While many of the practical support needs are being met in communities by existing networks – we are seeing some new volunteer opportunities emerging as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drivers with the Irish Wheelchair Association: Currently the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) are looking for a bank of drivers who may be required to transport goods (not passengers) on behalf of the HSE and the IWA. Experience of driving a transit size bus is essential and drivers will be required to have a B licence (normal licence for a car driver). PPE gear will be provided during all duties if required. If you are interested have a look at full details here. 

Gardening for vulnerable with Sligo Lend a Hand: We are putting together a list of volunteers who can assist with grass cutting and gardening for vulnerable people. In the fine weather being able to spend time in the garden is good for mental health. If you can help see here. 

We expect that the nature of volunteering will continue to evolve over the coming weeks and months, as will peoples needs around support and wellbeing. We have already seen some new and innovative ways to volunteer. For example:

AWARE (www.aware.ie) is looking for a Life Skills Online Supporter. Online training is offered (8-week course) but knowledge of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and a good broadband line are musts. This remote volunteer will support the AWARE clients challenged by low mood. This role requires 3 hours/week of your time, a commitment of 18 months,  compassion, good listening skills, and offers the chance to make a real difference in the lives of AWARE’s clients. Find out more here.

The Crisis Text Line (www.crisistextline.ie) is a free, 24/7, confidential messaging service for people in crisis. Launching in Ireland in Spring 2020, the service is funded by the Health Service Executive (HSE). This virtual role requires a 4-hour/week and 1-year commitment. The ideal volunteer will demonstrate empathy and kindness, great listening skills, and open-mindedness. Be part of this valuable, new service and learn more about this incredibly rewarding crisis volunteer role here. Training is offered in the initial 6 weeks.

Join a fantastic team of remote volunteers sewing scrubs and masks for anyone who needs them. An overlocker machine for scrub making and the ability to follow a pattern is all that is needed. Materials will be delivered to and collected from you. Learn more about this role here.

Here is a smattering of volunteer-from-home roles that you can dip in and out of, or are more short and snappy:

The National Library of Ireland’s massive collection of Irish visual material spans almost 1,000 years of Irish art, culture, history and literature. This invaluable collection of different periods in Ireland’s social, political, economic and cultural history needs volunteers to help date and provide information on the images, adding to the National Library’s archive.

Ireland’s National Biodiversity Data Centre’s new initiative, ‘Backyard Biodiversity’ aims to record species found in gardens. The project seeks to obtain sightings of 20 recognisable species that can be found in urban and rural gardens. Volunteers are needed to contribute to the record.

The Irish Genealogical Society, established in 1936 needs online volunteers to help create hugely important databases of genealogically-valuable records. Their current projects include a transcribing the Registry of Deeds and contributing to the database of Early Irish marriages.

Visit the extensive list of volunteer-from-home roles here.

In the meantime, please stay home, stay safe and stay positive!