James Whitmore, one of the NHS volunteers from Peterborough, said: "It’s easy to feel helpless as you watch the news each day. Becoming an NHS volunteer meant I could feel that I could try to help even in some small way. Watching so many volunteers working in all different fields gave me hope that we would get through this crisis.
"There are volunteers like me who are ready and willing to help those in need so don’t be afraid to ask for support."
Another volunteer from the city, Gemma Devitt, said: "I became a volunteer because I simply care and want to help people. I have often thought about how we as humans should have more of a community spirit. The current pandemic we are facing is the change for us to be able to do good and help others that need it the most."
The NHS Volunteer Responders scheme was set up to support the NHS and care sector during the outbreak. An 'army' of volunteers was called for to support vulnerable people – delivering food and medicines, transporting patients to and from hospitals and providing contact with the outside world.
The scheme is currently closed to new recruits while processing of the initial 750,000 applications is completed.
Any current Peterborough volunteers who want to join the Facebook group, can find it here: facebook.com/groups/870474310136509/.
Anyone who has been classed as vulnerable or advised to self-refer by their GP can call 0808 196 3646 (from 8am to 8pm) to arrange a volunteer connection.