable to follow these, please refer the resident to Caring for Plymouth. 
  • Data protection rules and guidelines are followed. The Information Commissioner's Office has more information about community groups and data protection


Volunteers should:

  • Agree to the Code of Conduct and follow any training given
  • Have a defined role and task to deliver which matched their capability
  • Should not enter people's homes under any circumstances. If there are any concerns for the vulnerable people they have supported, these should be raised with the appropriate authority
  • Be able to gain advice from a designated contact if they have difficulties
  • Be given sufficient training to conduct their task, including specific Covid-19 awareness training
  • Understand the groups process for volunteers handling money or receiving gifts
  • By the end of their volunteering, be thanked and their work appreciated
  • Not provide services if they are furlouged to that employer through their volunteering

Sign up to the Plymouth Good Neighbours Scheme

Community self help map

Click the icons on the map to find mutual aid groups and organisations offering help and support in your area and across the city. 


Useful resources

Cabinet Office guidelines on involving volunteers in emergencies
National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) information on volunteers and the law
Volunteer Now guidance on undertaking risk assessments for volunteering


The community self help map shows groups operating in Plymouth.

Plymouth City Council cannot take any responsibility for the views, actions or omissions of the mutual aid groups or individuals that are participating in the Good Neighbours Scheme who are listed on this website/map.

All mutual aid groups and individuals listed on this website/map must comply with the Good Neighbours Scheme Volunteer Code of Conduct.

We accept no responsibility for the accuracy of information or material accessed through the site, or liability to any person for loss or damages incurred as a result of reliance upon material contained on this website.

We are not responsible for the content of any linked information  or other information and the inclusion of any link or other information does not imply any endorsement of that reference, individual or mutual aid group.

We are not responsible for vetting the mutual aid groups and individuals,  and exclude all liability on the basis that the Good Neighbours Scheme is a directory service only in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.