For many people, 2020 will be a year etched into our memories for lots of different reasons, not least for the kindness of strangers.  During the last few months, whilst the government has asked those at risk from Covid19 to shield at home, individuals have been reliant on their neighbours and others in their local community to support them with some of the essentials of everyday life such as food shopping and collecting medication.

Since 2016, Real Life Options’ Matthew Allen has been a Volunteer First Responder with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, reacting to life threatening 999 calls.  Whilst people have been asked to socially distance and stay at home, Matthew has joined a growing army of volunteers and donated more than 1,000 hours as a Community Response Volunteer, providing a lifeline service for vulnerable people.  When not delivering food and medication to people’s homes, Finance Officer Matthew also helps transport essential equipment and supplies between hospitals and medical centres.

Many of the people I help are elderly and isolating so sometimes mine might be the only face they see that day. They really appreciate the support they receive and enjoy the opportunity to chat with someone which is great for everyone’s mental health and wellbeing.  Seeing how much this means to people makes it all worthwhile,” explains Matthew.

If you would like to know more about the role of NHS Volunteer Responders in your local community, please visit