COVID-19 Volunteering

This page has been updated (03/04/2020) to make information more streamlined and accessible. The page now contains the following sections:

  • News Updates
  • Connect to Volunteering
  • Volunteering Resources
  • Online Volunteer Training
  • Useful Wesbites

“News Updates”

30.03.2020: New emergency support line launched for vulnerable people* needing urgent help
The Emergency telephone support line is 0800 783 1966 alternatively you can email your request to

The ‘call’ centre will operate Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and 10am to 2pm at weekends. The service will also accepts referrals from members of the public who may be concerned about people in their community.

*Those at high risk include people over 70 years old, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions who should be protecting themselves by staying at home.

Further details about this support service can be found online at

24.03.2020: Volunteering News Update
The Government has requested that people register for NHS volunteering through the website for the following roles

  • Community response volunteers:
  • Patient transport volunteer:
  • NHS transport volunteer:
  • Check-in and chat volunteer:

This is in response to the need to create an ‘army’ of volunteers who can support the 1.5m people in England who are at most risk from the virus to stay well. Soo far over 750,000 people have registered.

2o.03.2020: Volunteers and Insurance: Those who are volunteering to help their communities during the coronavirus outbreak do not need to contact their insurer to update their documents or extend their cover and if you are using your own car for voluntary purposes to transport medicines or groceries to support others who are impacted by Covid-19, your cover will not be affected. You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover.

19.03.2020: Disclosure and Service Barring (DBS) Checks Information
On 19 March 2020, the DBS updated how they are currently accepting new DBS checks with volunteers to make it easier to process so volunteers do not have to physically meet Volunteer Managers with proof of ID & Documentation. They can do this via Video Online and scanning documents. This relates to all Basic, Standard and Enhanced checks (24 March 2020). See full details here:

The DBS Service has also produced this very useful factsheet in relation to Safeguarding:

Connect to Volunteering

Cumbria CVS supports the safe and effective recruitment of volunteers on behalf of charities/third sector organisations across Cumbria to deliver services and/or support individuals. Currently, our attention is focussed on the recruitment and support of COVID-19 volunteers.

Support Cumbria
A central website for anyone interested in volunteering during Covid-19. Click here to register as a volunteer:

Please note: we are anticipating high numbers of volunteers; you will only be contacted when an organisation needs your help but Thank You in advance for  offering your time and skills to volunteer!

Do You Need Volunteers?
If your organisation is looking for volunteers for extra help during Covid 19, please complete and submit the attached Registration Form and return it to Cumbria CVS (

Volunteering Opportunities
For current covid-19 volunteering opportunities, click here: Covid 19 Volunteer Vacancies 300320
NB: If you are interested, please contact the organisations directly.

If you would like to be kept up to date on the latest Covid-19 Volunteering opportunities, please complete and return this form: Covid-19 Volunteer Form

Volunteers and Insurance:
Free Public Liability Insurance for Community Emergency Planning Groups. Please see the attached factsheet: Insurance

Supporting Informal Volunteers

Communities helping communities
Recently many informal local Facebook groups have been established in response to Covid-19 bringing together informal volunteers who can help and support people already in their neighbourhood. It’s fantastic to see such a fast response from individuals wanting to volunteer and help their neighbours and community!

Cumbria CVS has produced some basic Volunteer Guidelines that you can use to share with your volunteers who may be helping neighbours informally & organised by local neighbours and the community. Please download here

Some useful national resources and information that has been produced for Informal Groups of Volunteers:

Key online training resources:

Volunteering Resources

Covid-19 Volunteer Handbook
This Covid-19 Volunteer Handbook has been designed for groups working with informal volunteers to support older or vulnerable people by undertaking roles such as shopping, collecting prescriptions, gardening, telephone befriending. This resource can be downloaded and adapted to suit your organisation:
Downlaod the Handbook here

Covid-19 Volunteer Risk Assessment
Here is an example of a Volunteer Risk Assessment that allows groups to review and consider the potential risks volunteers may be involved with during Covid-19. Please download this and adapt as required by you organisation/group click here to download

This template was adapted from ACT website for a Community Emergency Planning template. Check out their great resources

Here are 10 Top tips to help you Community (and be a good neighbour) during COVID-19, a resource produced by Cumbria CVS in partnership with ACTion with Communities in Cumbria: please click here to download

Animations: Cumbria CVS has commissioned four short films:

Advice for Volunteer Coordinators
What to consider when you are managing volunteers to ensure everyone gets the best out of the experience:

Tips for Telephone Befriending
Advice if you want to volunteer doing a telephone befriending service:

Introduction to Safeguarding
The basics of safeguarding for beginners working with vulnerable people:

Keeping Safe When Volunteering During COVID-19
The basics of safeguarding for people who may be new to working with vulnerable people:

Workplace Handwashing and Hygiene Poster
Workplace Handwashing and Hygiene A4 Poster (PDF)

Hand Washing Advice: follow the advice around good hand washing practice and put up reminder posters around your building

Online Volunteer Training

Communities Prepared – Public Health Emergencies Training
Training resources to help Community Emergency Volunteers and spontaneous local groups better understand public health emergencies and their potential role in supporting community resilience at this time.

Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH)
Key materials to help the health and care workforce respond to Coronavirus. This link may be useful to share with your volunteers (formal or informal groups):

Useful Websites

For a full list of useful (COVID-19) websites: