HOW PEOPLE CAN JOIN THE NHS VOLUNTEER RESPONDERS
Visit the NHS Volunteer Responders website to see whether you are eligible to apply and the volunteer roles available.
ABOUT THE SCHEME
NHS Volunteer Responders was commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement and is a partnership with Royal Voluntary Service and the GoodSAM app. In addition to supporting people who are self-isolating, the scheme also supports NHS organisations by transporting goods between sites and delivering supplies to patients’ homes and providing patient transport.
Signing up as an NHS Volunteer Responder is different to other types of volunteering. Volunteers can choose when to be ‘on duty’ and are called upon if and when there is a task needing completion. Being an NHS Volunteer Responder is therefore something that people can do ‘as and when’ they have time rather than it being a dedicated regular commitment. This means people can volunteer for this programme in addition to other volunteering activity.
HOW THEY ARE HELPING
The 360,000 NHS Volunteer Responders who have been on duty so far have played a vital role in the pandemic completing more than 750,000 tasks supporting over 100,000 people in need. In Lewisham the 1,906 volunteers who have been on duty so far have delivered 7,346 tasks.
WHAT CLIENTS SAY ABOUT THE SCHEME
Norma Leask, 93
Norma is 93 years old and although usually well and able, had an accident before lockdown leaving her unable to walk. She lives next door to her 88-year-old brother and aside from each other, they don’t have any other family. Norma contacted her local authority who put her in touch with the NHS Volunteer Responders scheme. Norma said:
“After my accident I was unable to leave the house at all, and I was desperate for food and help. I had nowhere to turn, so when the council pointed me in the direction of the volunteer service, it was absolutely life changing. I can’t praise the volunteers enough – they are kind, honest, cheerful and happy to help and they make me feel like nothing is too much trouble. I could go on for hours about the ways the scheme helped me and I have been overwhelmed by the support.”
YOU CAN REFER RESIDENTS FOR SUPPORT
All local authorities, health and social care staff and approved charity referrers can refer clients in need of the support. Full details are on the NHS Volunteer Responders website, including the type of support the volunteers provide.