SU Volunteering Coronavirus update image

Last updated: 03/09/20

COVID-19 volunteering response

There’s a high chance that volunteering will be far from people’s minds at the moment, and that’s completely understandable. Being healthy, and keeping loved ones safe, will undoubtedly be at the forefront of everyone’s priorities and our thoughts are with anyone who has been affected either in the UoN community or outside it.

This page will continue to be updated as and when new guidance is released or new opportunities to support others are available. Please check back regularly for accurate and current information about volunteering, that complies with national guidance.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has created some key information and advice for charities and volunteers, during this pandemic. Please read it here.


Advice for students wanting to help

We appreciate many are wanting to help out right now, which is incredible. If you choose to undertake any volunteering, here are some things to consider:

  • Personal Safety & Safeguarding Others - If you do check in on neighbours or undertake other volunteering during these times, follow these guidelines to help keep your self and others safe. 

  • Online volunteering remains an option for anyone interested. We've pulled together some options which include making a card for a child in the hospital or playing games online to raise money for charities - whatever you do you’ll be changing lives. These opportunities are very convenient at the present time. Find out more under 'Micro Volunteering' here.

  • Caution to anyone who wants to set up a group to provide volunteering support right now. This can lead to individuals or groups encountering more legal responsibilities and the laws around this can be quite complicated. 

  • We highly recommend you follow the advice that’s been provided by UoN and NHS and do not take undue risks with your personal health. 

  • If you do want to volunteer, to keep yourself and others safe we recommend you volunteer through experienced organisations. Please see 'How can I help?' section below


If you are or will be volunteering as part of the effort to tackle Covid-19  This flexible online course will help you reflect on your experience and articulate the skills you have learnt to future employers. You can also gain 10 credits towards the Nottingham Advantage Award if you decide to take it as an Award module.  If you or a student/student group you know are helping others in any way during this time that is incredible and we would love to hear about it, and when the time is right share stories and say thank you. Please complete this short form to help us understand the difference students are making in local communities as a response to the affects of the COVID-19 pandemic.


How can I help?

There are many ways to help others during this time, all relevant opportunities will be added to the list below which will be updated on a regular basis. 

Volunteering nationally

NHS Volunteers

NHS volunteer responders can be called upon to do simple but vital tasks such as, driving and making regular calls.
When signing up, you will be asked for your name, contact details, if you have a current DBS check and to upload a form of ID e.g. your passport, driving license. If you want to sign up, click here

Age UK neighbourly postcards - Join the UK's largest charity for the elderly. Take part in neighbourly volunteering and help support older people who are staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic by making a postcard to offer help. To get started, just watch this short video.

British Red Cross - By becoming a community reserve volunteer, you will help your community get back on track in the event of a major local emergency. This may be particularly important right now and we are working with the authorities to support the Covid-19 response in the best possible way. To be a community reserve volunteer, click here.

If you have gone back home, but still want to help, contact your local Volunteer CentreCVS or visit the Do-it website. They can help you find out where your help is most urgently needed. 

Your local foodbank may appreciate donations. They may also need people to help with deliveries for those who can't leave the house. You can find more information on this on The Trussell Trust and Fareshare websites.

Volunteering in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

Action Tutoring is an education charity supporting pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds with tutoring, as we know young people’s education has been significantly impacted by the current COVID-19 crisis,and will be particularly great for disadvantaged pupils as many of them were already struggling academically and the absence of education, and any other means of support, will simply leave them further behind. Action Tutoring (AT) know help will be needed more than ever to support these pupils to make up for the time they have lost.  AT face-to-face volunteer tutoring offer will resume this as soon as it is safe to do so. However they have another very exciting opportunity coming up. AT will be able to deliver their tutoring online from September, to support disadvantaged young people to catch up and make meaningful progress, so you can get involved even if you are not currently based in the city.  

You can apply straight away (for both in person and online tutoring) via this short online application form here . More information can be found here.


