This tab contains information about the different types of voluntary opportunities to support the care sector.

National Care Force

The National Care Force has been launched to support volunteering in the social care sector during the COVID-19 outbreak, and to help social care providers fill staff gaps.

Anyone can join as a volunteer, regardless of work background. They can apply for non-clinical work such as picking up shopping for those self-isolating, or providing in-home care such as cleaning and laundry. Social care providers, healthcare workers and volunteers across the UK are also able to register to use the platform.

Go to the website for more information.

NHS Volunteer Responders

NHS Volunteer Responders offer help to people in need of support or who are avoiding public places during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is run by the NHS in England, supported by Royal Voluntary Service and operates across England. Its aims are to supplement existing voluntary support within communities, help people to stay well, and reduce avoidable demand on NHS services.

From 8 June 2020, the scheme expanded to offer frontline health and social care staff support with essential tasks such as shopping and collecting prescriptions.

This includes anyone with direct, physical access to patients/residents in hospital or community settings, including residential settings and domiciliary care.

This will help staff to protect those they care for by making fewer journeys and coming into contact with fewer people so they can focus on and continue their vital work.

The Care Provider Alliance has issued a briefing summarising the programme and detailing how staff, care provider organisations and people who use care services can access NHS Volunteer Responders.

Click here to read the briefing.

In addition, DHSC is running fortnightly webinars to provide regular updates on the programme. The webinars are for referrers and colleagues working across health and care, including: primary care; social care; local authorities; government departments; voluntary sector organisations; STPs and ICSs; and NHS England and Improvement regional teams.

These webinars will provide an overview of the programme, including facts, figures and the most recent updates on programme adaptations in response to policy changes and the needs of vulnerable people. They are also an ideal opportunity to ask questions about the programme and hear about the impact it is having.

Dates for the first six webinars, and the links to join them, are listed below, with further sessions following every two weeks: