Statement on Government Guidance Regarding Volunteering During Covid-19

We expect Government guidance will soon be issued for organisations and groups, to support them in understanding how to involve volunteers safely and effectively during Covid-19. This will be in addition to existing Government guidance for volunteers, updated in light of the new national restrictions in England, notably:

We’ve seen during Covid-19 that volunteers have provided face-to-face, socially distanced support in key areas such as food distribution.

We understand the guidance will continue to recognise the key role of volunteers in supporting the response to Covid-19, ensuring volunteering can continue. The guidance should enable this to continue, with due risk assessment in place. Because we all have a duty to halt the spread of the Covid-19, while supporting the community response.

Therefore, volunteering should now take place at home where possible, e.g. switching to online or over the phone, following risk assessment. And in the context of the new measures to curb the spread of the virus we encourage everyone to consider if the benefits of the volunteering outweigh the risks of face to face volunteering.

By taking these steps, and thinking through the answer to these questions, we can all do our bit in keeping people safe from Covid-19, helping make the duration of this England-wide lockdown as short as possible.

As the GOV.UK guidance is likely to be broad, you may have questions about what volunteering may or may not be appropriate during the pandemic.  Local Volunteer Centres and NAVCA members – Councils for Voluntary Service, Community Action and others – can help and advise you.

You can find your local NAVCA member here:

And your local Volunteer Centre here:

NCVO also regularly updates its Covid-19 guidance:

If, after reading the guidance once issued, you remain unsure about how your organisation’s activities relate to the guidance and you would like advice, please email your question to One of our team will get in touch to discuss your queries.

Thank you, from

National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA)

National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)

Volunteering Matters

Voluntary Sector and Communities Emergencies Partnership (VCSEP)