If your organisation is thinking about restarting volunteering we’ve been thinking about some areas for consideration. This is by no means a checklist so if you can see we have missed anything please let us know so we can share with others.
Premises/Health and Safety
- Can your premises be reopened? There is guidance regarding returning to the work place in different environments on the government’s website. There are also a number of flowcharts such as these from CIPD and Capsticks may also be useful.
- Are there adaptations you will need to make to volunteer breaks, working patterns – considering social distancing, flow, sanitising, changes to processes e.g. cash handling? If you can, offer clear and consistent messaging around infection control and prevention, demonstrating how risks have been mitigated. There is a wealth of information and advice on the NCVO
- Have you consulted with your volunteers to find out what they would like to do? Are people keen or reluctant to get involved?
- Can you adapt or redefine your roles so they can be delivered differently? Is it possible to develop or change roles, offer an online option or a hybrid role?
- If online is an option – have issues around individual’s access to and use of technology been identified? What additional support will your remote and returning volunteers need?
- Will anything have changed with your volunteer’s motivation? Many people volunteer because of the social aspect of volunteering – what if this is no longer part of the role?
- Will you need to provide any additional training, awareness and screening? There may also be obligations under the new track and trace system to consider.
- If you have volunteers aged over 70, NCVO are suggesting an individual’s situation should be assessed using a risked based approach that considers risks associated with a volunteer’s role, physical and mental health, their volunteering and travel. The core covid-19 guidance doesn’t actually say people over 70 can’t volunteer. Over 70’s (along with other ‘clinically vulnerable’ groups) are covered in the government’s ‘stay alert’ guidance. NCVO Volunteer Development Manager Shaun Delaney shared this information. NCVO are working on templates and will be sharing these over the next few weeks. Your insurance company may also be able to advise.
- Is there any way you can harness the power of new hyper local volunteers? Do local covid-19 groups know what you are doing? Can you develop flexible roles to accommodate those returning to work?
- Do you need to recruit new volunteers? Our volunteer directory Volunteering in North Yorkshire may be able to help
- Is this an opportunity to strengthen your board, undertake a skills analysis or train your existing Board members?
- Is there an opportunity to share volunteers with other local organisations?
Last week, 28 May, NCVO and Volunteering Matters held a twitter chat. Their top takeaway tips were:
If you would like to discuss any further aspects of re-and welcoming returning volunteers please email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01904 704177