The NHS is "rallying the troops" for the war on coronavirus, with volunteers being called up to help vulnerable people stay safe and well at home.
The nation is looking for 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.
You can join the volunteer army and help out with simple but vital tasks including:
- delivering medicines from pharmacies;
- driving patients to appointments;
- bringing them home from hospital;
- or making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home.
The need for blood never stops. The government have classed giving blood as 'essential travel' with extra safety measures put in place for the public and staff donating their time, blood and platelets.
As with many areas of health and social care, COVID-19 has resulted in some changes including:
- If you have had coronavirus infection you must wait 14 days from when your symptoms settled.
- If you have bee in contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, you may donate as long as you have not been asked to isolate and you remain well. If you do donate it is very important you let them know if you develop symptoms of coronavirus at a later date.
- Due to government guidelines people aged 70 or over and those in vulnerable health are currently unable to donate.
For more information and for more updates on giving blood and coronavirus, please visit the NHS website.
Are you looking to help during the COVID-19 crisis?
To make it easier for the public and businesses, Community Action Sutton, Volunteer Centre Sutton and Age UK Sutton have developed a way you can offer help easily, and be directed to a local organisation that needs what you can offer:
- Volunteer Centre Sutton will take offers of volunteer support, and direct you to a local charity.
- Community Action Sutton will support local charities, grassroots groups, and the newly formed neighbourhood groups to work effectively together and to develop new ways of working. They will also support businesses that want to help, to find ways to do so.
- Age UK Sutton will coordinate and deploy volunteers to support older people who are vulnerable or struggling in self-isolation, and to reduce pressure on the NHS and Social Care.
- The wider charity and community sector will also make use of new volunteers and other offers of help to ensure that other particularly vulnerable groups, including carers, pregnant women, and people with serious health conditions get extra support when they need it.
They will be posting frequent updates to their joint Facebook group, Sutton Coronavirus Support and Action, where members of the public can receive updates, news and information about how they can help. They have also set up a webpage if you want to help as a volunteer or if you are an organisation who needs help from volunteers.