NCVS Coronavirus in Nottingham Response volunteer 
NCVS are the central point of contact for essential volunteer roles in coordination with Nottingham City Council during the pandemic. They have 4 essential roles listed below that will make a huge difference, these are; Telephone befriender, Dog walker, Delivery cyclist and Delivery driver.   

NCVS are also supporting lots of charities who are in need of volunteer support, including the opportunity to become a Volunteer Activity & Exercise Buddy with Rainbow by helping a child with autism, and their family, enjoy their daily walk - at a safe 2 metre distance. You can register and find out more about any of NCVS opportunities here .

Nottinghamshire Community Resource Hub

Supporting the coordination of volunteers and local groups and matching with those in need, the Nottinghamshire community hub are asking individuals or Community/Charity/Parish/Faith groups to register if they are planning to support people who are self isolating. You can do this by completing a short form which can be found here or calling 0300 500 80808 and registering by phone. 

Age UK Nottingham - Age UK Nottingham are currently putting together a database of local volunteers that are wanting to support older people during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are remaining in Nottingham during this pandemic and would like to offer your support please click here. Age UK have also introduced a great campaign called ‘Dear Friend’ a campaign encouraging people to write a letter to someone currently in hospital and send them a little happiness from your house to their hospital bed? Want to get involved contact us here

Foodprint is Nottingham’s first social supermarket and a food redistribution network. This is a student-led social enterprise managed by students of the University of Nottingham. They take excess food from supermarkets and sell it at an affordable price to the local community. Foodprint are currently looking for volunteers to help run their shop and redistribute food to community partners.  As standard you will receive Food Hygiene and Health & Safety training, alongside COVID-19 specific information, social distancing in place in the store and masks are available for volunteers. If you interested in volunteering please email

Macmillan Beyond Diagnosis Telephone Support Service (across Nottinghamshire)

The Beyond Diagnosis Volunteers continue to offer emotional support to clients by telephone – this being a time when clients are feeling especially vulnerable and isolated. The Beyond Diagnosis Team will support you to be confident in your new role, to understand how you are making a difference to people living with cancer and to feel happy to be volunteering with them. You can find out more here

Donations and charity appeals

Local charities are appealing for urgent donations and supplies. By supporting the appeals listed here you can be sure your money, or other donations, will reach the mot vulnerable and those truly in need.  You can also support The Robin Hood Fund, a new fund which has been set up in Nottingham to help support the most vulnerable in the cityduring the COVID-19 crisis. 

Put your mobile devices to good use, scroll through social media and share stories/campaigns to help widen the reach for charities who are raising awareness or looking for support.

Weekly Spotlight - Charity Appeal 


Join Framework's Big Staycation -set up a Caribbean resort in your home or garden and support Framework's work with vulnerable and isolated people. Find out more about the charity and this campaign 

Volunteering in Derby

The Derby Food Forum Network

It is important that the network of local food banks continue to provide for those in need. You can help by providing a financial donation to sustain the supply of food and cleaning materials. If you want to help, please click here

Derby Community Action are coordinating volunteers and can be contacted via 01332 640000 if you would like to register to help with them. 

Derby COVID Community Resource Hub 

One aim of this group is to match up potential volunteers with those people most affected by the current crisis. The group will be encouraging potential volunteers to be good neighbours and focus on people who need support, however big or small, in their immediate local neighbourhood. This includes those who may need help with shopping, prescriptions and other small tasks and will reduce the need for potential volunteers to travel to other areas of the city reducing the possible spread of infection. If you can help out in your immediate local neighbourhood please do! If not then get in touch and we’ll direct you to someone who needs your help.

If you would like to volunteer, or alternatively if you need help during this difficult time contact DerbyDirect on 01332 640000. The line will open between 9.30am and 4pm, Monday to Friday or email







Disclaimer: If you do volunteer, we encourage you to do so through established charities and professional organisations and make sure you are satisfied with the training and support they will be giving you. Any queries about the opportunities should be directed to the organisations providing them. The volunteering opportunities set out on this page are provided for information only – they are neither endorsed, sanctioned nor provided by the University or the Students’ Union and, as such, the University and the Students’ Union will not accept any liability arising out of them.


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