Over 400,000 people join NHS army of volunteers in one day

405,724 people have signed up to volunteer for the NHS to help in its fight against coronavirus, highlighting the ‘overwhelming response’ to the NHS England call in just 24 hours.

The number far exceeds the original target by over 100,000 people, prompting the NHS to extend its target to recruit 750,000 people to its army of volunteers. Those signed up will start roles from next week and help the 1.5 million who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions.

Members of the public can sign up as NHS Volunteer Responders and opt to do a number of roles, including: delivering medicines from pharmacies; driving patients to appointments; bringing them home from hospital; or making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home.

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said: “Times like this show just how generous the British people are and how much they value our health service – we are blown away by this response and the kindness of our country. I can’t thank those enough who have pledged to devote their time to helping others at what is a challenging and uncertain time for you and your families. The NHS is always there for you – now is your time to be there for us too.”

Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of Royal Voluntary Service, said: “In times like this you can really see the best in humanity – small gestures of compassion and connection that allow us to show who we are and what matters to us. Coronavirus has created an emergency that requires us to act, and act selflessly in order to protect the most vulnerable in our communities – no matter what our social status or who we vote for.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with the number of people who have stepped forward and volunteered to be part of the NHS Volunteer Responders but we are also not surprised – Royal Voluntary Service witnessed a similar response during the outbreak of WW2 when a million women came forward to help those most in need. Over the past 80 years Royal Voluntary Service has been aiding the health service by mobilising volunteers to support those in need in communities and hospitals. Today we face an even greater task – and we are proud to support the NHS at this important time to protect those most vulnerable. Together we can look out for each other and in doing so support the NHS at this vital time.”

The figure now stands at 504,303.

Event Diary

NHS IT chiefs set the stage for a year of digital transformation as Digital Health Rewired returns to London

Supplier Profiles

Thorlux Lighting

Founded in 1936, Thorlux Lighting is the largest company within the F W Thorpe Plc group, operati

Radar Healthcare

Quality and compliance software dedicated to the improvement of patient safety.