More than 750,000 heroic Brits volunteer to fight coronavirus for NHS

On Tuesday, the NHS appealed for volunteers to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. They wanted people to help with delivering medicines from pharmacies, driving patients to and from hospital appointments or making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home.

They hoped for around 250,000 volunteers to help up to 1.5 million people who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions.

Now it has emerged that some 750,000 Brits have signed to be NHS volunteers – three times the government’s initial call.

So many have applied, in fact, that the NHS have been forced to close registration. Twitter user Michael Seymour said: “Just tried but they've got so many people applying that they've paused recruitment.”

Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and NHS Director of Primary Care said: “This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments where a single action from one person can be the difference between life and death for another, and simple acts of kindness are going to make all the difference in keeping some of the most vulnerable people well and out of hospital.”

She added: ““I am immensely proud of how the whole country is coming together to help one another – we must continue to listen to and live by the latest medical and scientific advice and through this national effort we can truly make a difference.”

Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive, RVS, said: “Human compassion comes to the fore at times of great crisis. We saw that when Royal Voluntary Service was first founded during the outbreak of WW2 when a million women stepped forward to help those in need.”

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Not everyone feels the same way. Some people are describing the scheme as a “data harvesting tool for the government” and others have pointed out that masses of NHS volunteers moving around the country will only helped to spread the virus.

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