Australian Volunteering Services were highly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most volunteers were devastated in not being able to go to their support centre or meet their care-expecting friends.  This is why many volunteering groups in Australia took measures to not isolate anyone during the pandemic time. This article would be important to support groups, non-profit motive centres, and volunteers to understand how COVID-19 would affect the supporting propaganda in Australia. 

The perspective of Volunteering Association

Fascinatingly, the duties that should be covered by non-profit motive organisations to their paid workers do not differ when they care for their volunteers. General work health and other safety duties must be pertained by the organisation to the volunteers even during COVID-19. While following the public health directions that are being circulated by the Australian government, the organisation can allow volunteers to continue working in centres. But where there are serious conflicts with regard to the highly contaminated areas, volunteers are asked to either work from home or terminate their services, unfortunately. However, these associations should focus on taking serious regulatory measures to help volunteers and others in the centre to be safe from the virus.

What can be these regulations?

  1. Maintaining 1-metre social distances between two people
  2. Practice good hygiene within the premises
  3. Wearing masks at all times 
  4. Closing the mouth when coughing or sneezing
  5. Regular health check-ups before and after leaving the centre
  6. Re-arranging workspaces etc. 
  7. Limiting public gatherings by postponing events, concerts, and meetups

What can be done by the organisation on behalf of their valued volunteers

  1. Australian Volunteering associations can seek advice from insurers about how to protect their volunteering service providers.
  2. Keeping Volunteers safe at all times by always acknowledging them, complimenting and concerning about their health
  3. Provide updated information about the pandemic like reliable government links
  4. Provide safe transportation systems to you volunteers that will make them feel safe when they leave from home and go back after work
  5. Provide readily accessible forums that will allow volunteers to share their concerns with the association

What can be done by the centre to retain volunteers or attract volunteers

  1. Australian Volunteering Centres that uses tight contractual terms can ease up their contractual terms so that volunteers who are very interested in providing their services would join the association.
  2. Risk Management software can be used by the centre to analyse how COVID 19 affects their centre and their volunteers and transparently share this information with the volunteers to gain their trust and encourage their retention. 

The perspective of a volunteer

Australian Volunteers love their care-expecting counterparts. Many volunteering firms initiated online campaigns that support volunteers to stay connected with their friends over the internet. 

One of these measures is the ‘COVID Connect’ program launched by the Red Cross foundation based in Australia. This program connected pre-trained red cross volunteers to connect with people who need emotional support during the pandemic situation. Volunteers’ involvement via the internet, therefore, plays a very important role during COVID times.

Boehringer Ingelheim launched a global COVID support program that connected their employees to volunteer in connecting with people who suffer from isolation so that everyone would feel important and connected during the pandemic situation. Visit this link to learn more about this lovely event. 

Does COVID-19 stop Australian Volunteering Services?

Definitely not! There are many measures that can be taken by Support Centres. Some of these measures are:  

  • Postponing events and other volunteer services that requires public gatherings and social distancing would hinder the ultimate performance of the respective service. 
  • Opening up virtual spaces for the volunteers to keep conveying their services via the internet to people who needs their services
  • Upgrading communication systems to connect with volunteer service providers, marginalised people, funders other sponsoring bodies 

The advent of smart volunteers has never been this important than this time. Volunteers from all around the continent are connecting via the internet to provide services and support to the marginalised in Australia as required. This shows the perks of interconnectivity and how technology no matter what would not make any person feel lonely, there are amazing people out there wanting to comfort them and be connected. With the hope that you are doing well during this hard time, the Tigernix team will connect with you with our next blog article.