Skip to main content

Volunteering for NHS Coronavirus Vaccination Centres

The National Health Service is seeking volunteer marshals and stewards to support the important work of vaccinating local people at NHS vaccination centres. Volunteering is flexible to fit around individual availability. The University wishes to be as supportive as possible to support this important part of the national and local response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Please read the information below on how you can volunteer. 

Information for employees

The University has been advised of the following arrangements for volunteering at vaccination centres in the Exeter area.

  • The centres will operate 12 hours day, 7 days per week for the next few months
  • Volunteers will be asked to work four hour shifts, with shifts available from 08:00 – 12:00, 12:00 – 16:00 and 16:00 – 20:00
  • The NHS is not asking for a minimum commitment – volunteers can offer to work a single shift, or several. A single shift on a single day, or several shifts across different days.
  • There isn’t anything to stop people doing multiple shifts if they would like to. For example, it is possible to book 2 shifts and volunteer for 8 hours
  • For people who are interested in volunteering as a group, the NHS will, were possible, try and accommodate scheduling groups on the same shifts.
  • To register to volunteer in Devon, please fill in a simple application form, hosted on the regional volunteering website - “Our Plymouth” are coordinating this for all centres across Devon.

In Cornwall, the volunteer activity is being coordinated by St John Ambulance. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact St John Ambulance directly by emailing NHS-Vaccinations@sja.org.uk

To register in other parts of the country see information on the NHS webpages.

The University appreciates that many members of our staff and student community will have other commitments which means they are unable to volunteer on this occasion. For those members who are able to volunteer, the University has agreed: 

  1. Staff who wish to volunteer to support the NHS mass vaccination programme should initially seek to do so in their free time. It would be helpful if you informed your manager of the volunteering support you are providing.
  2. Colleagues can ask their manager to adjust their working arrangements to accommodate the times when they want to volunteer. Where possible, managers will seek to accommodate these requests without any detrimental impact on their team and service delivery and without incurring additional cost to the University but this cannot be guaranteed.
  3. Colleagues may be permitted to volunteer for one four hour shift per week within their paid University time where this can be accommodated without any detrimental impact on their team and service delivery, and without incurring additional cost to the University. Managers will decide whether these requests can be met and this cannot be guaranteed.

Information for managers

If a member of your team asks you to adjust their working arrangements to accommodate the times when they want to volunteer – for example, to start earlier and finish earlier so that they can work on the 16:00 – 20:00 shift, or work in the afternoon instead of the morning so that they can work on the 08:00 – 12:00 shift – you should consider the issues below.

Similarly, if a member of your team asks to volunteer during their paid working hours, you should consider the issues below.

The University wishes to be as supportive as possible to support this important part of the national and local response to the Coronavirus pandemic, provided the request can be accommodated: 

  • without any detrimental impact on the team – moving their normal working arrangements should not place additional pressure on other members of the team.
  • without any detrimental impact to service delivery.
  • without incurring additional cost to the University.

Where it is not possible to accede to the request, you should explain this to your team member. It may be possible for you to suggest an alternative arrangement which could be accommodated.

Please advise humanresources@exeter.ac.uk with the subject line “NHS Volunteering" of any arrangements which you have agreed. 

If a member of your team advises you that they have volunteered in their own time, please report this to humanresources@exeter.ac.uk with the subject line “NHS Volunteering". This will help us assess the support which the University is giving to the community and the response to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Please note that any messages to humanresources@exeter.ac.uk with the subject line “NHS Volunteering" will not be acknowledged. If you have any questions about whether you should accommodate an employee's request, please contact your HR Advisor via hradvisors@exeter.ac.uk. For questions about furlough arrangements see the Furlough FAQ or email the JRSHR Mailbox JRSHR@exeter.ac.uk if your question has not been answered.