Crisis Response Volunteers clock up 17,500 hours

28 April 2021

Crisis Response Volunteers clock up 17,500 hours
Throughout the pandemic, our incredible volunteers have played a huge part in supporting staff and patients. During the challenging winter months, they were with us every step of the way once again.

Our emergency response during the Covid-19 pandemic would not have been possible without the enormous contribution of our fantastic volunteers.

Over the last 12 months, 583 Crisis Response Volunteers have stepped forward to join our team, contributing over 17,500 hours to help our hospitals. It's been described as the biggest crisis in the history of the NHS, and hospital staff have worked incredibly hard to provide outstanding care.

But our volunteers have been side by side with them every step of the way, providing vital support on the front line. "The volunteers have been brilliant - confident, friendly, clear in their instructions and an absolute asset to our clinics," said Frits Klinkhamer, a Volunteer Supervisor at Hammersmith Hospital. "The support from the volunteers has been so important to us," said another NHS staff member. "I'm not sure how they got so much done!"

There's a good sense of camaraderie among the volunteers and it's great to feel like we're contributing to the NHS effort to fight Covid-19.”

Luke Smyth, Crisis Response Volunteer

During the first wave last spring, our Crisis Response Volunteers helped us deliver more than 170,000 meals to front-line hospital workers, as well as stocking and staffing our pop-up shops providing supermarket essentials free of charge to our NHS heroes.

And their efforts have been equally important since January this year, when a second spike in Covid-19 cases led to even greater pressure on hospital services. As well as welcoming visitors and running supplies around the hospitals, our volunteers have played an important supporting role at the staff vaccination clinics.

Their contribution has helped to ensure over 36,000 healthcare workers have received their jab so far as part of the country's biggest ever vaccination campaign.

As restrictions have gradually eased, we've also been able to re-introduce ward-based activities, with several of our volunteers delivering food and drink to patients at mealtimes. As well as dishing up breakfasts, lunches and dinners, volunteers have been busy making teas and coffees while providing company and  companionship to patients at a time when visitors aren't allowed.

With staff stretched thin, our volunteers are a crucial point of contact for patients. "I feel privileged to be working with a diverse group of people from different career paths and backgrounds," said Crisis Response Volunteer Luke Smyth, who joined our team at the very beginning of the pandemic in April 2020.

“There's a good sense of camaraderie among the volunteers and it's great to feel like we're contributing to the NHS effort to fight Covid-19."