Prime Minister, Boris Johnson thanks NHS Volunteer Responders and St John Ambulance Vaccination Volunteers

Thursday, 11 March 2021

On March 11 2021, Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined a video call to thank NHS Volunteer Responders and St John Ambulance Vaccination Volunteers in Rochdale and Cornwall.

Recognising the incredible effort of volunteers in vaccination centres across the country, the Prime Minister took the opportunity to thank individuals for their hard work and was taken on virtual tours of sites.

"It was a privilege to speak to NHS Volunteer Responders and St John Ambulance Vaccination Volunteers in Rochdale and Cornwall today, to thank them for their extraordinary contribution to the vaccine rollout. Our brilliant volunteers have helped us get jabs into arms quickly and efficiently – providing millions of people with the reassurance that they are protected against the virus. We couldn’t do it without them, and I am incredibly grateful for their continued dedication and hard work."

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson 
For the first part of the call, the Prime Minister was introduced to NHS Volunteer Responder Stewards at the One Riverside vaccination site in Rochdale. Steward Volunteers play a vital role on site, guiding people to make sure the vaccination process runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. They also help ensure social distancing and identify people who need additional support.

The NHS Volunteer Responders scheme is delivered for the NHS by Royal Voluntary Service and the GoodSAM app and has recently announced that volunteers across all roles have completed a milestone 1.5m tasks.

The second half of the call saw the Prime Minister speak to and thank St John Ambulance vaccination volunteers at the Truro Showground in Stithians.

St John Ambulance is supporting the NHS COVID-19 response, including providing volunteer vaccinators to deliver injections and many more volunteers who care for people before and after they receive their jabs



For further information

Royal Voluntary Service is one of the largest volunteering organisations in Great Britain, providing vital, responsive services which support public health, social care and wellbeing. Its staff and thousands of volunteers support people in need, with the aim of building resilience in local communities.

Originally set up as the Women’s Voluntary Service (subsequently the WRVS) in 1938, the charity began its life helping civilians during the Second World War. To mark our 75th anniversary in 2013, we became Royal Voluntary Service and welcome volunteers of all genders and backgrounds from age 14+.

The charity has supported the NHS since its inception. Today’s Royal Voluntary Service NHS volunteers provide patient companionship and transport, on-ward exercise sessions, and settlement support for vulnerable patients following a stay in hospital.

In local communities, Royal Voluntary Service (volunteers) run(s) physical activity classes, dining clubs and social groups which bring people together, promoting better health, social interaction and connection.

In March 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, NHS England commissioned Royal Voluntary Service to deliver the NHS Volunteer Responders programme to support the NHS and provide practical help to the 2.5 million most at-risk people who were shielding at home. This was the biggest volunteer mobilisation programme in peacetime and represents a revolution in volunteering, using technology to register, alert and deploy volunteers quickly, wherever needed. The programme created a safety net of on-call support in every community across England and to date, NHS Volunteer Responders have responded to 1.5 million requests for help.

The charity is also one of the UK’s largest hospital retailers with 230 volunteer-run shops, cafés and trolley services providing refreshments and company to patients, hospital staff and visitors.

Royal Voluntary Service offers a dynamic, rewarding, flexible volunteering experience, with volunteers supporting services designed to meet specific local community needs and the NHS.

To become a local volunteer search for volunteering opportunities in your area. Or help make a difference by making a secure online donation.

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