- DO YOUR RESEARCH: Joining already existing organisations that need extra volunteer support means a coordinated community response.
- REACH OUT TO NEIGHBOURS: Talking to and supporting your neighbours builds resilience within your community both during and after an emergency.
- SHARE YOUR RESOURCES: If you have more than what you need, consider donating spare to food banks or community pantries.
- STAY INFORMED AND BE SAFE: Keep informed from official resources only to ensure best practice and how to keep safe while supporting the community.
Before volunteering at this time, please read:
- Updated guidelines for volunteers working under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 conditions.
- COVID-19 Volunteer Guidelines
These should be used along with any volunteering operational guidelines provided by the service provider
Helping look after others
One of the best ways you can help others is by staying home and helping people from there.
Kindness is an incredibly powerful way to show you are united against COVID-19. You can make a huge difference by talking to people over the phone or online:
- Check in on older relatives or vulnerable people to make sure they have everything they need.
- Talk to friends, whānau and neighbours over the phone to see how they are and if they need support.
These kinds of connections and offers of help will go a long way to getting others through COVID-19.
Volunteers play an important role in supporting New Zealand. It is important to keep volunteers and those they help safe and well. It’s also important to coordinate our efforts so help reaches those who need it and no effort is wasted.
The Volunteer Centre network is taking the details of people offering to help. If you would like to volunteer, you can see what opportunities there are to help through the Volunteering New Zealand website.
Existing volunteer groups
If your group would like to help with COVID-19-related work, please contact your local civil defence or council in the first instance to ensure that your support is coordinated.
Working in the community
Only organisations that can operate safely may operate during Alert Level 3.
People are required to work from home unless that is not possible.
If you are providing services in the community using volunteers you must ensure that you operate in a manner that is safe for volunteers and your clients and complies with Alert Level 3 requirements.
Delivering essential supplies
COVID-19 can live on surfaces, so any objects which pass between people are potential ways for the virus to spread.
To contain the spread of COVID-19, it is important to comply with restrictions on deliveries and other community work.
Delivering supplies at Alert Level 3
Unless you are undertaking voluntary services under the direction of a recognised service provider, you should only deliver essential supplies to nearby friends, family and whānau, and close neighbours. Do this only if it is absolutely necessary.
You should only deliver to a few people and you must remain loyal to these people for the entire lockdown. The more people you deliver to, the higher the risk.
If you know someone that needs help, then let them know about the help available or enquire on their behalf if they are comfortable with you doing so. If they have an urgent need for essential goods that you can’t get or who need help and don’t have anyone who can assist them.
Be a friend on the phone
People need to feel connected with others, but during this time that connection can’t come from being physically close or chatting in person.
Could you spare 20 minutes on the phone to check in and have a conversation? A way to help is for groups to reach out to their networks and see if members can be a friend on the other end of a phone (or a video call), especially for those who are on their own, aged over 70 or vulnerable.
Anyone can start to feel lonely and most people appreciate a friendly voice on the other end of the phone. It doesn’t have to be about requesting support, it could just be to share some stories and keep in touch. By staying connected in other ways, we may not be as tempted to burst our bubbles and can keep saving lives.