The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) published guidance on how to safely and effectively involve volunteers in the work of organisations such as charities during the Covid-19 pandemic. Given the current higher risk of infection, it is important that charities pause and consider if it is still necessary/safe to involve volunteers in their work. It is inconceivable that all volunteering will stop - how would churches, food banks etc. operate? But trustees owe a duty of care to their volunteers as part of their safeguarding obligations, to operate in a way to minimise the risk of infection to volunteers and, if necessary, to pause volunteering if the risk to individuals is too high.

The guidance is practical (and in some cases just common sense) - for example, if possible, moving volunteering activities to a person's home, minimising travel etc. However, as charities weather the current storm, they should be encouraged to read it and reassess/take steps to minimise the risk to one of their key assets, their volunteers.