National scheme launched to recruit 250,000 NHS volunteers

The government has launched a new scheme to recruit 250,000 volunteers who can help the NHS support vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic.

Volunteers will be to help up to 1.5 million people who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions.

They will be asked to do simple but vital tasks, including:

  • 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.

People can become an NHS Volunteer Responder and join the NHS’s trusted list of volunteers by visiting and adding their details to the NHS section.

GoodSam is a great way to connect volunteers with people in need quickly and safely and the Government is urging people who can to register today, support our NHS and help vulnerable people shielding at home.

Craig Whittaker, MP for Calder Valley adds "this is a brilliant way to really make a difference. I encourage local people to volunteer and helping build on those who have already offered their support over the last two weeks."


Question: What is the criteria for volunteers?

Volunteers must be 18 or over, and fit and well with no symptoms. Those in higher-risk groups (including those over 70, those who are pregnant or with underlying medical conditions) will be able to offer support by telephone. Patient transport drivers will require an enhanced DBS check and will receive guidance to do this role safely.

Question: Will volunteers be social distancing?

Safety of volunteers is a priority. The majority of tasks can be undertaken while social distancing and volunteers will receive guidance.