The University acknowledges that many members of staff may want to make a positive contribution in these challenging times through volunteering. Below are some of the organisations looking for help locally.
If you are interested in volunteering during your normal working hours you should, in the first instance, discuss this with your line manager to determine whether it is feasible for you to undertake the volunteering work, taking into account other work priorities. Such volunteering is most likely to be agreed if it can be carried out without impacting on your ability to perform your duties, however you should obtain permission before carrying out such work. If necessary, your line manager may wish to consider agreeing adjustments to your working hours, providing it is possible for you to make up this time in a reasonable timeframe and this does not impact critical University business. Please note that any such volunteering arrangements are at the discretion of your line manager, albeit in the spirit of encouraging community volunteering wherever possible.
Any employee undertaking volunteering should be mindful of the potential health risks to themselves and those with whom they are in contact. If you do volunteer, you should continue to follow official guidance in relation to COVID-19, as well as the health and safety procedures and instructions of the organisation(s) where you volunteer. The health, safety and welfare of any employee undertaking volunteering is the responsibility of the organisation(s) in which they volunteer whilst this activity is undertaken – and not that of the University.
Here are some opportunities to volunteer - supporting local authorities, health and social care - but, of course, there are lots of others:
Community Response volunteer: This role involves collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating and delivering these supplies to their home.
Patient Transport volunteer: This role supports the NHS by providing transport to patients who are medically fit for discharge and ensuring that they are settled safely back into their home.
NHS Transport volunteer: This role involves transporting equipment, supplies and/or medication between NHS services and sites, it may also involve assisting pharmacies with medication delivery.
Check-in and Chat volunteer: This role provides short-term telephone support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness as a consequence of self-isolation.
Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, in response to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government direction, have launched a COVID-19 coordination hub to provide targeted support for those most at risk during the coronavirus outbreak.
It is looking for volunteers to help the most vulnerable people in our county, with their shopping, collecting prescriptions and cleaning and maintaining homes.
Red Cross Community Reserve Volunteers are working with the authorities to support the Covid-19 response in the best possible way. Anyone aged 18 or over and living in the UK can become a community reserve volunteer. Where applicable, the British Red Cross will always follow government guidance on a specific crisis.
Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is looking for volunteers to help with shopping, collecting prescriptions and maybe a welfare phone call. Sign up here