Discussing volunteering practice during Covid-19

23 March 2020

As Covid-19 affects our communities and key aspects of everyday life, it raises questions for how we best manage our volunteers. How can we in our organisations and groups, respond effectively to this challenging situation?

Practice Guides covid

Volunteer Scotland created a group of volunteer practitioners from a wide range of organisations (operating locally and nationally) to share their experience at this time. This blog presents some key points from our initial group discussion.

Current situation

Most organisations have followed government advice and have stopped bringing people together. The safety of volunteers is very important and many have already started to self-isolate.

The members of the group have been doing the following:

  1. Asking their volunteers to disengage from normal volunteering activities
  2. Some have contacted their volunteers via survey monkey, to ask volunteers how they are, what support they need, if they would like to volunteer remotely and what help would they require to volunteer remotely.  Some have been phoning their volunteers to do the same.
  3. Some are working within their organisations to create remote / virtual volunteering opportunities. What kind of opportunities can people get involved in and how can this be delivered?
  4. Many organisations have been approached by employers and members of the public to see if they need support, organisations are issuing statements guiding people as to how best they can support or help.
  5. Some organisations are now developing plans to keep in contact with their volunteers and to keep the team spirit going.

Some key questions we would like you to reflect on:

  1. How do you keep your volunteers safe?
  2. Can you move your volunteer team onto different roles or activities?
  3. Can your volunteers connect with you and others in different ways e.g. via the phone, slack, zoom or facetime?
  4. What would your volunteers like to do (remember some people might not want to do anything and that’s ok).


We'll keep you posted on how our practice discussions progress over the next few weeks. If you'd like to take part please contact us.

Adrian and Allana.