On Tuesday, the UK government made a call out to the public, asking for volunteers to support the NHS in the fight against coronavirus. The scheme, called NHS Volunteer Responders, aimed to recruit 250,000 members of the public to help with community support during the current lockdown. And the UK delivered, with the scheme reportedly reaching the goal in just over 24 hours. As of Thursday morning, more than 560,000 people have now volunteered to support the NHS, and if that doesn't warm your heart this morning, nothing will.
The NHS volunteer responders will allow members of the public to help the NHS and local services to ensure they get all the support they can right now. They will be performing four essential roles: collecting essential supplies and medication for vulnerable people who are self-isolating at home, transporting patients back home if they are medically discharged from the hospital, transporting equipment and supplies between NHS services and sites, and phone check-ins with individuals who are at risk of loneliness due to isolation.
"In these extraordinary times, it's essential that we all pull together as part of the national effort to protect the most vulnerable, reduce pressures on our NHS and care system and save lives," said Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock in a statement released by the NHS. "If you are well and able to do so safely, I would urge you to sign up today to help the most vulnerable people in our communities as an NHS Volunteer Responder. Your help has the potential to make a real difference to some of those most affected by this outbreak."
While the NHS has reached its goal, it appears they're still accepting volunteers, and you can sign up on the GoodSam Responder website. There are a few important criteria you must consider before signing up: you must be at least 18 years old, and be fit and well with no symptoms.