A renewed drive to recruit volunteers willing to dedicate their time to help fight coronavirus and its impact has been issued in Croydon and other London boroughs as the second wave of the virus sweeps through the city.

The Royal Voluntary Service partnered with NHS England, in March to create the NHS Volunteer Responders scheme that helped recruit hundreds of thousands of volunteers ready to help the UK cope with the massive impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The same scheme now hopes to bring on thousands more volunteers as the impact of the virus deepens during the colder months.

So far there are 2,061 active volunteers in Croydon, who together have completed 11,675 tasks to help combat the worst effects of Covid-19.

Across the country more than 900,000 tasks have been completed by a total of 360,000 active volunteers, but the need for their support continues and is in fact growing.

“As people have returned to work, some of the original volunteers are no longer able to give as much of their time.

“Meanwhile, requests for our support are rising. We need more people to sign up,” a statement released by the Royal Voluntary Society read.

“Anyone wanting to apply to become an NHS Volunteer Responder can do so via the NHS Volunteer Responders website, following through to the ‘I want to Volunteer’ tab,” it continued, urging anyone able to volunteer some of their time to consider signing up.

Volunteers with the service do a wide range of activities based on their preference, skills and the wider need.

Some of the most crucial voluntary work is done on the frontlines of the pandemic, with NHS first responders recruiting drivers for NHS supplies and making sure they arrive at the locations where they are most needed.

For example, volunteers with the scheme have helped deliver ventilators from hospitals that do not currently need as many as they have to those who face a shortage as the number of Covid patients in intensive care rises.

Community response also play a vital role by delivering essential supplies to those who are isolating such as prescriptions for medicines from pharmacies.

The impact of coronavirus on people’s mental health is also being addressed by the volunteer scheme.

A special grouping within the scheme labelled the Check In And Chat volunteers help those suffering from loneliness or other effects of isolation. Some of those with extra training in an additional capacity meanwhile establish longer-lasting correspondence with people they meet.

The scheme is coordinated largely through the GoodSAM app that is downloadable on smartphone and tablet devices.

People in need can be referred to the app to access voluntary support they need as fast as possible.

For more information and to sign up, visit: www.goodsamapp.org/NHS