Coronavirus: NHS Volunteers Responders



Launching NHS Volunteers Responders: On 24 March 2020, the Health Secretary launched NHS Volunteers Responders, seeking 250,000 volunteers to help the NHS for shopping, delivery of medicines and to support those who are shielded.

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. That is why we are seeking 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.Help from volunteers has the potential to make a real difference to some of those most affected by this outbreak - from delivering essential prescriptions to calling to check on the wellbeing of those self-isolating. The whole country is coming together to help one another - and, through this national effort, we can truly make a difference.

We are doing this by: 

  • Launching a new scheme to recruit 250,000 volunteers who can help the NHS support vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic. These volunteers will be to help up to 1.5 million people who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions. They will be asked to do 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

  • 750,000 people have answered the call to be an NHS volunteer. The target of 250,000 volunteers has long been surpassed –showing just how much the British public want to help and are pulling together in the national effort.
  • People can become an NHS Volunteer Responder and join the NHS’s trusted list of volunteers by visiting and adding their details to the NHS section. GoodSam is a great way to connect volunteers with people in need quickly and safely and the Government is urging people who can to register today, support our NHS and help vulnerable people shielding at home.


Q: What is the criteria for volunteers?

Volunteers must be 18 or over, and fit and well with no symptoms. Those in higher-risk groups (including those over 70, those who are pregnant or with underlying medical conditions) will be able to offer support by telephone.Patient transport drivers will require an enhanced DBS check and will receive guidance to do this role safely. 

Q: Will volunteers be social distancing? 

Safety of volunteers is a priority. The majority of tasks can be undertaken while social distancing and volunteers will receive guidance