Volunteering during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

There are different ways to volunteer during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, however all volunteers are expected to follow Government Coronavirus Covid-19 guidelines.

Volunteering if you’re not at high risk

You can volunteer if:

  • you’re well
  • nobody in your household has coronavirus symptoms, for example, a cough or high temperature
  • you’re under 70 years old
  • you’re not pregnant
  • you do not have any long-term health conditions that make you vulnerable to coronavirus
  • Government Coronavirus Covid-19 guidelines

70 year olds and over

There is no upper age limit on volunteering but anyone over 70 years old will need to follow relevant public health advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Note: Some organisations’ insurance policies have age related restrictions, for example, they do not cover you if you’re under 16 or over a certain age.

The advice for those aged 70 and over continues to be that you should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household.

If you do go out more frequently, you should be careful to maintain distance from others.

Everyone should continue to comply with any general social distancing restrictions.

It is recognised that those aged 70 and over can be absolutely fit and healthy and it’s not the case that everybody over 70 has a chronic health condition or an underlying disease.

But unfortunately, as you get older, there is a higher risk of coronavirus having a more serious impact with infection. Complications and deaths are more common in older people, even those without pre-existing conditions. 

Opportunities to volunteer from home or outside are available, and it may be worth considering these options if you are thinking about volunteering.

Volunteering if you’re at high risk

Many organisations will have their own policies in place to make sure you can volunteer safely. If you volunteer for an organisation you should check to see if they consider it safe for you to do so.

If you are shielding or consider yourself to be high risk you should continue to follow the government’s advice.

How to apply to become a volunteer

You can apply to volunteer through Volunteer Now or your nearest Volunteer Centre.

You can also apply to volunteer through your Local Council, a charity or organisation.

Volunteer Now - #HelpEachOther

Volunteer Now launched its ‘#HelpEachOther’ campaign to help safeguard those most at risk in the community and in response to the high number of people wishing to volunteer during the Covid 19 Pandemic.

If you would like to volunteer, or you are an organisation with volunteering opportunities, you can find out more or register your interest:

NHS Responders

Note: The call for NHS Responders via the GoodSam App is for England only and is currently paused.

Stay safe as a volunteer

If you are providing voluntary services, you must follow the Coronavirus (Covid 19)  – staying safe while you help others guidance.

If you do not follow this advice, you could put yourself at risk of infection, or risk spreading it to others.

If you or someone in your household starts to show symptoms, or if you are at high risk of severe symptoms yourself, then you must stay at home.

If you are volunteering through a voluntary or community group, contact that organisation for advice on how you can stay safe.

Further information

Volunteer Now has information sheets about COVID 19.

The Department of Communities has published a Protocol for Regulated Activity, such as handling cash on behalf of a vulnerable person.  For more details see  volunteering regulated activity protocol.

More useful links

 

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