170,000 sign up for COVID-19 battle

Yesterday, the NHS called for volunteers to help vulnerable people stay safe at home.

The service was asking for 250,000 to help up to 1.5million people who have been asked to stay indoors due to underlying health conditions.

Within hours of the appeal being launched yesterday afternoon, over 170,000 people have signed up to support the COVID-19 crisis.

Matt Hancock on Twitter this morning said:

“We’re delighted that overnight 170,000 people have signed up to volunteer to support our NHS tackling #coronavirus.”

GoodSAM, the group coordinating the response reported the number of volunteers passed 170,000.

Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England said he was “bowled over” by the number of those signing up to help.

Professor Powis when talking to BBC Breakfast said:

“We have seen incredible responses throughout this.”

“Yesterday we sent out a call to arms, looking for an army of NHS volunteers. We were looking for a quarter of a million volunteers.”

“And I can now say overnight we have already had 170,000 people sign up.”

“So that’s three a minute signing up to help the NHS. It’s an absolutely astonishing response.”

Members of the public can sign up quickly and easily at goodsamapp.org/NHS to become NHS Volunteer Responders.

They can be called on to do simple but vital tasks such as:

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