You can only provide support to people who are in isolation if you fulfil ALL of the conditions below:

  • You are well and have no symptoms like a cough or high temperature and nobody in your household does
  • You are under 70
  • You are not pregnant
  • You do not have any long-term health conditions that make you vulnerable to coronavirus.


The only people who are legally prevented from volunteering with children and vulnerable adults are those who have been barred from doing so by Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). If you have been barred from certain types of work, then you would be committing an offence by trying to do that work.

Please also familiarise yourself with the government safeguarding factsheets which can be found on the official .gov websites.


Sunderland City Council has developed the following practical guidance to minimise the impact of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) on the health and wellbeing of volunteers (as well as those that they volunteer for and with).

The following practical steps for volunteers to consider:

As of 23 March 2020, the government introduced 3 new measures:  

1.       Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes

2.       Closing non-essential shops and community spaces

3.       Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public

Every resident must comply with these measures effective immediately. 

What does this mean for volunteering?

Only services which are essential should be provided in communities. Volunteers are encouraged to look out for their neighbours. Please ensure you heed all relevant advice around staying safe and keeping others around you safe. Check out the guidance at  

There is no legal requirement for you to hold a DBS check. However, if you are supporting people in the local community there are sensible and pragmatic steps that can be taken.

The most important thing you can do as a volunteer is to ensure you consider safeguarding practices. Adopting simple precautions like keeping shopping receipts supports you in helping your neighbourhoods whilst protecting vulnerable residents.


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