When the government announced a plan to enlist the help of volunteers in the battle against COVID-19, they set an initial target of 250,000 volunteers to join the scheme.
However, less than 72 hours after the plea for help, the number of people who have stepped forward to join the scheme has gone over 500,000 people.
Speaking at his daily news conference, PM Boris Johnson said all 504,303 could now play an “absolutely crucial” role.
The volunteers will help with delivering food and medicines, driving patients to appointments and phoning the isolated.
Mr Johnson said he wanted to offer “special thank you to everyone who has now volunteered to help the NHS”.
He added: “And to all of you, and all the former NHS staff who are coming back into the service, I say thank you on behalf of the entire country.”
It has also been confirmed that just over 11,000 former medics have also agreed to return to the NHS to help fight COVID-19. On top of this, more than 24,000 final year student nurses and medics will also join the front line.
Stephen Powis, NHS England medical director, said there had been “outbreaks of altruism” and he was “bowled over” by the medics returning to the front line and the response from volunteers.
We have set up an ‘NHS Volunteer’ Group on Facebook, where volunteers can share stories and information. If you want to join the group, click HERE.
If you would like to sign up to become a volunteer, click follow this link: goodsamapp.org/nhsvolunteerresponders
Featured image: Stock photo