Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Volunteering

Volunteering in your community


Vulnerable people and elderly people in your community who are staying at home, self-isolating or shielding may need the support of volunteers - could you help?

SupportCumbria.org.uk is a collaboration of agencies and communities across Cumbria to offer volunteering support at a community level. They are looking for volunteers of all levels.

You might have specific skills to offer or may want to help with tasks like shopping, dog walking, collecting prescriptions and other help.

Go to the Support Cumbria website to register as a volunteer.

The latest government guidance for staying at home and away from others says people may leave home 'to provide care or to help a vulnerable person' - we hope this will reassure people that it is still OK to shop for neighbours, friends or family members. We would advise volunteers to make themselves familiar with the guidance below and the latest guidance on gov.uk.

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Do I need to have a DBS check to volunteer?

Volunteer organisations and group will decide if a DBS is necessary for the roles they are recruiting to.

Some roles will require a DBS check but others won't. A volunteer working with older people or vulnerable adults and handling cash through shopping or paying bills role would be classified as a regulated activity role so a Disclosing and Barring Service check would be necessary.

With the sudden recruitment of new volunteers, if they don't have a DBS check they might be paired up with a volunteer who does have a DBS check. 

More details about DBS.


I'm organising a group of volunteers. I understand that there isn't a legal requirement for me to have my volunteers DBS checked, but should I do so anyway?

Many of the roles that volunteers will carry out in their local communities do not raise safeguarding issues and do not need a DBS check. You can have a look at the DBS eligibility guidance to confirm whether the activities your group propose to do are captured.

If your group's activities are captured, under normal circumstances we would advise that having volunteers DBS checked is a prudent safeguarding step. There is, however, no legal requirement for you to have a DBS check. Regardless of whether you choose to have volunteers DBS checked, you should ensure your group follow simple, practical precautions such as working safely in pairs, keeping records of money spent and providing shopping receipts to safeguard all involved.

If they are not from the same household, volunteers must stay two metres apart at all times.

Please remember that gatherings of more than two people in public are currently banned, with these measures being enforced by the police.

Safeguarding and DBS Factsheet: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).


Reporting safeguarding concerns

  • Cumbria Adult Safeguarding Board have a number of resources which you may find useful to share, print or display, including how to report safeguarding concerns.

Food Banks

There are food banks located across Cumbria, find your nearest foodbank.


Response Funds

People are already giving generously to local funds to help charitable groups support vulnerable people affected by coronavirus: