Londoners have been supported by an army of over 95,000 NHS Volunteer Responders during the coronavirus pandemic in a scheme launched by the NHS and Royal Voluntary Service.
To mark Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June), volunteers across London have been thanked by the Duchess of Cornwall for their acts of kindness to support the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic. HRH The Duchess of Cornwall said:
“This year in particular, we owe a great debt of thanks to all our wonderful volunteers, who have stepped forward in astonishing numbers, pulling together to support those affected by COVID-19. As the very proud President of the Royal Voluntary Service, I should like to say that you truly are the backbone of our country. To each and every volunteer – thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
The scheme has been fully operational for over seven weeks with volunteers signing up through the GoodSAM App to provide support to healthcare practitioners, pharmacists and local authorities by carrying out tasks including delivering medicines and shopping or making calls to check in on those isolating at home.
Alex O’Reilly, a performer from Islington has been using his theatrical talents when checking in on those who are isolated across the capital as part of the NHS Volunteer Responders scheme. Alex said:
“I became a volunteer responder as I wanted to help people get over this pandemic by making them smile with a little sing song down the phone, or just by having a simple chat. I wanted to give them hope that there will be better times again after all of this is over.
“I have also been trying to be proactive to keep myself busy by doing errands for people.
“If we all helped a little then we could get over this and get back to normal faster.”