Ways to volunteer during Covid-19

18 March 2020

Volunteer Scotland is working closely with the third and public sector to support a joined-up response to coronavirus (COVID-19). Here's some advice on how you can volunteer.

ways to covid

As of 23 March 2020 the government introduced 3 new measures:  

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  2. Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public

Every citizen must comply with these measures effective immediately. 

What does this mean for volunteering? 

Only services which are essential should be provided in communities. Volunteers are encouraged to look out for their family, friends and neighbours. Please ensure you heed all relevant advice around staying safe and keeping others around you safe. Remember, the most important thing any of us can do is stay at home, support our NHS and save lives.  

Before considering volunteering ask yourself – am I well enough to volunteer?

It’s critically important that you consider your safety and that of others at this time. NHS inform provides guidance on when to self-isolate and how to reduce the chances of contracting and spreading the virus, at home and in other places.

If you are well enough and wish to volunteer with an organisation in your community, please check out the following options:

Local and national level support

  • You can contact and register with your local Volunteer Centre. They should be able to direct you to which opportunities are needed most in your local area at this time. 
  • There are a number of 'coronavirus' related opportunities available here.  
  • National organisations are in need of volunteers for roles relevant to the crisis view full list here

Finally, you can still volunteer from your home. See our information on online volunteering for details. 

The Scotland Cares Campaign



We expect volunteering to change during coronavirus with some volunteering opportunities unable to be conducted whilst other roles increase in demand. There is also a groundswell of informal volunteering support and neighbourliness at this time. 

It’s important to note that not all volunteers who contact services will be assigned to a role immediately. 

If you're helping a friend, family or neighbour try to minimise the time that you're out of the house. See more advice from Ready Scotland.  

Do not assume that someone needs help or call directly to someone’s house unannounced, as some people may be very anxious, particularly if they have a medical condition or are living alone.

Someone may ask for something you can’t do? In this case you should let the person know that you cannot help and recommend that the local Volunteer Centre may be able to help in finding a solution.