‘Astounding’ response as 3,000 volunteer to help during coronavirus

Voluntary Norfolk chief executive Alan Hopley said he was 'astounded' by the response to an appeal f

Voluntary Norfolk chief executive Alan Hopley said he was 'astounded' by the response to an appeal for volunteers to help during the coronavirus pandemic.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

More than 3,000 people have signed up to volunteer to help others in Norfolk during the coronavirus pandemic - a response described as “astounding” by charity bosses.

When lockdown first started, council staff were redeployed to help those in need, with people from areas such as libraries and leisure centres answering calls from the public and delivering food parcels.

But a stream of volunteers signed up after Voluntary Norfolk appealed for help, and they have now started going out to provide vital support.

Alan Hopley, chief executive of Voluntary Norfolk, said: “We have been astounded by the fantastic response we have had to our call for volunteers.

“People are really keen to help at this critical time and to support the incredible work being done by NHS staff and other key workers.

“We are working our way through the list of 3,000 people who registered, to ensure they can be deployed quickly and safely.

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“Some of the tasks they will be carrying out require DBS checks, and we need to make sure these have happened before people start their roles.”

He was keen to stress volunteers would be needed, not only in the short term, but throughout the pandemic and in the recovery phase which will follow.

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His message to those waiting to be deployed is that people will be called upon and their offer of help is appreciated.

He said: “Bringing our communities together is extremely important, not only now but as we go through recovery. The role of the Covid-19 volunteers will change over time, but they will be needed just as much in the coming weeks and months as they are now.

“If you have signed up and are waiting to volunteer, please be reassured that we are extremely grateful for your show of support and will be calling on your help.”

People who have signed up to volunteer but have not heard anything back from Voluntary Norfolk are asked to check their junk email folders or email covid19responseteam@voluntarynorfolk.org.uk and they will investigate.

Volunteers waiting to be placed into roles can still offer support close to home, by completing a Here to Help postcard, backed by the EDP, and available to download from the Norfolk County Council website.

MORE: Six further coronavirus patient deaths in Norfolk hospitals

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