If you are feeling like you’re at a bit of a loose end at the moment and you’ve tried everything else lockdown has to offer, volunteering can be a good way to keep yourself busy. Not only is it a way to give back, it is also a great way to connect with other people.

You can also do many opportunities from the comfort of your own home and we have done a quick roundup of some ways to get involved.

NHS volunteer responders

There are many opportunities to support your NHS and help to save lives as an NHS Volunteer Responder. From helping with grocery collection, to patient transport, there are roles to suit all circumstances and personal availability. The scheme operates through a smartphone app which means volunteers can set convenient times to go ‘on duty’. This makes it easy to fit around work, family or other commitments.

Volunteer safety is very important and responders do not come into direct contact with COVID-19 patients.

You can find sign up links and full details of the different roles can on the NHS Volunteer Responders website.

Inactive volunteers who have registered before are also encouraged to return to the scheme as the need for their services is rapidly increasing. If you have joined the scheme but have not recently been ‘on duty’, you can sign in again through the app or call 0808 196 3646 for advice.

COVID-19 vaccination programme

One of the most important schemes going on right now is, without a doubt, centred around the roll out of the coronavirus vaccine. This is a massive undertaking and is being done in phases to ensure those who need it most get the vaccine first.

The NHS has a variety of both paid and volunteer positions available on the Sussex Community NHS Trust website and would love to hear from you if you are a trained vaccinator, or if you are in helping in roles such as administrators, front-of-house staff, drivers or operations managers.

To register for volunteer roles you can fill in an online application form online, providing your availability and location

Just Do-it!

You can use this online database can to find volunteering opportunities in your local area. Placements come from a wide variety of different organisations including animal shelters and foodbanks – not only healthcare settings. You can filter searches by postcode radius, ability to work from home and keywords to match your interests and skills to help find the perfect role for you.

For more information and to start your search, visit the Do-it website.

Safer volunteering

We are, of course, living in a difficult time and it is important to bear that in mind. If you have coronavirus symptoms you must isolate and book a test immediately and follow the guidance provided after your result. This means you should not attend any volunteering role outside of your home.

The volunteer placements pages on the GOV.uk website can provide full guidance on coronavirus safety while volunteering.