Volunteering and support for voluntary groups

Volunteering, keeping safe and support available to groups during the pandemic.

Safety and security advice for volunteers

Criminal record checks 

There is no legal requirement for volunteers to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to carry out the types of volunteer work covered in this guidance. However, take simple, practical precautions such as keeping records of money spent and providing shopping receipts. 

Protecting other people’s personal information

During volunteering, you may come across personal and sensitive information about individuals, for example, their full names, address and medical information. To make sure that all information remains confidential, and in line with the data protection laws, here is some guidance to follow:

  • Keep any data secure and treat other people’s information in the same way you would want yours to be treated.
  • Destroy any notes you’ve made of this information when you have carried out requests for help.

Do not:

  • discuss any information or data with anyone who doesn’t need to know it
  • leave any messages on answerphones containing personal information if you are not 100% sure who is going to hear them
  • distribute documents with lists of names, addresses and contact information with anyone that doesn’t need it

Protecting your personal information

If you want to withhold your own phone number when making calls, dial 141 before the number you’re calling. That way your own number will not be displayed to the person you are dialling.