What Tier 2 restrictions mean for voluntary organisations

With the ending of the second lockdown, the country entered a new tier system of restrictions on Wednesday 2nd December 2020. With Buckinghamshire placed in Tier 2, read how this affects charities and community groups in the county, and volunteering activities.


Specific Government Guidance for the charity sector can be found on the Government website which was last updated on 6 November.

Government advice remains that everyone who can do, should work from home. If you have employees who are not working from home – the latest Government Guidance for working safely is here, last updated on 1 December. You should also follow HSE’s advice for employers.


Familiarise yourself with the latest Government Guidance for Tier Two; there are exemptions from gatherings in all tiers, some of which may be relevant to groups and charities:

  • for work or providing voluntary or charitable services, including in other people’s homes
  • for childcare, education, or training – meaning education and training provided as part of a formal curriculum
  • for supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care (before and after-school childcare), groups and activities for under 18s, and children’s playgroups
  • for formal support groups, and parent and child groups – up to 15 people aged 5 and older
  • to provide emergency assistance, avoid injury or illness
  • to fulfil a legal obligation, such as attending court or jury service.


To reflect the new tier system, the government has updated its guidance for people who run volunteer-involving organisations or groups who manage volunteers – check out the Government website for advice about enabling safe and effective volunteering during COVID-19.

In all tiers, Government guidance states that people who can volunteer from home should do so. However, people can choose to volunteer outside their home if:

This will also apply to clinically vulnerable people, which includes the over 70s.

At all tiers, clinically extremely vulnerable people should volunteer from home. If they cannot do so, they can still choose to volunteer outside their home. However, they are advised that they may wish to ask for extra support from their organisation or group to maintain social distancing and minimise contact with others.

At all tiers, the rules around gatherings and travel will remain the same. This means that where people can volunteer outside their home, they’ll be able to:

  • Meet in groups of any size, indoors or outdoors, while volunteering
  • Travel to volunteer or while volunteering.

You can find further advice on managing and recruiting volunteers during the pandemic by visiting our COVID-19 Volunteering webpage; for advice for volunteers, visit our dedicated Advice for Volunteers webpage. If you have any general queries regarding volunteering, please email volunteering@communityimpactbucks.org.uk.