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 registering with your local Volunteer Centre – here in Sligo.  The network of Volunteer Centres across Ireland are expecting many COVID-19 related roles registering on our database 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 us here locally to speak to someone about what is needed most in your own area – contact us by emailing or ring 071-911 1042 and follow instructions.

The second way to help is by doing so informally in you 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.

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.