With the country back in lockdown, Royal Voluntary Service is today calling on people in Manchester to volunteer for an ‘hour per week’ or more, to see their local community through the difficult winter ahead.

The charity’s Hour of Need campaign (hourofneed.org.uk), which is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, is calling for a repeat of the groundswell of generosity and positivity it saw back in March when people stepped forward to volunteer, to help see the NHS and the most vulnerable people through lockdown safely.

The call for volunteers comes on the back of research finding that more than 4.9 million over 50s, many with health conditions and without family nearby, say they would benefit from volunteer help this winter. In Manchester, research revealed that 46% of people are concerned about the lack of support their friends or family will have access to throughout winterii.

Requests for help from the vulnerable and the NHS are rapidly increasing and volunteers are needed in Manchester to support with a range of valuable services, whether flexible or regular volunteering. There are a variety of roles available from helping vulnerable people recover after a hospital stay and transporting them to or from hospital, serving refreshments to NHS staff and patients in our retail estate, to supporting as an NHS Volunteer Responder with shopping, friendly phone calls or Stewarding at vaccination centres.

Jennifer Scott, Commissioned Service Operations Manager for Royal Voluntary Service in Manchester said: “It’s already been an incredibly tough year for both our clients and the NHS, and the new lockdown presents even more challenges. The truth is that the more volunteers we have on board, the faster our communities will recover. If you can spare even just an hour a week you’ll be doing an amazing thing for Manchester”.

Lisa Belletty, Health and Wellbeing Advisor at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “We’re delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery have been able to support Royal Voluntary Service in its incredible efforts throughout the crisis so far. We now stand by the charity in its call for thousands more volunteers to help us move forward in the next phase of the fight against COVID-19.”

Thousands of volunteers will be required nationwide to assist and protect the NHS by supporting the most vulnerable patients to stay safe and well. The public can explore a range of volunteering opportunities by visiting the ‘Hour of Need’ campaign on the Royal Voluntary Service website: hourofneed.org.uk.



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