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Coronavirus statement

International Citizen Service responded swiftly to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and brought home all UK volunteers who were on ICS placements across Asia and Africa. The safety, security and wellbeing of our volunteers and stakeholders is of the highest priority to ICS and we do not take any unnecessary risks in regards to the health of our volunteers, staff or the communities where which we work.    

This was the largest repatriation process ever undertaken by ICS agencies. Thanks to the professionalism and hard work of our exceptional volunteers, staff and partners, all UK volunteers, 453 in total, have returned to the UK, and 402 national volunteers to their home communities.  All UK volunteers returned to the UK by 23 March 2020. 

We want to thank everyone who played a role for their dedication and swift responses: it could not have been achieved without you. 

We will continue to review the situation in the countries where we run programmes, according to World Health Organisation and national government advice.    

Planned summer 2020 ICS departures 

Having reviewed our planned summer programming options in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic we have made the decision to cancel all planned departures scheduled until August 2020. 

This was a difficult decision and we recognise how disappointing this will be for our volunteers and stakeholders. Each ICS agency will be individually contacting all volunteers scheduled to participate in ICS over this period with further information. 

ICS programming for volunteers working in their home country, outside of the UK, is being scoped on a country by country basis dependent on the health and social context in relation to COVID-19. 

ICS response to the COVID-19 pandemic 

Service, active citizenship and collaborative working are at the heart of ICS and we are currently exploring how the global ICS community might best contribute to the COVID19 response. Working alongside key partners, we are committed to supporting our global network of 45,000 volunteers to channel their creativity, passion, adaptability and resilience to community service. We will share more information with you shortly. 

Youth voice is very important to us, and if you are interested in helping us shape our work then join our National Youth Engagement Network.

For more information relating to COVID-19 and ICS:    

If you had been successful in your initial application and been matched to an ICS agency for summer 2020 departure, have recently returned to the UK or are an ICS alumnus, please contact your ICS agency directly:    

If you would like to register your interest for future ICS programmes, please do so by completing the online application process. Get in touch with the ICS team if you have any questions: enquiries@volunteerics.org.

Last updated: 29 July 2020


volunteers in classroom
© ICS / International Service / Katie Barraclough

About ICS

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Funded by the UK Government.

ICS is funded by the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), which projects the UK as a force for good in the world, including reducing poverty and tackling global challenges.

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