Volunteering during the period 27th November – 10th December 2020
As you know, in Northern Ireland we will be moving into a two-week period of tighter restrictions in an attempt to reduce the transmission of COVID -19 within our community. Our members are asking what does that mean for volunteering? After discussions with the Department for Communities we are asking volunteer involving organisations to consider the guidelines carefully to see how they might apply to your own volunteer roles.
In particular, the message from Government is very clear that we should all stay at home where possible. The only exceptions to this are essential purposes under education, healthcare needs, to care for others , or outdoor exercise.
Clearly there are many volunteering roles that will fall under these categories so we are encouraging volunteer involving organisations to identify how or if your roles fall within these categories and how they can be carried out while adhering to all the specific regulations. Then organisations need to talk to their volunteers about continuing to volunteer if they feel comfortable to do so, and providing them with all the relevant information from the guidelines about social distancing, numbers that can meet outdoors, households and bubbles, safety measures.
The new regulations guidance can be found at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-regulations-guidance-restrictions-27-november-2020