The advent of Covid-19 has shown that the British public has an appetite to volunteer and help their fellow citizens. This is evidenced by the response to the NHS’s call for volunteers to help with many aspects of the NHS’s delivery of services being supported by volunteers from the community. The existing NHS volunteering website outlines many ways in which members of the public can help.
The media have been helpful in highlighting the work carried out by volunteers and report that there has been an increase in volunteers supporting the NHS and the work the NHS does. in addition to people who are helping the NHS in their work, there are lots of people who are helping others in their communities as well on a less formally organised basis, eg shopping for elderly neighbours, etc. Whether assistance is being provided through formal or informal channels, volunteering is viewed in a very positive light at the moment and I believe there is an opportunity to capitalize on this enthusiasm from the public.
With such a positive focus on volunteering and so many people now having experienced the benefits and rewards of volunteering, the time is right to continue this aspect of good citizenship. Many people will continue to support their community informally, but with the right infrastructure and leadership more formal volunteering can and should continue.