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How students can volunteer during coronavirus

Published: Wednesday 10th February 2021

Amid these uncertain times, you might be asking ‘what can I do to help?’. If you are a student, in college or university there are so many ways to help out during the coronavirus pandemic. These can range from face-to-face volunteering through to virtual opportunities from the comfort and safety of your sofa! You can even give as much or as little time as you want, and you can log your virtual volunteering hours in your volunteer profile. In light of this year’s Student Volunteering Week here’s how you can volunteer during coronavirus and help your community. 

Volunteer during coronavirus in the NHS

Retail volunteers are needed in NHS shops, cafés and trolley services to sell items such as food, drinks and hygiene products to patients, visitors and staff in the hospitals or health care centre shops. Moreover, there are roles behind the scenes too. Being in hospital or visiting friends and family can be a difficult time so volunteers will also be a friendly and compassionate point of contact for customers.

Mentoring and teaching online

As a university or college student, you can volunteer during coronavirus by mentoring, or teaching others who need support especially now with home-schooling. Through online sessions from your own home, you can provide support and guidance. In fact, you can even use current affairs to make your mentoring sessions more engaging and insightful. If you’d like to teach or mentor a group, Age UK Kensington & Chelsea are looking for volunteers to facilitate the classes they offer.

Volunteers serving hot soup for homeless in community charity donation center, coronavirus concept. volunteer during coronavirus.

Crisis counsellor for a crisis text hotline

The Crisis Text Line relies on volunteer crisis counsellors who work from home. Trained crisis counselors answer texts from people in crisis, through active listening, collaborative problem solving, and safety planning. The current COVID-19 pandemic is having a huge impact on mental health, with many struggling with uncertainty, panic, unemployment, and overwhelm. Now more than ever, those in crisis need support. Other crisis phone lines in your area may also be looking for support so taking the chance to volunteer during coronavirus could help change someone’s life for the better. 

Food shopping for vulnerable people

Simply asking your neighbours if they’d like any help with food shopping and errands is a great way to help those in need or key workers – you can slip a note through their door to say that you’re available to help out. These people may be unable to leave their homes due to their vulnerability and it can often be difficult for them to get online supermarket delivery slots due to extremely high demand. 

Alternatively, Mutual Aid groups on Facebook can help you find local residents. These groups will help you connect with vulnerable people who need help, ranging from a weekly food shop and a dog walk to collecting medication or prescriptions.

man gives the bag from grocery store to the woman to her home

Volunteer during coronavirus with organisations providing support

Volunteers are urgently in need to help with mass testing and vaccination centres. Charities are working with the government and local authorities to create ways for people to get involved. If you don’t have a particular charity you want to support in your local area, contact your local Volunteer Centre. They can help you find out where your help is most urgently needed.

Creating Content

With many organisations going virtual, there is a need to keep creating online content, which provides crucial information and activities to help and engage the community. Content creation volunteering during coronavirus can range from leading a Social Media and Communications team, creating infographics and social media posts to even a music video. Moreover, a lot of charities are struggling at the moment so you could even put your content writing creation skills into helping a charity with fundraising and awareness campaigns. 

Whether you decide to work directly with a group in your area or participate in a remote project from the comfort of home, your support can and will make a difference. If you are looking for ways to volunteer during coronavirus you can also check out our volunteering opportunities on Zoek.

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