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COVID-19 – what volunteers and organisations should know

[Updated: Tues 31st March with link to readyscotland.org plus advice on volunteering during ‘lockdown’ and helpful tips for those needing to recruit new volunteers.]

See the relevant section below if:

1. You want to volunteer to help

2. You are organising a local group or managing an organisation and:

  • Need more help from volunteers and/or
  • Need guidance on keeping everyone safe (safeguarding)

For those who wish to volunteer in response to COVID-19

Before considering volunteering ask yourself – am I well enough to volunteer?

Your safety and limiting the spread of the coronavirus being the main priority, Volunteer Glasgow continues to encourage you to adhere to NHS guidance on how best to avoid COVID-19, both in the work environment and at home.

Am I allowed to go out in order to support someone vulnerable in my community?

Yes. You can only volunteer to carry out tasks which involve leaving your home, once a day, if you are not required to be isolating and are not in any risk categories. Please check the latest advice at NHS Inform.

Being a good neighbour remains vitally important and you can still help even if you need to stay at home by signing up to provide telephone support. This way you can help keep in contact and provide reassurance to those in need.

If you are well enough and wish to volunteer, there are 2 main ways in which you may be able to help;

Volunteering with the NHS

Join the British Red Cross to support our public services including the NHS and local authorities. You can sign up through this link: readyscotland.org/coronavirus/volunteering/

It’s REALLY important to note that not all people who contact us will end up volunteering. We are expecting a large volume of volunteer registrations from people interested in helping so not all offers of help will be taken up as the supply may be more than the demand. Also, don’t be discouraged if suitable roles do not arise immediately as the response to this crisis will grow over time and the role volunteering plays in that response will likely grow too.

Anyone interested in volunteering in Glasgow now or in the future can also keep up to date by following us on Facebook (Volunteer Glasgow) or Twitter (@volunteerglasgo)

For groups and organisations 

Need more volunteers? Are you registered with Volunteer Glasgow?

Once registered with Volunteer Glasgow, you can advertise volunteer roles to approx. 10,000 individuals for free via our digital volunteering platform at opportunities.volunteerglasgow.org. The team here is working from home but will still be supporting organisations to advertise roles as usual and will be prioritising roles directly related to COVID-19.

Need advice about COVID-19 volunteer recruitment and/or management issues?

Maybe you need to think about PVG requirements and risk assessment processes when supporting vulnerable people in these unprecedented times? Or you need to design entirely new roles in response to COVID-19? You may need to put new volunteer management processes in place due to staff working at home? These are just some of the issues we anticipate organisations grappling with and new issues that none of us have even thought of yet are bound to arise.

The team at Volunteer Glasgow are here to help and we can be contacted on findvolunteers@volunteerglasgow.org or on 0141 345 0543 (choose option 3) (Mon-Fri 9am – 5pm). As we all adapt to these new circumstances and needs we can’t always promise an instant answer to your questions but we’ll work with you and other relevant organisations to get you the advice and guidance you need.

More information

Volunteer Glasgow is working closely with its Third Sector Interface partners and the wider 3rd and public sectors to support the response to COVID-19.

We are delighted and inspired (but not surprised!) to see the community based volunteer response which is growing daily. Volunteer Glasgow will be working to support this response in the following ways:

  • Helping in the promotion of volunteer roles related to the COVID-19 response
  • Communicating with local volunteers and organisations to let them know what is happening and connect them where relevant
  • Providing advice and guidance on volunteering safely when dealing with vulnerable members of the public.

All the best and stay safe,

Everyone at Volunteer Glasgow


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