By Lizzie Day • 29 March 2020 • 16:17
THE Royal Voluntary Service announced today that an incredible 750,000 volunteer responders took up the call and joined the NHS coronavirus fight, smashing the target just two days after it was extended.
The recruitment drive has been such an overwhelming success that it has now been temporarily paused to allow the charity to process the torrent of applicants and work with the NHS to get the volunteer army up and running.
Those who registered will be helping the health service perform ‘vital roles’ that will allow people to comply with strict government advice on self isolation and social distancing.
Catherine Johnston, chief executive of Royal Voluntary Service said: “On Tuesday evening, Royal Voluntary Service readied itself to launch the biggest call out for volunteers in England since the Second World War.
“Less than 24 hours later, we had hit our target of 250,000 sign-ups and today that number is at 750,000. We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the response and cannot thank the public enough.
“As history shows, it is often in times of crisis that we pull together and become our best selves.
“Our team is now working flat out with colleagues in NHS England to process the many thousands of applications we’ve received, so we can get volunteers up and running as soon as possible and matched with patients that they can begin to support.
“Due to the enormous volume of applications, we have now paused recruitment and ask anyone who is still interested in volunteering to wait a few weeks for the application process to reopen.
“This will enable our team to focus on getting the first tranche of volunteers checked and out into the community.
“We fully expect that more volunteers will be required, and we will be issuing an update on areas of the country and roles that we still need to fill as soon as we can.”
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