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More than 1,000 sign on for coronavirus ‘volunteer army’

PUBLISHED: 14:00 30 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:54 30 March 2020

Voluntary Norfolk chief executive Alan Hopley.
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Voluntary Norfolk chief executive Alan Hopley. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

More than 1,000 people have so far heeded the call to join a ‘volunteer army’ to help people in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

Voluntary Norfolk chief executive Alan Hopley said he was delighted with the response to the recruitment campaign.

Mr Hopley said: “We have had a phenomenal response, hearing from people across the county with a wide variety of experience, skills and resources to offer.”

Mr Hopley said the charity’s team would be getting in touch with everyone who had so far volunteered to talk about how they could help in four different ways:

helping people to move from hospital to home, supporting vulnerable groups, supporting gaps in services, and ensuring the provision of food and medicines.

He said: “We are working closely with Community Action Norfolk, Norfolk County Council, and city, district and borough councils, as well as voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations to find out where volunteers are needed, and to match people to roles.”

MORE: Norfolk needs YOU: Recruitment of ‘army of volunteers’ for virus response

It comes as the government is writing to 1.5 million people considered most at risk of Covid-19 across England to ask them to self-isolate for 12 weeks.

Mr Hopley said there had also been a “fantastic response” to a call for volunteers to support the NHS during the outbreak - and this part of the effort was being led by the Royal Voluntary Service.

He said: “We will be working with them locally to support our NHS and the locally identified priorities.”

Lucy Hogg, Voluntary Norfolk’s head of communities, said that while volunteers had come from across the county, they were particularly looking to recruit more in North Norfolk and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.

Trevor Holden, who is co-ordinating the response for the Norfolk Resilience Forum, said: “The level of volunteering in Norfolk is absolutely phenomenal. As a county, it is heartwarming to see.

“We have got lots of volunteers, but we will need to target it to make sure they get to the right people and that’s what our district councils and the local voluntary sector are going to be doing.”

MORE: Number of coronavirus cases in Norfolk tops 100 as 10th death is confirmed

Visit www.voluntarynorfolk.org.uk to register to volunteer or email volunteercentre@voluntarynorfolk.org.uk for more information.


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