The Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities has joined forces with the NHS to appeal for volunteers to help those in need through the winter.
A plea for volunteers has been issued in a bid to help those in need over the coming winter.
The call comes on the back of research which finds that more than 4.9 million over 50s, many with health conditions and without family nearby, say they would benefit from volunteer help.
Volunteer roles include:
Community Response Volunteers – who provide help by collecting and delivering shopping, medication and other essential supplies.
Community Response Plus Volunteers – whose role is similar to the above but working specifically with individuals with cognitive impairments or significant vulnerabilities. An enhanced DBS check is required for this role.
Patient Transport Volunteers – who provide vital transport to patients who are medically fit to attend routine medical appointments. This includes taking patients from their home to local medical appointments.
NHS Transport Volunteers – who provide essential support across the different NHS services, helping get vital supplies to sites.
Check In and Chat Volunteers – who provide simple yet vital phone support to individuals who may be at heightened risk of loneliness.
Check In and Chat Plus Volunteers – similar to the previous role but this involves providing regular support to the same individual for 10 weeks (three phone calls a week). An enhanced DBS check is required for this role.
Volunteers must be over 18, and fit and well with no Covid symptoms. Those in higher-risk groups will still be able to offer support over the telephone as a Check In and Chat Volunteer.
One volunteer is Mark Woodward who works for Lancashire Fire and Rescue. Working in the fire service, Mark is used to helping out those in need. That’s why when the call up came for NHS Volunteer Responders – Mark was one of the first to apply: “The feeling you get from helping someone who needs it is something you just can’t beat. It’s given me a reason to get out and do something that I know is meaningful which is incredibly rewarding.
“Whenever I can, I place myself ‘on-duty’ to help out with whatever I’m needed for. I had a long chat with a lovely man in his nineties who had sadly lost his wife. I was humbled by the fact that he was able to open up to me and I think we both took comfort in having a friendly conversation while both living alone.”
The Volunteer Responder scheme is expected to run at least until March 2021.
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