Coronavirus: Advice for your organisation 


Volunteering and coronavirus: How you can help

Volunteering and coronavirus – how can you help?

Here’s how you can volunteer to help and support others during the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic.

Lend help where it's needed

You may have neighbours or friends who are self-isolating. Look out for them and offer help with shopping and other errands. Keep yourself well while helping others.

You could also volunteer via the phone or online. For example, you could befriend those who are isolated, offering reassurance and sharing official information, such as from the governmentNHS or Public Health England.

Other people in the community who might also appreciate help are:

  • stretched medical staff and volunteers
  • staff and volunteers in key worker roles
  • supermarket workers
  • delivery drivers.

Stay safe when supporting others

  1. Only volunteer if you feel well enough, if you are not self-isolating and if helping will not cause you any undue risk or feelings of unease.
  2. Keep washing your hands often for atleast 20 seconds.
  3. Consider your personal need for social distance and any other precautions you may take, such as wearing a face covering, volunteering outside and/or volunteering in small group numbers.
  4. It is advisable that everyone tests for covid-19 twice a week. Tests are free and can be done at home. Find out more about types of test and how to access them on the NHS website.
  5. If you’re trying to help someone with very serious issues – don’t be afraid to flag with appropriate statutory services.
  6. Support family, friends and neighbours by phone or video call.
  7. If volunteering indoors, encourage airflow and plenty ventilation by opening doors and windows.
  8. Don’t take on too much – it's often better not to offer at all than to let someone down.

Preparing to volunteer

Volunteer with organisations providing support

Charities are working with the government and local authorities to create ways for people to get involved.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • If you don’t have a particular charity you want to support in your local area, contact your local Volunteer Centre, CVS or visit the Do-it website. They can help you find out where your help is most urgently needed.
  • Sign up to volunteer with Royal Voluntary Service as a NHS volunteer responder to support the NHS during the covid-19 outbreak. There are different roles available including befriending, stewarding at vaccination centres, and helping with patient support.  

Other ways to help charities

All charities continue to be stretched by the pandemic.

The best thing to do is to keep supporting the causes you care about. The British public are incredibly generous and we really need your help to keep our work going. Any support you can give, including as a volunteer or trustee would be incredibly valuable.

How organisations can support charities

There are many ways your organisation can support charities. Whether your furloughed staff want to volunteer or you want to donate to the covid-19 response, take a look at Volunteering Matters, Helpforce Assist, British Red Cross and Business in the Community.

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