Volunteering Tasmania is here to support organisations and volunteers as we work together to navigate through the uncertainty and impacts of COVID-19. The work of volunteers is as important as ever, while we need to take steps to keep ourselves, and those we come into contact with, safe.
Volunteering is considered essential work. You can continue to do volunteer or unpaid work if the organisation you are volunteering for is still operating. Talk to your volunteer program coordinator/manager about how best to continue your volunteer role. You may wish to complete a COVID-19 Action Plan to work out what is best for your health, in consultation with your GP or health practitioner.
Your organisation may be experiencing disruptions to your normal way of doing business as we navigate the impacts of COVID-19 at each stage.
The volunteers engaged with your organisation remain a vital resource and deserve some thoughtful strategizing around how to leverage their skills while also protecting them physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Consider the following:
Prioritise your organisation’s staff, volunteers, constituents and community – set up additional washing stations, encourage social distancing, and set up systems for staff – and volunteers – to work remotely where possible.
Adjust volunteer and staff training – leverage online training options – this is a great way to keep volunteers’ skills up!
Determine which volunteer positions are crucial to your current state of operations – support your volunteers in working remotely wherever possible in the ways that staff are increasingly being encouraged to work remotely.
Plan for a volunteer workforce shortage:
- survey volunteers to determine their availability
- for volunteers who have high availability; ask if they would be willing to increase their volunteering to help fill gaps
- work with organisational leaders to prioritise programming/services that are delivered by volunteers.
Explore the suite of resources below that were developed in 2020 and are designed to support your volunteer program navigate the challenges of COVID-19.
During times of uncertainty and stress, it can be helpful following three tips:
- Consistency: Be consistent in communications and information sharing with your volunteers.
- Transparency: Be clear about why you are making the decisions you are making in accordance with Government information and advice.
- Predictability: Use regular and continued channels to continue to keep your volunteers updated.