How to volunteer safely

Last updated: 23 August, 2021

Many people offer to support each other in communities. Volunteering safely means you can: 

  • protect yourself 

  • protect the people you’re supporting  

Data protection 

During your volunteering you may come across personal information about people. 

This might be: 

  • addresses 

  • family details 

  • medical information 

 If you do come across information like this, do not share it with anyone. 

 You must: 

  • treat personal information as you would want yours to be treated 

  • report any possible breach of data protection to the organisation or group you’re volunteering for 

You must not: 

  • share details you come across with anyone 

  • leave messages that contain personal information if you do not know who may hear them 

Withholding your phone number

When calling someone you’re supporting, we recommend you withhold your number. 

To do so dial 141 before the number you want to call. 


You’ll be supporting a wide range of people. 

Everyone is different and it's important to treat people with respect. 

You must: 

  • treat others how you would want to be treated 

  • respect people, whatever their background or beliefs 

You must not: 

  • exclude or treat people differently because of their background or beliefs 

  • ignore any unacceptable behaviour towards others – report this to the group you are volunteering for 


You may come across people at risk of harm or abuse during your volunteering. 

You must: 

  • report any abuse you become aware of, or become suspicious of 

You must not: 

  • promise confidentiality if someone informs you of abuse 

Look at our group pages to find groups who need volunteers.

Share your story

Do you have a story about how your community has come together to support each other?

We'd love to share your story on our website to encourage other people to get or offer support.

Share your story

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