During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the UK has seen an outstanding response of people volunteering to help. This week, 1 – 7 June is National Volunteers’ Week and the local NHS would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has registered to be an NHS Volunteer Responder and offered their time to help the NHS and other local healthcare services.
With around 600,000 people volunteering to help the NHS during the pandemic, the NHS has been overwhelmed by the public’s generosity and is oversubscribed. Not every volunteer has been called upon, showing how well the NHS is managing services despite the current demand. However, it is reassuring to local NHS services to know the public are there to help if it is needed and this is greatly appreciated.
Dr Imogen Staveley, local GP and Chair at NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We may have not needed to call upon everyone to help and support the local NHS services and local residents, but we really do appreciate the thousands of people who have registered to volunteer to support NHS services and help those who may be vulnerable. The fact that the service is oversubscribed is a testament to the fantastic public spirit around.
“Thank you to everyone who has provided or offered support during this time, however small, from prescription collections, picking up essential food items, phone calls to vulnerable people and donations that have been made. It has made a massive impact and difference especially to those who have needed the help and support.”
Retired Warwickshire farmer, John who signed up as an NHS Volunteer Responder, said: “I’m no stranger to volunteering, having supported the town’s Winter Shelter for a number of years. While coronavirus meant that huge restrictions affected all our daily lives, the introduction of the NHS Volunteer Responders gave me and many others the chance to support our fantastic National Health Service, at a time when it faced one of its biggest challenges.
“Signing up to become an NHS Volunteer Responder was easy and once my application was approved it wasn’t long before I was called into action. I have been asked to collect and deliver local prescriptions, help with food bank deliveries and even just having a chat on the phone. While I have only been called upon a few times, like the famous advert says, every little helps. I am proud that I have been able to play my part, the experience has been very worthwhile and totally rewarding.”
If people would still like to offer their time, there are many opportunities to volunteer including at your local NHS hospitals, food banks and befriending services which you can do from home by simply calling people for a chat to keep them company.
To find out more about volunteering contact your local hospital or local council to register your interest or contact your local charity organisations.