COVID-19 Volunteering

You can help!!

Covid-19 Survey for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector Organisations

In these uncertain times amid the outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus, we recognise that many organisations in the Cumbria Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector are having to make tough decisions about the services they offer and if these can continue to operate over the coming weeks and months.

We also understand that this will have a huge impact on organisations in many ways and that this will be a major concern for many of you.

Cumbria Community Resilience Group have put together a short survey to establish the bigger picture across the county.  We’d be extremely grateful if you could spare a few minutes to complete it.

This information will help us to develop a strategy with partners and stakeholders to provide the right help and support to protect the sector and the valuable role it plays in many people’s lives.  We will share the findings through the Community Resilience Group.

The deadline for the survey is (midnight) Sunday 29 March 2020.

Connect to Volunteering

“Support Cumbria” website
Thank you for stepping forward to help out in Cumbrian Communities at a time of great need.

Support Cumbria is a central place for anyone interested in volunteering during Covid-19 to register their interest.

Please note it is anticipated that there will be a high volume of people registering their interest in volunteering – you will only be contacted when an organisation needs your help but we want to Thank You for offering your time and skills to volunteer!

Click here to register as a volunteer:

Volunteering News Update (24 March 2020): the Government has requested that people register for NHS volunteering through the website for the following roles

  • Community response volunteers: This role involves collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating. The volunteer would also deliver these supplies to their home.
  • Patient transport volunteer: This position supports the NHS by providing transport to patients who are medically fit for discharge, and ensuring they are settled safely back in to their home.
  • NHS transport volunteer: This role involves transporting equipment, supplies and/or medication between NHS services and sites. It may also involve assisting pharmacies with medication delivery.
  • Check-in and chat volunteer: These volunteers will provide short-term telephone support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness as a consequence of self-isolation.

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.

Volunteering Opportunities
Cumbria CVS is working with local organisations to promote some of these current volunteering opportunities – please see attached Covid 19 Volunteer Vacancies (24/03/20)
If you are interested – or know someone else who is – please contact the organisations directly.

If you wish to be added to the Cumbria CVS database to be kept up to date on the latest Covid-19 Volunteering opportunities please complete and return this form: Covid-19 Volunteer Form

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

Communities helping Communities via Facebook
Cumbria CVS does not recruit volunteers to directly match volunteers to individuals in need. We recruit volunteers on behalf of different charities and organisations that then support individuals. However, if you have access to facebook look out for local facebook groups that have already been set up in response to Covid-19.

Individuals from local communities are using facebook to bring together informal volunteers that 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!

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

Covid-19 Volunteer Handbook
Are you are an formal organisation working with volunteers to support older or vulnerable people who may be doing volunteering roles such as shopping, collecting prescriptions, gardening, telephone befriending? If so this Covid-19 Volunteer Handbook has been designed as a resource that you can download and adapt and use to suit your own organisations need: Download the Handbook here

Advice for Supporting Your Volunteers – Animation

Information animation to give an overview of what you should consider when you are managing volunteers to ensure everyone gets the best out of the experience.


Informal Groups working with volunteers
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
There are many Facebook groups being set up across Cumbria for grassroot neighbour support so we hope these Volunteer Guidelines will be useful.
Insurance: Please see attached sheet in relation to insurance for local groups: Insurance

Mutual Support Covid-19 Resources and Volunteer Information
Some useful national resources and information that has been produced for Informal Groups of Volunteers:

Tips for Telephone Befriending – Animation
Information animation to help give some advice if you want to volunteer doing a telephone befriending service.

Covid-19 Volunteer Risk Assessment
Different charities and groups are involving volunteers during Covid-19. This is a great community response, however sometimes there are concerns about the different risks involved. Here is an example of a Volunteer Risk Assessment that gives groups idea about the potential risks of different tasks volunteers may be involved with during Covid-19. Organisation can download this and adapt to use to suit your own organisation needs:  Click here to download

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

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has also coordinated lots of useful information for voluntary groups – all of which has been updated in light of the Government announcement on 24 March 2020: visit:

New 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:

Introduction to Safeguarding – Animation
A short video explaining the basics of safeguarding for beginners working with vulnerable people.


Online Volunteer Training

Communities Prepared – Public Health Emergencies Training
With the world battling the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and increasing levels of fear and uncertainty, harnessing the power of community action has never been more important. Across the world communities are adapting in the face of adversity.  Communities Prepared has developed 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)
This programme has been created by Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic.  The programme includes 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):


Cumbria CVS – Basic guidelines to protect volunteers

It’s fantastic to see volunteers offering to help but volunteers also need to protect themselves during Covid 19.

Keeping Safe When Volunteering During COVID-19 – Animation

Information animation explaining the basics of safeguarding for people who may be new to working with vulnerable people.

Please remember:

  • Before volunteering wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds. Take sanitiser gel with you and use as and when appropriate when you don’t have access to soap and water and washing facilities
  • Always wash your hands when you get home from volunteering
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the nearest bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

When helping neighbours please only offer to help for the tasks you feel comfortable doing and are able to do. Volunteers helping local neighbours need to make sure that if they become unwell themselves they MUST not volunteer. Volunteers need to protect themselves and not put other people at risk.

Community Action Response : Covid-19

Launched by Eden Project Communities with partners The National Lottery Community Fund, Nextdoor, Neighbourhood Watch, Campaign to End Loneliness and Eco Attractions Group, the Community Action Response has been created because of the unprecedented challenge that Coronavirus presents for people in every neighbourhood in the UK. Eden Project Communities is a UK wide network that has grown out of community building campaign The Big Lunch, which reaches over six million people in communities every year. The organisations are calling for everyone to take steps that will help communities cope when the worst impacts of the virus hit.

Community Action Response – five things you can do:

  1. Think of others, consider your actions & be kind: People in every community will face the challenges of Covid-19 in some way – from needing basic provisions to help while they are unwell.
  2. Connect and reach out to your neighbours: as self-isolation increases, we need to find new ways to stay connected and check in on one another for our physical and mental wellbeing. Share phone numbers and stay in touch.
  3. Make the most of local online groups: Keep up to date, share information and be a positive part of your local community conversations using platforms like Nextdoor.
  4. Support vulnerable or isolated people: different groups in our communities are at increased risk and social isolation and loneliness are key concerns for all ages. There are things you can do like volunteering for local support services or donating to food banks to help.
  5. Share accurate information and advice: Support anyone who may be anxious about Covid-19. Sign post them to the correct advice from Public Health England and encourage people to follow the correct hygiene practices.

Find out more information about their work by visiting their website: