Covid-19 & Volunteering

Volunteering during coronavirus (COVID-19)
Factsheet for Victorian volunteers

Updated: 12 December 2020


A strong culture of volunteering is vital to support the wellbeing of individuals and communities. During COVIDSafe Summer restrictions < https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covidsafe-summer>, volunteering can continue, but it is important to keep yourself and others safe.
This factsheet provides information about opportunities to support the community and advice on how to stay safe.
Can I leave home to volunteer?


Yes, you can volunteer at any site where the organisation is operating. This includes hospitals, schools and aged care facilities.
When should I not leave home to volunteer?


You should not leave your home to volunteer if you:
• have coronavirus (COVID-19) and have been instructed to stay at home and isolate
• have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19) and have been instructed to stay at home to quarantine
• are feeling unwell
• have been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) and have not yet received a negative test result
• have travelled or been in contact with someone who has travelled overseas recently.

What should I do to keep safe while volunteering?

As restrictions ease, it’s important that we act to keep yourselves and others safe. This means that:

• You must carry a face mask with you at all times when you leave home and wear it if you are not able to keep 1.5 metres away from other people.
• You must wear a face mask on public transport, when in taxis or ride share vehicles and inside shopping centres, or when going to large retail venues, including shopping centres, supermarkets and department stores. Find out more about face masks <https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/face-masks>.
• Maintain physical distancing and keep at least 1.5 metres from others.
• Practise good hand hygiene and wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.
• Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. Dispose of tissues immediately in a bin.
• If you feel unwell, get tested and isolate from others until you get your results. Do not volunteer if you feel unwell. Find out more about getting tested < https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/getting-tested>.
• Choose outdoor activities where possible. There is a lower risk of spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) between people if you are outdoors.

 

What if I am in a high-risk group?

If you are in a high-risk group, you can still volunteer. You should try to minimise the number of different people you interact with.
High-risk groups include people aged 70 years and over, people aged 65 years and over with chronic medical conditions, people with compromised immune systems and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over 50 years old.
Find out more about work, study and volunteering < https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/work-and-study>.
My volunteer role has been put on hold. What do I do now?


If your volunteer role has been put on hold due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and you have not heard from the organisation you volunteer with, you may want to contact them expressing your interest to resume your volunteer work.
How do I find a volunteer role?


Many organisations need the help of volunteers to deliver services to vulnerable groups such as food relief, social and wellbeing support. You can often find a volunteer role by contacting an organisation directly. If you want to get involved, please refer to the resources listed at the end of this factsheet.
You may also register your interest at Volunteering Victoria’s We Volunteer portal<https://www.volunteer.vic.gov.au/>.The site securely checks your credentials for volunteering, to easily match you to emergency volunteer roles where your skills are best suited.
How else can I support others around me?


There are many people that need support during this time. Think of ways you can help your elderly friends, neighbours and people with disability in your community. You could help them by offering to drop them off groceries, do some gardening for them or organise social gatherings.
The most important way you can support your community is by maintaining good hygiene, practising physical distancing, wearing a face mask when required, and always getting tested if you have any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), no matter how mild.

Resources
Health information
– Coronavirus Hotline: 1800 675 389
– About coronavirus (COVID-19) <https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19>
– Victoria’s coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions <https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorias-restriction-levels-covid-19>


Mental health and wellbeing
– Beyond Blue <https://www.beyondblue.org.au/personal-best>


Find a volunteer role
– Volunteering Victoria <https://www.volunteeringvictoria.org.au/covid19-forvolunteers/>
– We Volunteer <https://www.wevolunteer.org.au>
– Contact your local volunteering support service <https://www.volunteeringvictoria.org.au/for-volunteers/volunteer-support-in-your-region>
– Contact your local council <https://knowyourcouncil.vic.gov.au/>
– Search GoVolunteer <https://govolunteer.com.au>


Online volunteering
– Vollie <www.vollie.com.au>
– Communiteer <https://communiteer.org>
– Seek Volunteer <https://www.volunteer.com.au/>


Relief agencies
– Red Cross <https://www.redcross.org.au/get-involved/connect/volunteer>
– Foodbank <https://www.foodbank.org.au/support-us/volunteer-with-us/?state=vic>
– St Vincent de Paul Society <https://www.vinnies.org.au/page/Get_Involved/Become_a_volunteer/VIC/>
– Friends with Dignity <https://www.friendswithdignity.org.au/get-involved/become-a-volunteer/>
– Community information and support <https://www.cisvic.org.au/how-can-you-help/volunteering>


Isolation and loneliness
– Friends for Good <https://friendsforgood.org.au/who-we-are/volunteer-with-us/>
– Lifeline <https://www.lifeline.org.au/support-lifeline/volunteer>

To receive this publication in an accessible format, email the Department of Health and Human Services <cspc.office@dhhs.vic.gov.au>.
Authorised and published by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne.
© State of Victoria, Australia, Department of Health and Human Services, 10 December 2020.
ISBN 978-1-76069-406-7
Available at Volunteer.Vic <https://www.volunteer.vic.gov.au/covid19>.

 

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