COVID-19 – what volunteers and organisations should know

COVID-19 – what volunteers and organisations should know

Volunteer Centre Western Isles is working closely with its Third Sector Interface partners and the wider 3rd sectors to support the response to COVID-19. We have 4offices across the Western Isles in Lewis, Harris, Uist and Barra where staff can assist you if you contact our area facebook pages, email info@volunteercentrewi.org or phone 01851700366

We are delighted and inspired (but not surprised!) to see the community based volunteer response which is growing daily. Volunteer Centre Western Isles will be working to support this response in the following ways:
 Helping in the 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.
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 Glasgow continues to encourage you to adhere to NHS guidance on how best to avoid COVID-19, both in the work environment and at home. Follow NHS advice at all times and self isolate when required. We all have to do our part to stop the spread of infection.

If you are well enough and wish to volunteer, there are 2 main ways in which you may be able to help;

 The first is by registering for an account emailing us at info@volunteercentrewi.org as we will be sharing information about any COVID-19 related volunteering roles through regular updates to account holders. Information will also be shared via our social media platform and a new Coronavirus Volunteering Western Isles page so please follow us on Facebook (Volunteer Centre Western Isles) or Twitter. Although our drop in advice service is now closed the team here will be happy to answer any volunteering enquiries you have so get in touch at info@volunteercentrewi.org
 The second way to help is informally in your own community by supporting people who may be vulnerable and you can contact safely (e.g. phone call, whatsapp, note through door), just to let them know that you are available and can assist with shopping etc. This postcard for letting neighbours know you can help which has been widely shared on social media recently is a good way of doing this.

It’s REALLY important to note that not all people who contact us will end up volunteering. We are expecting a large volume of volunteer registrations from people interested in helping so not all offers of help will be taken up as the supply may be more than the demand. Also, don’t be discouraged if suitable roles do not arise immediately as the response to this crisis will grow over time and the role volunteering plays in that response will likely grow too.

For organisations who need more volunteers
Are you registered with Volunteer Centre Western Isles?
Once registered with Volunteer Centre Western Isles, you can advertise volunteer roles for free via our digital volunteering platform at www.volunteercentrewi.org and our social media. Although our offices are now closed until further notice, the team here will still be supporting organisations to advertise roles as usual and will be prioritising roles directly related to COVID-19.

Need advice about COVID-19 volunteer recruitment and/or management issues?
Do you need to design entirely new roles in response to COVID-19? You may need to put new volunteer management processes in place due to staff working at home? These are just some of the issues we anticipate organisations grappling with and new issues that none of us have even thought of yet are bound to arise.

The team at Volunteer Centre Western Isles are here to help and we can be contacted at info@volunteercentrewi.org or on 01851700366 where you will need to leave a voicemail message and we will get back to you ASAP. As we all adapt to these new circumstances and needs we can’t always promise an instant answer to your questions but we’ll work with you and other relevant organisations to get you the advice and guidance you need.

Finally, anyone interested in volunteering in the Western Isles now or in the future can keep up to date by following us on Facebook (Volunteer Centre Western Isles – island name) or Twitter
All the best and stay safe,

Everyone at Volunteer Centre Western Isles

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