Volunteering Support Arrangements COVID-19

This briefing sets out the local and national arrangements for recruitment, matching and supporting volunteers during the COVID 19 crisis.  


1.1 Through Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire

VANL is the local umbrella body with long-standing responsibility for volunteer recruitment, matching and support for the community and voluntary sector in North Lanarkshire.  

Over 9,000 people are already registered on VANL’s database as either active volunteers or with an interest in volunteering and awaiting matching. This number is increasing daily during COVID 19 crisis.  

VANL receives direct requests from individuals wishing to volunteer and also referrals from other agencies including NHS Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire Council and Volunteer Scotland.  VANL then matches volunteers to local community and voluntary organisations. These arrangements will continue during COVID 19.

Organisations hosting volunteers are responsible for volunteers’ induction, training and any Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) checks required. However, VANL supports volunteer-involving organisations to manage their volunteers effectively and safely and will continue to do so during the COVID 19 crisis. This includes:

COVID 19 guidance for volunteers and volunteering-involving organisations, including safety guidance.  (This will be published and actively promoted as soon as NHS Lanarkshire Health Protection provide updated information)

Updated guidance on PVG checks

VANL’s volunteering role is managed by Kirsty Struthers and supported by our six locality link officers and an admin assistant.

Current and prospective volunteers can contact VANL by:

Email: vanlvolunteering@vanl.co.uk

Phone: 01236 748011  

VANL provides general information on volunteering for volunteers and volunteering organisations on our website  


Through Local Community and Voluntary Organisations

Local people can contact a local community and voluntary organisation directly to register as a volunteer  VANL may not have information about these volunteers but will still provide support to volunteer-involving organisations to support their volunteers effectively.

In addition, some people will volunteer informally in their street or neighbourhood and may not be linked to a registered group. A number of spontaneous, volunteer led COVID 19 community support groups have been established in NL  VANL is working to capture information about these new volunteer groups and provide support where appropriate.

Note A: Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Checks for Volunteers in the Community and Voluntary Sector

Where a volunteer is supporting a child or adult who is vulnerable, volunteering-involving organisations in the community and voluntary sector are responsible for carrying out PVG checks through Volunteer Scotland Disclosure Services.  


Normally, PVG checks through Volunteer Scotland Disclosure Services take a month to be processed. However, during the current COVID-19 pandemic, Volunteer Scotland Disclosure Services is prioritising checks for volunteers in the following categories and processing them more quickly.

  •     Healthcare
  •     Pharmaceutical
  •     Childcare
  •     Social work
  •     Social care
  •     Prisons and justice
  •     Befriending

1.3 North Lanarkshire Council

People can contact NLC through their Communities Team or other routes to express interest in volunteering in their local community.  These volunteers are currently being referred to VANL to register and match. NLC may also decide to involve some volunteers directly.  If so, VANL can provide support to NLC on managing volunteers if required.

Contact Leanne Pollock pollockle@northlan.gov.uk

NHS  Lanarkshire

NHS Lanarkshire receives requests for volunteering in the NHS through Volunteer Co-ordinator based in their HR Directorate.  Where there is a volunteer opportunity in a hospital setting, NHS Lanarkshire manages this directly. Where the volunteer wishes to volunteer in the community, NHS Lanarkshire refers to VANL.

NHS Lanarkshire’s Volunteer Co-ordinator is Katrina Murray


Note B: Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Checks for Volunteers in statutory organisations  

All volunteers based in a statutory organisation are subject to PVG checks which are processed through Disclosure Scotland.  https://dbs-online.org.uk/

PVG checks for volunteers in  health and social care roles are being processed very quickly (90% in 12 hours) during the COVID 19 crisis and fees are waived until end of April.  


Ready Scotland is the main national website that allows the people of Scotland to sign up to become a volunteer during the current situation with COVID-19.  

When accessing the page https://www.readyscotland.org/coronavirus/volunteering there are 3 options available:

A link for returning Health & Social Care Workers to sign up

A link for those interested in helping the British Red Cross (BRC) to help public services, including the NHS and Local Authorities

A link to sign up with Volunteer Scotland to support charities and other groups within the community.

Those who register as returning health and social care workers will be referred to the relevant Health and Social Care Partnership, Health Board and/or local authority.  

We understand that those who register with BRC will be either supported by BRC to volunteer nationally or locally and/or referred to local agencies (this referral pathway will be clarified by 6th April).  

Those who register via Volunteer Scotland will be referred to their local Third Sector Interface – which for North Lanarkshire is VANL. VANL will the support this request  as above.