Your NHS calls for a volunteer army - here's how you can help

The nation is looking for 250,000 volunteers to help protect and support the most vulnerable from having to leave their home. Here's how your local Healthwatch can support the volunteer efforts against COVID-19.
Two women sitting at a stand
In these extraordinary times, it’s essential that we all pull together as part of the national effort to protect the most vulnerable, reduce pressures on our NHS and care system and save lives.
— Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock

With the nation looking to rapidly increase its volunteer efforts against the battle of COVID-19, Healthwatch can support this in a number of ways.

1. Encourage members of the public to sign up to the army of NHS volunteers

Volunteers are needed to help up the most vulnerable people (1.5 million) who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions. You can encourage your communities to sign up to the app and help 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.

Sign up

2. Encourage people to continue donating blood

There is always a need for blood. The government has classed blood donation as 'essential travel'. You can help spread this message within your community and encourage donors to:

  1. Keep their appointment if they can - and if they can't, ask them to cancel so they can be replaced
  2. Make a new appointment - even if it's some months ahead
  3. Check the NHS advice about contact with coronavirus before they donate

You can find out more about the measures the NHS are taking for blood donation and coronavirus on their website.

More information

3. Join your community efforts

Make sure that you are in touch with your local authority, community and volunteer groups and other local stakeholders to see how you can all pull together to be the most effective you can be.

Healthwatch Bracknell Forest and Healthwatch Isle of Scilly are just two examples of local Healthwatch helping to co-ordinate volunteer activity in their local area.  

What are people telling you about their experiences of COVID-19?

If you hear that people in your area have concerns about coronavirus, health and care services, or new legislation please let us know so that we can raise this with stakeholders. 

You can do this and find out the latest information on our Workplace group.

Workplace is our online community for Healthwatch staff to network and work with one another. Remember, if you haven't got a Workplace account please don't try to set one up, contact

Go to Workplace