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Coronavirus update for volunteers (Copy150321)

To avoid the risk of spreading the virus, from 12th March 2020 volunteer visits to older people have been paused and replaced by phone calls wherever possible. New volunteer applications will resume when it is safe to continue.

Two people sitting and chatting while sitting on a couch.A chat over a cuppa
Become a Volunteer Visitor and get as much from your chat as the older person you’re visiting. Regularly giving just an hour to put the world to rights over a cuppa can make all the difference. For both of you.
Two people sitting and chatting in chairs.Become a Local Ambassador
We are looking for motivated individuals who will act as local ambassadors for Independent Age, helping raise awareness of the need to support older people in our communities and spreading the word about the work that we do.
Older lady sitting at kitchen table with mug of tea.Telephone Volunteer
People look forward to receiving telephone calls from Independent Age friendship volunteers. It's a mood booster and helps people feel more connected and less lonely. If you're a good listener and enjoy a chat, this is a great volunteering opportunity.

Advice for our volunteers.

We have made the difficult decision to ask all our volunteers to pause visits to older people until further notice. As part of this, we are also encouraging our volunteers to make calls to those they support to keep in contact and provide reassurance where they can. Some things to include in those calls are:

  • checking in that they are eating well, have enough food in, have a plan to get more delivered if necessary and are staying hydrated
  • that they are taking and have access to any medication which they might need
  • encourage them to keep in touch with people over the phone or digitally if they can
  • recommend that they listen to a chatty radio station and if they are feeling lonely, to put some extra pictures around of people they care about
  • if you feel comfortable to, please feel free to share your number with the person you support so you can stay in touch

We would also be grateful if you could share the advice provided by the NHS. The NHS has advised that we should all:

  • stay at home
  • only leave home to shop for basic essentials, to exercise (once a day), for medical needs or to work if you cannot work from home
  • wash our hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash our hands when we get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover our mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not our hands) when we cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash our hands afterwards
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

For anyone experiencing symptoms:

  • England: call 111
  • Scotland: call your GP surgery or call 111 if your surgery is not open
  • Wales: call 111
  • Northern Ireland: call 111

Further information can be found at the following website

Or our Volunteer Guidance Lockdown document

Two people sitting and chatting at a table.Assessing volunteers
Do you like meeting new people? Are you observant and have a talent for putting people at their ease?
A volunteer sitting on a couch and chatting on a phone.Coordinating volunteers
If you enjoy team building and motivating others then this could be for you.
Two people sitting in a room and chatting.Training volunteers
Do you like working with groups of people and enjoy speaking in front of others?
Two people standing and chatting in a kitchen drinking from mugs.Peer support volunteer
Support other volunteers, making sure they have the right support and resources to carry out their role.
An office volunteer sitting at desk.Volunteer Administrator - Wellbeing
We're looking for a super organised volunteer to support our Wellbeing and Telephone Services Teams.
Two people sitting at a table with paperworkCampaign Correspondent
Join us! Help us to persuade MPs to change things to benefit older people.
Older and younger woman at a table, looking to camera.Involvement Volunteer
Use your change-making skills to help bring the experience and ideas of older people right to the centre of what we do.

What's in it for me?

People are often surprised by how much they receive back when they volunteer. The act of giving your time to help another person fight through their loneliness or social isolation can lead to a feeling of accomplishment. We provide volunteers with training, a support network, and we hold local and national volunteer events throughout the year. Our Volunteer Engagement Panel gives volunteers a chance to be more engaged in the work we do on a variety of projects; the panel come from a range of different backgrounds and expertise, sharing insight and perspective to enrich our work.