This article is for people who want to help others during the coronavirus outbreak.

If you are looking for information on how you can get help, please see our page of essential information on coronavirus.

If you are looking for information on how to help others, there are several options available to you.

NHS 'volunteer army'

The NHS has launched a call for a ‘volunteer army’ of 250,000 people. These Volunteer Responders will be deployed to help the 1.5 million people who are required to shield themselves because they are at very high risk from coronavirus.

The tasks they will be asked to help with include:

  • delivering medicines from pharmacies
  • driving patients to appointments
  • bringing patients home from hospital
  • making regular phone calls to check on people who are self-isolating at home.

Health and social care staff will be able to call on the volunteer army for help via a call centre run by the Royal Voluntary Service, who will match people who need help with local volunteers.

If you would like to volunteer, you can sign up at

Local mutual aid groups

Many local groups have been formed to assist people who are having to self-isolate or 'shield' themselves. Many can be found via Covid Mutual Aid. In many instances, they are co-ordinated via social media platforms such as Facebook or Whatsapp.

Estalished community support groups

Not all the groups you might wish to help are newly formed: in many areas there are well established community support groups, who provide services such as delivering prescriptions to people, such as Acorn Community Support in Devon. For groups like this, your local council is likely to have details.

On Hand

On Hand is a service that matches people who need help with vetted volunteers in their area. You can volunteer via their website.

Last updated 25th March, 4pm.