Why volunteer during COVID-19?

Volunteering allows CIPD members and other people professionals to showcase the positive impact they can have during this time and in the longer term. The CIPD’s Social Impact team manages our social impact volunteering programmes and is on hand to support volunteers with any questions and concerns. Our Coronavirus hub is also a useful source of free, regularly updated advice and guidance on navigating the pandemic.

We consulted with our volunteers, who said they would welcome training and resources to support them in their volunteer role, would like to hear more from us on social action opportunities and would welcome short term one off volunteering programs such as giving their time to coach somebody to create a CV. In response we are providing more one-off volunteering opportunities, such as charity and SME mentoring, and are reviewing our volunteer resources. Read more about CIPD's Social Impact response to Covid-19 in our blog by Jemeela Quraishi, Social Impact and Innovation lead

See the full results of our volunteer survey below.

Steps Ahead revamped

With the lockdown and the impact on employment due to the pandemic, we knew our mentoring support for jobseekers would be needed more than ever, particularly for young people who we know will be most impacted in terms of their employment prospects. All support was moved online when lockdown started and in the Autumn we will be offering two streams of support:

  • Steps Ahead Express: limited 1-2 hours CV and interview support, where to look for jobs to help a jobseeker re-purpose their skills and experience to be ‘job-ready’ for work in more in-demand sectors

  • Steps Ahead Plus: longer term mentoring support on employability skills enhancing the virtual offer and offering mentoring over a longer time period of up to 22 weeks (5 months)


Our branches have risen to this challenge and many are delivering virtual sessions covering a range of relevant topics and learning to aid people professionals in these fast-moving times.

Mentor a charity

Charities are feeling the pressure of the current situation; in addition to grappling with this loss of income and resources, HR professionals in charities are working hard to deal with the myriad people related challenges this pandemic has triggered across all sectors – often singlehandedly. You can now volunteer your time to support a charity in the UK by providing HR mentoring to help them navigate the pandemic.

To find out more about this initiative, please email volunteering@cipd.co.uk.

Support a SME

Throughout 2020 the CIPD is working in partnership with Enterprise Nation in support of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to provide critical support and guidance to SMEs during the COVID-19 crisis. Alongside other trade bodies offering legal, financial and marketing advice, the CIPD is connecting businesses with HR advisers to support them.

To find out more about how you can support this initiative, please email volunteering@cipd.co.uk.