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Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Volunteering to Support Vulnerable People

The City of York Council COVID volunteering registering process is currently closed as there are sufficent volunteers to allocate to any remaining COVID-19 volunteer tasks.

However you can check the York CVS Volunteer Centre for a range of volunteer opportunities.

Those vulnerable residents who do not currently have any access to support, but who need volunteer help because of impact of COVID-19, are asked to email our Community Support Coordinators telephone: 01904 551550 for assistance.

NHS Volunteer Responders are also available to help with things like collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies and with transport to medical appointments. They can also provide a regular, friendly phone call which can be provided by different volunteers each time or by someone who was previously advised to shield and will stay in contact for several weeks. The responders are also available to provide volunteer tasks with the vacination process. More information is available at or you can call 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm.

For goverment guidance on volunteering: 

Advice to groups and organisations using volunteers

Advice to volunteers

How to help others safely

People Helping People

People Helping People is about how we live our lives together, in York. It’s often described as social action which simply means “people coming together to help improve their lives and solve the problems that are important in their communities”.

We know we have people willing to give time, expertise, energy and experience to others: with less public money and more challenges, we must make the most of this. We’ve linked up with Cities of Service to help us do this. Developed by a group of US city mayors, over 200 cities worldwide now use this approach. It’s all about clarity, good organisation and checking results, making sure that there’s positive progress towards priorities.

This is often called ‘impact volunteering’. Let’s say there’s an opportunity or a problem; the right people get together and plan to tackle it; they deliver the plan and, importantly, make sure there’s a clear result (and the one they expected). Recently we identified the local challenges that can be addressed by mobilising volunteers, alongside public services. We worked with partners in the voluntary and community sector, as well as local businesses, to develop projects that will impact on those challenges. We plan to develop clear metrics to track our progress, as well as report regularly and publicly on the results. For more information please go to the People Helping People Strategy.

Have a look at Live Well York for volunteering options. This link filters the community activity volunteer opportunities for you or you can navigate yourself by filtering the type of volunteering options you may be interested in and click the volunteering button on the home page of the Community Activities Directory. The York CVS website has information about People Helping People and hosts a variety of volunteer opportunities. Visit for more information.

York Charter for Volunteering

The Charter is a locally-devised set of standards which provides a framework for developing and improving volunteering programmes.

  • Contribution: Volunteers are able to contribute to genuine achievements
  • Quality: The volunteer experience is of a high quality
  • Safety: Volunteers have a safe experience
  • Enjoyment: Volunteers are able to enjoy their experience
  • Value: Volunteers are valued and their contribution is properly recognised
  • Voice: Volunteers have a voice and all parties listen to one another
  • Equality: Volunteers are treated fairly, barriers to volunteering are removed and diversity is welcomed
  • Proportionality: Volunteer paperwork and procedures are kept to the minimum necessary for the role

Valuing & Recognising your Volunteers

Ensuring volunteers are truly valued and recognised for the time, skills and experience they freely give is crucial to ensuring long term impact and positive outcomes for both the community and the volunteer as a person.

The national charity Volunteering Matters has developed “10 Tips to Recognise Your Volunteers” to give some ideas and guidance when managing and coordinating volunteers.

Other useful information and guidance from Volunteering Matters includes:

Volunteering Opportunities

York CVS Volunteering Opportunities Directory

York CVS hosts a directory of volunteering opportunities at You can find lots of local opportunities to suit your interests and your time. If your organisation is looking to recruit volunteers you can also add the volunteering opportunity to the directory.

Community Activities

This volunteer opportunities link filters the opportunities on the Community Activities directory. You can navigate yourself by filtering the type of volunteering options you may be interested in and by clicking the volunteering button.

Do-it Trust

Do-it Trust put volunteers and civil society at the heart of everything it does to inspire everyone to get involved and do something for their community. Using the latest technologies, it wants to help civil society reap the benefits of putting volunteers and communities at the centre of their work.

Find out more by visiting Do-it.

Volunteering for Students & Graduates

For volunteering opportunities for students and post graduates you can visit the York St John University or York University Students' Union websites.

Employment Support Volunteering work

York Cares is a partnership of the city's leading employers committed to making York a better place through employee-volunteering.

They match the skills and expertise of employers and their employees to community projects where they can have most impact. Our tried and tested programmes deliver tangible benefits for local people as well as workforce development opportunities for employers.

To check out the work of York Cares, you can view this video:

Volunteering with the Council

York is renowned as a volunteering city. City of York Council offers a broad range of volunteering opportunities for you to get involved. From looking after green areas to mentoring; people of all ages and backgrounds can volunteer in the city to:

  • help others
  • develop their own skills
  • gain new experience

Health Champions

  • Community Health Champions are people who, with training and support, voluntarily offer their skills and passion and make use of their community links to transform Health and Wellbeing in their neighbourhood. 
  • The Community Health Champions model is proving to be an effective way of reaching people and is making a real difference within communities. Champions are also influencing and shaping local services, increasing public participation, initiating community development opportunities whilst gaining new skills and knowledge.

  • Within their families, communities and workplaces Community Health Champions empower and motivate people to get involved in healthy social activities; create new activities to meet local needs; and signpost people to relevant community activities, and support. 
  • For more information on Community Health Champions including how to become a champion please contact or telephone 01904 552774.

Recruiting Volunteers

If you are a group or organisation that wants to provide volunteering opportunities in York then you can add your opportunity to the Volunteering Opportunities page of the York CVS website using this add your own volunteering opportunity link.

If you offer a community activity and want to recruit volunteers you can indicate this on your entry so that residents wanting to be involved can filter these volunteer opportunities.

Last reviewed: 15/01/2021