Guidance on volunteering during the national lockdown

On 8 January the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport updated the guidance titled enabling safe and effective volunteering during coronavirus (COVID-19).

The guidance aims to help organisations and groups understand how to safely and effectively involve volunteers during the pandemic. The revised guidance states that anyone can volunteer during the coronavirus pandemic. However, there are restrictions on where and how volunteer roles can be completed.

People must volunteer from home unless it is not reasonably possible to do so.

If a volunteer is classed as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ (high risk from coronavirus) they should only volunteer from home.

If it is not reasonably possible to volunteer from home then people can volunteer outside their home, including within a workplace, if:

  • They don’t need to self-isolate
  • They follow social distancing guidance, or COVID-secure guidance if volunteering in a workplace
  • Their workplace has not been ordered to close, if the role takes place within a workplace

It should always be a volunteer’s personal choice whether they wish to volunteer, including outside their home. A volunteer should not be compelled to volunteer outside their home by their organisation or group.

Where they are unable to volunteer from home, people can travel to volunteer or while volunteering in England. When travelling, they should:

  • Where possible, stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of their village, town or the part of a city where they live, unless absolutely necessary
  • Walk or cycle if they can – where that is not possible, use public transport or drive
  • Plan ahead and avoid the busiest routes, as well as busy times
  • Follow the safer travel guidance.

The safer travel guidance for passengers can be found here.

We recommend that all volunteer involving organisations review the latest  guidance and adapt their service accordingly.

The revised enabling safe and effective volunteering during coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance can be found here.