The main priority is your safety and limiting the spread of the coronavirus. You are encouraged to continue to adhere to the latest HSE instructions on how best to avoid COVID-19. If you are feeling unwell or in one of the at-risk categories
please prioritise your own wellbeing and do not put yourself forward to volunteer.
I want to volunteer but I don’t want to put myself or anyone else at risk
If you are volunteering with an organisation, make sure that they have proper procedures and safeguards in place to protect you in your role, including a named supervisor you can go to. Don’t be afraid to ask about this upfront and before taking on any role.
If you are well enough to volunteer
If you are well enough to volunteer, there are two main ways in which you can do so:
contact your local Volunteer Centre or register on the national volunteering database – I-VOL which is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development. Full contact details for all Volunteer Centres in Ireland are available on www.volunteer.ie
by volunteering informally in your own community – for example by helping those in an at-risk category with their shopping or by collecting their prescriptions and so on
If you are volunteering more informally, at a local level, follow HSE instructions on how to avoid the spread of COVID-19. It is important not to put any vulnerable people at risk. Further information on the simple steps you can take is available on www.volunteer.ie
Organisations who wish to recruit volunteers
Organisations that are registered with their local Volunteer Centre can advertise volunteer roles through the Centre and also through 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, you can register by contacting them directly. Once registered, you can then advertise your roles on the national I-VOL database.
New helpdesk to assist community and voluntary groups
The Department of Rural and Community Development has set up a dedicated email help desk, C&VSupports@drcd.gov.ie
for community and voluntary groups. This will provide accurate and timely information for these groups as they respond to the COVID-19 situation. It is particularly directed at community and voluntary groups operating at the smaller, local level.
Each local authority (council) has established a Community Response Forum to coordinate COVID-19 related community supports. As part of this, each local authority has established a helpline that vulnerable people can phone if they are looking for basic services such as delivery of food or meals, or transport for essential trips. These helplines are open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm.
A dedicated phone line is now operational in every county and the national number 0818 222 024
is also now in operation.
The following is the list of each local authority’s helpline phone numbers.
ALONE, the national charity for older people, is partnering each COVID-19 Community Call Forum. If you need information, reassurance, or just to talk you can call them on 0818 222 024. You can also contact ALONE if you are experiencing difficulties with physical and mental health, finance, loneliness and other challenges.
Digital skills for keeping in touch with others
Now it is more important than ever to keep in touch with family and friends. Age Action has produced seven ‘How To’ guides to support older people to learn, use and be confident using smart phones and other applications. For more information click here.