As the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson recovers from suffering from coronavirus symptoms, his appreciation of the National Health Service has increased exponentially. Johnson, 55, was in intensive care in St Thomas’ Hospital from Monday and is making slow progress. He is grateful not just for the NHS staff but also for the swathes of volunteers who are helping health workers. Johnson’s pregnant fiancée, Carrie Symonds, has also tested positive for coronavirus.
People who volunteered to support the NHS in England during the coronavirus crisis are being sent details of what tasks they can do to help. More than 750,000 people signed up for the "volunteer army" - three times the government's original target - to help relieve pressure on the NHS. They will support 2.5 million people who are considered at risk.
The volunteers may have to deliver food and medicines, drive patients to appointments and phone the isolated.
The process is being managed through a mobile app called GoodSam, where health professionals, pharmacists, and local authorities can upload requests for help.
Thousands of approved volunteers can pick which tasks they want to complete in their local area. Volunteers switch their app to "on duty" to show when they are available.
The Royal Voluntary Service, the charity helping co-ordinate the scheme, have completed checks on the applications.
One of the many to sign up was teacher Stacey Walsh, from Banbury, Oxfordshire, who is still teaching but wants to volunteer in her spare time.
She said: "I've said I'll do whatever's needed. I'm a very social person so being able to provide people who are isolated with support over the telephone - that's something that I really am looking forward to.
"It's really important as public sector workers we stand alongside the NHS. There is a unity between us so I'm really happy that I can help."
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