We have gone live with Freedcamp!! There are now almost 60 volunteers on the system with a handful still pending their confirmation. THANK YOU for your patience as we have all got to grips with the new system and for your continued volunteering - we have an amazing community in Ottershaw.
What is Freedcamp?
Freedcamp is the Ottershaw Covid 19 Community Support Group tool for managing requests for help that come to us from outside sources. This does not impact, nor does it include, all the amazing volunteering between friends and neighbours ongoing at street level. The latter is the majority of our community response and is showcasing the best of Ottershaw!!
FREEDCAMP has a web page Freedcamp.com where you can see the tasks that need doing and what is being done by others. You can also use this site to personalise your Freedcamp settings - such as when you receive notifications of tasks.
There is also a free mobile phone app where you can see all the tasks and progress on your phone, plus receive alerts and reminders etc. You can simply check in every now and again and see what's happening with requests - or you can receive alert notifications as tasks are raised. Note you may need to change your alert notifications; this can only be done on the website (not the app).
How do I get access to Freedcamp?
Go to www.ottershawsupport.com and leave your name and a couple of details incl. email address. You will then receive an invite to Freedcamp using this email address; accept the invitation and you will be prompted to create a logon and password for Freedcamp. This will allow you to participate in the Ottershaw Covid-19 Freedcamp project.
You can logon to Freedcamp via your web browser by going to www.freedcamp.com. After logon you will be directed to a home page - this page is where any tasks that have been assigned to you will be summarised, plus important updates to your tasks and a weekly calendar.
In the top of the screen you will see various icons. The icon with 4 squares will take you to the projects screen where you should see a single project for our Ottershaw group. Clicking on this will take you to a view showing all the tasks in task groups (triage, prescriptions, shopping etc) together with their status. Clicking on a task will show the details of the request such as who it is assigned to, descriptions, due date etc. You will be able to update any tasks assigned to yourself. There is also a filtering facility, e.g. show tasks by date etc.
It is recommended that you download the (free) app if you have a smart phone and/or tablet. Logon to the app using the same password. The home page of the apps simply shows 2 boxes for your tasks (current and overdue). You can edit the task in here too, e.g. change its progress status.
How do requests for help become tasks
Requests come from several external sources: the Ottershawsupport.com website, the Ottershaw Covid 19 Community Support FB page, the Ottershaw Surgery or Pharmacy, Runnymede Borough Council (RBC), Voluntary Services North Surrey (VSNS) or even a direct phone call. The majority are prescription requests, shopping requests, or support calls.
These requests are uploaded to Freedcamp with a priority level, due date and further information needed to complete the task. They are then assigned an owner who takes on the request from "not started" to "in progress" to "completed"
How are these tasks allocated to volunteers?
Tasks are allocated as follows:
Prescriptions exempt from charges are allocated to Fiona Bailey for the bulk ordering and collection process with Ottershaw Surgery and Ottershaw Pharmacy. Once the script has been added to the list the task is "in progress"; on delivery the task is marked "complete".
Non-exempt prescriptions, urgent exempt prescriptions, shopping and support requests are initially allocated to "EVERYONE" for all Freedcamp volunteers to see, with a status of "NO PROGRESS". If you wish to take this task then open it, click on edit and assign ownership to yourself, then change the status to "IN PROGRESS". Ideally, please leave a comment in the box to confirm you have taken the task (we have had a couple of unintended self-allocations!). Once you have completed the task please mark it as "COMPLETED". Occasionally, if specialist support is needed e.g. a plumber, health professional we will allocate to a specific individual; rest of the process remains the same. If you see a task with a named volunteer and "IN PROGRESS" or "COMPLETED" status - this means the task has been taken!!
Larger tasks requiring several volunteers will have GROUP TASK in the title and allocated initially to "EVERYONE" for all Freedcamp volunteers to see, with a status of "NO PROGRESS". If you wish to participate in this group task: open the task and leave a comment saying you want to participate. Do not change the status. We will then allocate sub-tasks amongst the volunteers. An example of this is the GROUP leafleting task currently in Freedcamp where we are waiting the addresses to use and leaflets to be delivered to us. Once we have these we can allocate streets / post codes to the volunteers and get started!
Why can't I see many tasks?
As a village a huge amount of volunteering is going on naturally at street level - which was always the aim. We are only capturing here the actions that are not picked up through the local route and this varies over time. E.g. a couple of weeks ago we were seeing 20 prescription requests/day as many people made requests for medication prior to isolating / lockdown. Now, it's more like 20 per week (and mostly exempt). However, we are starting to see a slow growth in shopping requests and help with things that just go wrong!
In term of other upcoming activity:
We have been asked by Action Surrey to carry out a leafleting campaign to our older residents on how to stay active in isolation (see Freedcamp task).
There is a need to check back in with residents who contacted us previously but didn't feel the need for a volunteer at that time. Six weeks in, this may have changed and it would be good to make contact again to check these people are still okay and / or whether they would appreciate a regular call. Feedback from other volunteers is that many residents don't want to be a "burden" and may need encouragement to ask for something that might enhance the quality of their situation / relieve the monotony of being stuck in e.g. a Sunday newspaper; a small treat! We will launch these check-ins through Freedcamp this week.
It would appear that many residents, especially those not on the internet / text are not aware that help is available so we should consider how we can improve the messaging without interfering with the established local friends and neighbour support at street level.
I hope this helps with any queries you may have but if not drop us an email at Ottershaw2020@gmail.com. You can also use this email for any good volunteering suggestions you want to share / action!