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

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Over 400,000 people have already signed up to volunteer for the NHS to help in its fight against coronavirus.

In just one day, the call to arms has seen a staggering 405,724 people sign up to help vulnerable people to stay safe and at home, exceeding the original target by over 100,000 people.

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens praised the “overwhelming response” and thanked those who will devote their time to the health service.

Sir Simon Stevens 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.”

Volunteer roles

The volunteers will start roles from next week to help the 1.5 million who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions.

Thanks to the surge of help, the NHS is now extending its target to recruit 750,000 people to its army of volunteers. You can still join the trusted list of volunteers by visiting goodsamapp.org/NHS.

You can sign up as an NHS Volunteer Responder and opt to do a number of roles, including:

  • delivering medicines from pharmacies
  • driving patients to appointments
  • bringing patients home from hospital
  • making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home

The NHS has joined up with the Royal Voluntary Service and the GoodSAM app – a digital tool to help people offer their services - to organise the NHS Army.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said: “I want to thank every single person who has signed up to be a NHS Volunteer Responder over the last 24 hours – it makes me very proud of the public’s incredible generosity. It’s a brilliant response beyond even what we could have hoped for.

“Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our country will ever face, and the whole nation is coming together to help each other.

“We want as many people as possible to volunteer, so I urge anyone who is fit and well to continue signing up – so we can guarantee support for the most vulnerable people in our communities and protect our NHS.”