Volunteering During COVID-19Noel Smyth2021-07-05T08:23:38+00:00
To view COVID-19 Roles, please click this link, enter your Eircode or address in the search function and pick the activity (Disaster/Emergency Services) under (By Activities – Supporting Others).
Together, Volunteer Ireland and the network of Volunteer Centres, want to let you know how we are working collectively with all relevant government Departments, national organisations plus local community groups to support the response to the management of COVID-19. We commend and value the community based volunteer response that is mobilising and want to provide both organisations and members of the public wishing to volunteer with practical advice and guidance, bearing in mind that as a community our main task is to minimise the spread of coronavirus.
We are working to make sure the most vulnerable members of our communities are looked after during this time. We are doing this in the following ways:
Prioritising recruitment, support and 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
Sharing stories of those volunteering and raising awareness of the positive impact of volunteers
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 Centres continue to encourage you to adhere to HSE instructions on how best to avoid COVID-19, both in the work environment and at home.
If you are well enough and wish to volunteer there are 2 mains ways which you may be able to help
The first way is by contacting and registering with your local Volunteer Centre. The network of Volunteer Centres across Ireland are expecting many COVID-19 related roles registering on our database www.i-vol.ie in the coming days and some roles will be directly related to COVID 19 support. Other roles for volunteers may be related to helping community organisations to keep normal services running. You can also contact your local Volunteer Centre directly to speak to someone about what is needed most in your own area – you can find their information here.
The second way to help is by doing so informally in your own community
If you know people in your community who may be vulnerable and can contact them safely (e.g. phone call, whatsapp, drop note into door), just let them know that you are available and can assist with shopping etc.
Do not assume that someone needs help or call directly to someone’s house unannounced, as some people may be very anxious about making face to face contact, particularly if they have a medical condition or are living alone.
What if someone asks me do something I can’t actually do?
In this case you should let the person know that you cannot help and recommend that the Volunteer Centre may be able to assist in finding a solution.
It’s REALLY important to note that not all volunteers who contact us will be assigned to a role. We are dealing with a large volume of volunteer registrations from people interested in helping (Ireland is a great country that really pulls together in times of crisis) so not all offers of help will be facilitated as the supply may be more than the demand.
Also – if you don’t hear back from us in the next few days, don’t worry – we know that we will need support over the next few weeks – not necessarily the next few days.
For organisations who wish to recruit volunteers in response to COVID-19
Are you registered with your local Volunteer Centre?
If you registered with your local Volunteer Centre, then you can advertise volunteer roles through them and the national database I-VOL. You should contact your local Volunteer Centre to let them know the role is in response to COVID-19 and they will prioritise promotion of this role. If the role requires Garda vetting, they will also prioritise this. If you are not registered with your local Volunteer Centre, then it’s very simple to do so. Simply find the details of your local Volunteer Centre here, contact them and they will register you. You can then advertise roles as above.
Can expect any extra support to recruit volunteers?
Each Volunteer Centre is different but where possible they will provide extra support around recruitment and screening of roles to make things easier and faster for you as an organisation.
Tips for picking a volunteering role
Everyone can volunteer. What is important is finding a volunteering role that suits your skills and abilities. Through I-VOL you can see the wide range of volunteer opportunities that exist both locally and nationally. Opportunities can range from community welfare, special needs assistance and youth work to adult education, advocacy, fundraising and everything in between.
Consider your interests, time and skills when looking for a volunteering role and choose a role that you will enjoy.I-VOL is the national volunteering database in Ireland and you can use it to search the roles you prefer according to specific criteria. The I-VOL search engine works on searches by Location.
To help you narrow your search, you can also select your preferred activity (the type of volunteering role you’re looking for), the category of role that interests you nd your availability.
It is important that you take time to read the role description first before making the decision to apply. A common mistake is that people apply for roles after only reading the title and are not fully sure of what the role entails, what tasks, time and commitments are required.
If you are not sure how to apply online, what roles will suit you or how to narrow down your options, you can contact your local Volunteer Centre us to discuss it further. The Volunteer Centre staff will be happy to provide assistance or just point you in the right direction.
Avoid sending too many volunteering opportunity applications at one time. You might find more than one volunteering opportunity that interests you, but two or three volunteer opportunities is probably enough to apply for in one go. Some opportunities are open to everyone who applies. Others require specific skills or experience. However, with thousands more opportunities onI-VOL, there’s always others to apply for.We limit volunteers to choosing 3 roles at any one time – so choose wisely!
Volunteer Centres are there to assist you by phone/email/face to face if you have any queries or need assistance.They will also follow up with you by phone/email in the months following your registration to check if you were successful in finding a suitable volunteer opportunity or need any further assistance.