COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions
I want to volunteer, what should I do?
Firstly, ask yourself if you are well enough to volunteer. You should not volunteer if you feel sick in any way, have been in contact with a case of COVID-19 or have recently returned from being abroad. Nor should you volunteer if you are in an ‘at risk’ category.
If you are well enough to volunteer, you can register with your local Volunteer Centre or sign up online at www.i-vol.ie. There is a special tick box that you can select if you want to specifically help with the response to COVID-19.
I am already registered on i-vol.ie, what should I do?
Please login to your profile on www.i-vol.ie/sign-in and tick the box on your profile that states “I am happy to volunteer for COVID19 Support”. We will be then aware of your willingness to volunteer should it be required.
How soon can I volunteer?
We have seen an outpouring of support from the Irish public with over 6,000 people indicating they would like to help with the response to COVID-19. Some organisations will require volunteers immediately while others may need the support of volunteers in the coming weeks and months. We are experiencing a high volume of registrations so do bear with us – your local Volunteer Centre will be in touch with you shortly but it could take a few days.
Will everyone who signs up be needed to volunteer?
Thanks to the generous nature of people across Ireland, more people may be offering to help than those that are in need of help. Not all volunteers will be assigned a role but knowing there are so many people willing to help is a huge support to organisations on the front line.
Remember we can all help by looking after the people around us, communicating with neighbours and relatives by phone and social media, maintaining social distance, following government directives and adhering to social distancing and good hand & cough hygiene guidance.
What kinds of volunteers are needed?
The network of Volunteer Centres across Ireland are expecting some Coronavirus (COVID-19) related roles registering on our database www.i-vol.ie in the coming days and some roles will be directly related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) support. Other roles for volunteers may be related to helping community organisations to keep normal services running.
I have a specific skill/access to transport/want to volunteer in a particular area how can I volunteer?
If you are well enough to volunteer and have something very specific to offer you can register at with your local Volunteer Centre or www.i-vol.ie/sign-up. When you are contacted by your local Volunteer Centre let them know what additional skills or experience you can offer. Not all skills will be required but they will be able to note it on your profile so if there is a call for support in your specific area/field they will be able to let you know.
I want to help but I don’t want to put myself at risk.
You should not volunteer if you are in an ‘at risk’ category or if you feel unwell in any way. If you are well enough to volunteer, we have put together some tips on how you can volunteer safely. If you are volunteering with an organisation they should ensure your safety at all times including, where necessary, use of Personal Protective Equipment, hand sanitiser, etc. You should always follow the HSE’s COVID-19 guidelines and our guidelines on volunteering safely.
I don’t want to join an organisation – I just want to help my neighbours/people in my area.
Checking in on your more vulnerable neighbours is a great way to help during COVID-19. It’s important to remember follow HSE guidelines while doing this and also to bear in mind that not everybody will want help. We have two short guides that can help you do this safely – Volunteering Safely and a Guide to Informal Volunteering.
I am in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance/Pandemic Unemployment Payment, can I volunteer?
Normally, when a person is in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance, they must get a form (known as VW1) signed by their Intreo/Welfare office before undertaking any volunteering. During the COVID-19 emergency, this requirement has now been lifted. If you are in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance or the pandemic unemployment payment, you are free to volunteer and do not have to get any forms signed or permission from Intreo/Welfare.
I work/volunteer for an organisation that needs help with volunteers.
Organisations needing support with volunteer recruitment and management should contact their local Volunteer Centre who can provide support locally. You can find their details here.
I am in need of support – how can I find a volunteer?
If you are a member of the public in need of support, please contact your local Garda station who can arrange for support through a local service. If you are an older member of the community you can call the ALONE helpline – 0818 222 024.
If you are unwell, or showing any symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your local GP by phone. If you are in an emergency situation, please dial 999 or 112.