There has been a huge outpouring of support from the public wanting to help the most vulnerable members of our communities. While this is fantastic to see, it is important to remember that good volunteer management practice is particularly important during crisis situations.
Volunteer Ireland and the network of Volunteer Centres (VCs) and Volunteering Information Services (VISs) can provide expert guidance and support to organisations recruiting and managing volunteers in response to COVID-19.
Volunteer Ireland are developing guidelines for groups wishing to recruit volunteers and are developing practical volunteering role templates aimed at supporting groups who need to recruit volunteers in relation to COVID-19. These will be available in the coming days on www.volunteer.ie.
When recruiting volunteers you need to consider:
volunteering should be done in a safe way so that neither volunteers nor those in need are put at risk
are any of potential volunteers in the “at risk” categories that would put themselves or others at risk?
screening and placing volunteers in an appropriate and suitable role
safeguarding and risk assessment
support and day to day volunteer management (a volunteer manager may need to support volunteers, this person themselves could be a volunteer)
What the organisation needs to do
The volunteer organisation should draft volunteer role descriptions for new roles – contact your local Volunteer Centre if you want help with this.
Where it is a new role, the National Vetting Bureau will advise if it is a role that requires vetting. You should develop a volunteer role description in line with the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012.
If your organisation is not already registered with the National Vetting Bureau, and requires vetting for a volunteer role, the first thing you need to do is contact the National Vetting Bureau to register with them. Visit: vetting.garda.ie/RegisteredOrganisation/HowToApply.
Other important facts:
Arrangements are in place with the National Vetting Bureau to fast-track volunteer applications in response to COVID-19. For more information please visit – vetting.garda.ie.
Garda Vetting Invitation Form (NVB1) with the ref COVID-19 clearly marked on the External Ref section will be given priority.
Support will also be available through the DRCD email helpline to assist smaller community and voluntary groups with their queries and refer them on to appropriate sources of support.
This dedicated email address is - C&VSupports@drcd.gov.ie