The UK government has launched an urgent appeal for 250,000 volunteers to help the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak.
In a public briefing yesterday, Matt Hancock, the health secretary, urged people to come forward to help the most vulnerable who are unable to leave their homes:
We are seeking a quarter of million volunteers – people in good health – to help the NHS, for shopping, delivery of medicines and to support those who are shielded to protect their own health.
It has been estimated that around 1.5 million vulnerable people have been told to stay inside for 12 weeks to shield them from the virus, including those over the age of 70 and those with underlying health conditions.
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.
Anyone in good health and not in a vulnerable category can sign up to help as a Check in and Chat Volunteer to phone those at risk of severe loneliness, a Community Response Volunteer to collect shopping and other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating, or a NHS Transport Volunteer to transport equipment, medication and supplies between NHS sites.
To sign up, simply complete this form. It requires you to prove your identity by uploading an image of a DBS certificate, passport or driving license details, a bank statement or utility bill.
Featured image: © GoodSAM.