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How you can safely help vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic.

First published:
30 March 2020
Last updated:

Can I do voluntary work?

Yes, you can, the rules allow you to go out to provide care or help to a vulnerable person, including emergency help. This includes getting food and medicines for them.

But it is really important you do not put yourself or the person you are caring for at risk. You should always observe the 2m rule and strict handwashing guidance.

Anyone who has symptoms or is self-isolating should stay at home – but they can still volunteer by taking part in home-based phone or social media befriending schemes. 

There are many opportunities to volunteer if you are staying at home. Many County Voluntary Councils and volunteer groups are looking for people to befriend people over the phone through a regular phone call.

Register and find ways to help at Volunteering Wales.

How do I protect myself and others while I’m volunteering?

You should only volunteer if you’re feeling well and do not have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature and a new and persistent cough).

No one should be put under pressure to volunteer. The advice for individuals who are extremely vulnerable and previously shielding or in an ‘at increased risk group’ who have decided to volunteer is to strictly follow social distancing guidance. 

If you are able to volunteer to deliver shopping or medicines to a friend or a neighbour please do not put yourself or the person you are caring for at risk. You should always observe the 2m rule and strict handwashing guidance.

Get detailed guidance to help safely from Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

Can I volunteer if I’m self-isolating or staying at home?

Not all volunteering opportunities involve going outside. One of the most important things you can do is to stay in touch with other people.

While you are staying at home, you can help people by volunteering to make calls, either over the phone or via social media. A ‘hello’ or check-in over the phone can be really important, but please stay safe on social media.

There many opportunities to volunteer while staying at home. Many County Voluntary Councils and volunteer groups are looking for people to befriend vulnerably people who feel isolated over the phone through a regular phone call. You can also help by coordinating volunteers who want to be a telephone befriender.

My organisation needs volunteers, what should I do?

If you need volunteers to help with coronavirus-related response, you can register on Volunteering Wales and start adding and offering your own opportunities.

Contact your local county voluntary council (CVC) for support and guidance about organising volunteer activities.

How can I volunteer?

You can register as a volunteer on Volunteering Wales.

Volunteers should expect there to be some kind of application process and may be asked to sign up to a code of conduct by the organisation.

What if I need to use my own car?

In most circumstances, out-of-pocket mileage expenses will be refunded but this will depend on what volunteer work you are doing.

What are the restrictions on volunteering?

Some volunteer roles may require a background check. Other roles may require an enhanced DBS check – where these checks are needed, they should be clearly identified.

Yes. There is helpful guidance available for social care services and organisations on how to maximise volunteer support at this time. It includes advice on adapting roles, recruiting new volunteers safely and key information you need to know about volunteering with vulnerable people. 

I need support but don’t have any family to help me. Can I get help from a volunteer?

If your friends or neighbours are not able to help, please contact your local volunteer centre (County Voluntary Council) for help and advice.

Do you still need volunteers?

Yes, whilst we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the people from across Wales as we see further easements and people returning to work so the number of available volunteers will reduce.