NHS army of volunteers to start protecting vulnerable from coronavirus in England
7 April 2020
Over 750,000 people signed up to the NHS’ call for volunteers in just four days when the scheme launched, three times the original target.
Royal Voluntary Service, the charity delivering the volunteer effort, will have completed checks for the three quarters of a million applications by the end of Tuesday.
Thanks to the huge response, the group of vulnerable people they will support in England has now been expanded and they will come to the aid of 2.5 million at risk people.
Volunteers will be:
- delivering medicines from pharmacies;
- driving patients to appointments;
- bringing them home from hospital;
- making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home;
- transporting medical supplies and equipment for the NHS.
Thousands of these approved volunteers will be offered tasks from today via the GoodSAM app and will start helping people safely, with more expected to get requests over the coming weeks as referrals ramp up.
Health professionals, pharmacists and local authorities can upload requests for help on the NHS Volunteer Responders referrer’s portal and volunteers pick the job they want to do that day and close the task once complete.
Volunteers show themselves as available when their app is switched to ‘on duty’.
President of national volunteering charity, Royal Voluntary Service, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall has shared a message of thanks to the 750,000 people who have stepped forward to volunteer as NHS Volunteer Responders.
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, who became President of Royal Voluntary Service in December 2012, said: “As the proud President of the Royal Voluntary Service, I wanted to send my warmest thanks to all the NHS Volunteer Responders who have come forward in unprecedented numbers to offer help to the NHS.
Royal Voluntary Service has been working with the NHS to recruit people in England who can assist those who are most in need of practical and emotional support at this time. Thankfully, the charity has a long and remarkable history of bringing willing volunteers together with the isolated and lonely. That experience is needed more than ever in these challenging times. And today many more NHS Volunteer Responders will get in touch with the people they have so kindly offered to help.”
To make a referral visit NHS England website.