Volunteering during a pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound effect on volunteering. Research conducted by Volunteering Australia found that a staggering 60% of volunteers across the country ceased volunteering at the height of the pandemic. Yet, despite a downturn in volunteer availability, many services reported an increase in service demand. This forced organisations to adapt the delivery of their volunteering programs, with many turning to remote or contactless delivery. A key concern for organisations has been how to ensure volunteering is safe for both volunteers and service users.
Alignment with the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement
Each of the eight National Standards is relevant to volunteering in a pandemic. Of particular importance are Standard 1: Leadership and Management and Standard 6: Workplace Safety and Wellbeing.
In response to COVID-19, Volunteering Australia and many of the State and Territory Volunteering Peak Bodies created resources to support volunteering in a pandemic. These resources are hosted on the Volunteering Resource Hub and can be found here.