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Coronavirus: government launches push for 250,000 volunteers

25 March 2020: accountants keen to provide positive help with the coronavirus pandemic can now do their part by signing up for the 250,000-strong volunteer force to help the NHS announced by the government.

Announcing the volunteer scheme at the government’s daily COVID-19 press conference on Tuesday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the new scheme would help support the NHS and local communities. 

“We are seeking a quarter of a million volunteers, people in good health to help the NHS, for shopping, for the delivery of medicines and to support those who are shielding to protect their own health,” said Hancock.

Potential volunteers can sign up via the dedicated website for one or more of the tasks listed, including providing transportation and telephone support to vulnerable or isolated individuals. Once registered and verified via a number of checks, volunteers will be provided a login to the GoodSAM Responder app, where they can see live and local volunteer tasks to pick from nearby. 

Iain Wright, ICAEW’s Director for Business and Industrial Strategy called the scheme an “excellent and practical way in which people can help in this national effort” and support their community, the NHS and local services. 
“The only upside of the Coronavirus outbreak has been the countless examples of kindness and co-operation for vulnerable people from people across the country,” said Wright. “Many more people, including chartered accountants and those running their own business, are keen to provide positive help.”

“By providing essential support such as shopping for vulnerable people, delivering medicines and easing the strain on our fantastic NHS staff, who are working so hard to keep us all safe and healthy. I’m going to sign up to NHS Volunteers to help my local community in the North East and encourage all ICAEW members who are able to do the same.”