Appeal for NHS volunteers brings in 170000 sign-ups

Henrietta Strickland
March 26, 2020

Health Minister Matt Hancock unveiled a plan on Monday to create a 250,000-strong volunteer force to help deliver groceries and medicines to the most vulnerable people instructed by the government to self-isolate.

"When we launched the appeal last night, we hoped to get 250,000 volunteers over a few days", Mr Johnson said during his daily address.

"Simple acts of kindness are going to make all the difference in keeping some of the most vulnerable people well and out of hospital".

The Red Cross has praised the NHS using volunteers and pointed towards other organisations also available to help those affected by the illness.

Jenrick added: "We need to get volunteers into this collective national effort to support the NHS, to support social care, and in particular to support the 1.5 million people who for specific clinical reasons we're shielding".

Where can people sign up?

He told the programme there had been "outbreaks of altruism and people wanting to help", adding that he was "bowled over" by medics returning to the front line and the response from people signing up to help the vulnerable.

"Your help has the potential to make a real difference to some of those most affected by this outbreak. And so, to all of you, and to all the former NHS staff who are coming back now into the service, I say thank you on behalf of the entire country".

NHS England medical director Stephen Powis reacted: "Overnight 170,000 people have signed up".

Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of the RVS, said: "Human compassion comes to the fore at times of great crisis".

Delivered by the Royal Voluntary service, which was founded in 1938 to mobilise volunteers during the Second World War, the NHS Volunteer Response Team will assist the NHS with three key tasks.

Dr Mark Wilson, GoodSAM co-founder, said: "GoodSAM has been saving lives through technology for five years by crowdsourcing resuscitation in cardiac arrest".

Speaking about the volunteers, he said: "They will be absolutely crucial in the fight against this virus. We are hugely proud to now also be crowdsourcing volunteers to help those in need at this time of national crisis".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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