Volunteering during COVID-19
Ireland has seen an outpouring of support from people across the country wanting to help those in need of support during COVID-19. This is fantastic and exactly what we have come to expect from the people of Ireland. It is important though to make sure you are well enough to volunteer and you can volunteer in a safe way.
If you want to volunteer you can sign up at www.i-vol.ie, download our smartphone app I-VOL (Apple Store or Google Play) or contact your local Volunteer Centre. We are currently experiencing a high volume of registrations so do bear with us as we get back to everyone. Remember that not everyone will be needed but knowing your support is there is vital to organisations on the front line of the response.
In the meantime, please take the time to read our advice below and these resources to help you before you volunteer:
- Guide to Informal Volunteering
- Volunteering Safely During COVID-19
- Volunteering During an Emergency – What to Expect
- Minding your mental health and wellbeing while volunteering during COVID-19
- Be Winter Ready – Practical Advice for Volunteers
Advice 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 Coronavirus (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 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. 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. a phone call, WhatsApp / text message, drop a note into their 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 to 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.