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26 March 2020 20:35

NHS volunteering London

Coronavirus NHS volunteers line up to help saying: ‘It’s worth it to keep one person safe’

On Thursday morning, Mr Hancock said the number of people who have already volunteered their time was "fantastic" and invited more to join the effort. Coronavirus hits the UK - In pictures 34 show all Coronavirus hits the UK - In pictures 1/34 A woman wearing a face mask walks past Buckingham Palace Getty Images 2/34 Boris Johnson addresses the nation on the Coronavirus lockdown Andrew Parsons 3/34 A man holds mobile phone displaying a text message alert sent by the government warning that new rules are in force across the UK and people must stay at home PA 4/34 Military vehicles cross Westminster Bridge after members of the 101 Logistic Brigade delivered a consignment of medical masks to St Thomas' hospital Getty Images 5/34 A shopper walks past empty shelves in a Lidl store on in Wallington. PA 21/34 Locked school gates at Rockcliffe First School in Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear PA 22/34 A sign at a Sainsbury's supermarket informs customers that limits have been set on a small number of products as the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases grow around the world Reuters 23/34 Jawad Javed delivers coronavirus protection kits that he and his wife have put together to the vulnerable people of their community of Stenhousemuir, between Glasgow and Edinburgh AFP via Getty Images 24/34 A sign advertising a book titled "How Will We Survive On Earth?" Getty Images 25/34 A man who appears to be homeless sleeping wearing a mask today in Victoria Jeremy Selwyn 26/34 A pedestrian walks past graffiti that reads "Diseases are in the City" in Edinburgh AFP via Getty Images 27/34 Staff from The Lyric Theatre, London inform patrons, as it shuts its doors PA 28/34 A quiet looking George IV Bridge in Edinburgh PA 29/34 A quieter than usual British Museum Getty Images 30/34 A racegoer attends Cheltenham in a fashionable face mask SplashNews.com 31/34 A commuter wears a face mask at London Bridge Station Jeremy Selwyn 32/34 A empty restaurant in the Bull Ring Shopping Centre Getty Images 33/34 A deserted Trafalgar Square in London PA 34/34 Passengers determined to avoid the coronavirus before leaving the UK arrive at Gatwick Airport Getty Images 1/34 A woman wearing a face mask walks past Buckingham Palace Getty Images 2/34 Boris Johnson addresses the nation on the Coronavirus lockdown Andrew Parsons 3/34 A man holds mobile phone displaying a text message alert sent by the government warning that new rules are in force across the UK and people must stay at home PA 4/34 Military vehicles cross Westminster Bridge after members of the 101 Logistic Brigade delivered a consignment of medical masks to St Thomas' hospital Getty Images 5/34 A shopper walks past empty shelves in a Lidl store on in Wallington. PA 21/34 Locked school gates at Rockcliffe First School in Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear PA 22/34 A sign at a Sainsbury's supermarket informs customers that limits have been set on a small number of products as the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases grow around the world Reuters 23/34 Jawad Javed delivers coronavirus protection kits that he and his wife have put together to the vulnerable people of their community of Stenhousemuir, between Glasgow and Edinburgh AFP via Getty Images 24/34 A sign advertising a book titled "How Will We Survive On Earth?" Getty Images 25/34 A man who appears to be homeless sleeping wearing a mask today in Victoria Jeremy Selwyn 26/34 A pedestrian walks past graffiti that reads "Diseases are in the City" in Edinburgh AFP via Getty Images 27/34 Staff from The Lyric Theatre, London inform patrons, as it shuts its doors PA 28/34 A quiet looking George IV Bridge in Edinburgh PA 29/34 A quieter than usual British Museum Getty Images 30/34 A racegoer attends Cheltenham in a fashionable face mask SplashNews.com 31/34 A commuter wears a face mask at London Bridge Station Jeremy Selwyn 32/34 A empty restaurant in the Bull Ring Shopping Centre Getty Images 33/34 A deserted Trafalgar Square in London PA 34/34 Passengers determined to avoid the coronavirus before leaving the UK arrive at Gatwick Airport Getty Images The government has raised its target for NHS volunteers from 250,000 to 750,000 after more than half a million people signed up to assist vulnerable groups within two days. The Health Secretary said people in good health are needed to assist with the national effort to tackle coronavirus by shopping, delivering medicines and supporting those who are shielding themselves against Covid-19.

People in good health are being asked to join the national effort to ensure vulnerable people can stay safe and well at home and to support local services. Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: "We are truly amazed by the number of people who want to come and help us in the war against coronavirus. NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: "Times like this show just how generous the British people are and how much they value our health service. More than 500,000 people in just over 24 hours have signed up to help the NHS as volunteers during the coronavirus crisis. The NHS and the Prime Minister have thanked those who have offered to help some of the most vulnerable people in the community.

Speaking at Wednesday's daily press conference at Number 10, Boris Johnson said he wanted to offer a "special thank you to everyone who has now volunteered to help the NHS". On Thursday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted: "NEWS: Fantastic that 560,000 people have now responded to our call to volunteer to support our NHS to defeat #Coronavirus." Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: "We are truly amazed by the number of people who want to come and help us in the war against coronavirus. NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens praised the "overwhelming response" to the call for volunteers to help the vulnerable and thanked those who will devote their time to the health service. Volunteers among the more than half a million people who have signed up to help the NHS through the coronavirus crisis have shared their reasons for joining the cause.