THANK YOU 30,000 TIMES OVER
PM hails Mail campaign after 1,000 readers volunteer EVERY DAY to help the NHS
AN incredible 30,000 Daily Mail readers have signed up to our hospital volunteer campaign in just 30 days.
Your fantastic response means the NHS’s volunteer army will be boosted by over a third when placements begin in the spring.
With an average of 1,000 new pledges every day, the campaign was hailed by Theresa May yesterday as an ‘overwhelming success’. But readers have only a few hours left to sign up as the deadline passes at midnight tonight. The Mail launched the campaign with the charity Helpforce on December 1 and the response was overwhelming from the outset. The 30,000th reader signed up last night. It means our volunteers have pledged a combined total of 1,694,700 hours’ support.
Previously there were an estimated 78,000 volunteers working in various hospitals and NHS organisations. The Mail’s campaign has been endorsed by dozens of public figures and celebrities, including the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Harry Potter author J K Rowling.
Yesterday the Prime Minister described the readers’ response as ‘really heartening’.
Mrs May added: ‘As a direct result of the Mail’s appeal, the NHS now has 30,000 extra volunteers, increasing the volunteer workforce by a third.’
Simon Stevens, head of NHS England, said the response was ‘a major boost for staff and patients’.
THERESA May has thanked the tens of thousands of Daily Mail readers who have signed up to become NHS volunteers.
The Prime Minister praised the ‘overwhelming success’ of this newspaper’s campaign and said the public response had been ‘really heartening’.
By 9pm yesterday, the number of people who had registered to volunteer had reached 30,000.
Readers only have a few hours left to sign up, as the campaign closes today at midnight.
The head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock also paid tribute to the extraordinary response over the last four weeks.
Previously, there had been an estimated 78,000 volunteers in the health service. However, the Mail’s campaign, in partnership with the charity Helpforce, will increase that number by a third.
Volunteer roles include supporting dementia patients, helping stroke victims exer- cise, entertaining sick children and delivering blood supplies on motorbikes.
Mrs May said: ‘ Our NHS is part of the social fabric of this country – something that we all rely upon for help and care in both the best and most difficult times of our lives.
‘And as the service treats more patients and offers more advanced care than ever, the overwhelming success of the Daily Mail’s campaign to encourage more volunteers is really heartening.
‘Something as simple as having a cup of tea and a chat with someone recovering from an operation can make a big difference, and it’s those small but crucial things that will happen far more often all over the country in future. It’s something your readers can be very proud of – and it’s a tribute to everyone who has pledged to give up their time for a noble cause.’
The Mail launched the Christmas campaign in partnership with Helpforce on December 1, with some 7,000 readers signing up in the first 48 hours.
That number now stands at 30,000, with a combined total of 1,694,700 hours pledged.
This includes 17,075 people who have pledged three hours a week, and 12,925 who have signed up for one day a month.
Although this is the last chance to join our campaign, readers can still become NHS volunteers if they miss the deadline.
They can register interest on the Helpforce website or contact their local hospital or health trust about volunteering opportunities.
Mr Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: ‘As we prepare to publish the NHS Long Term Plan, which will deliver real improvements in care over the next decade, the generous response from Mail readers… is a major boost for staff and patients.’
Next month NHS England will promise to double its volunteer army to 156,000 in three years as part of its Long Term Plan.
This is in recognition of the huge benefits volunteering brings to both patients and helpers. Mr Hancock said: ‘It is wonderful to see people from all walks of life giving up their time to help support staff, support patients and support our NHS. I pay tribute to the Daily Mail and to Helpforce for a hugely successful campaign – it has been truly inspirational.’
‘Boosts voluntary workforce by a third’
ON the first day of this month, the Mail launched a Christmas campaign with a twist. Rather than imploring readers to donate hard-earned money to charity, we appealed for a gift that is in many ways more valuable than pounds and pence.
We asked you to sign up as NHS volunteers and dedicate some of your precious time to comforting sick and injured patients.
We accepted it was ambitious – the demands of work and looking after families often leave little time for charitable work.
But we never doubted you. And, as so often in the past, you responded magnificently.
Today, as the campaign enters its final hours, a staggering 30,000 readers have agreed to volunteer with help-force, pledging nearly 1.7million hours.
Those small acts of kindness – delivering meals, fetching prescriptions, or even just offering a hand of friendship – will make a world of difference to people’s lives.
As well as bringing happiness to fellow human beings at their most vulnerable, volunteers also ease the pressure on overburdened health professionals. But please don’t just take our word for it. In these pages, Theresa May pays tribute to you: ‘Something as simple as having a cup of tea and a chat with someone recovering from an operation can make a big difference… those small but crucial things will happen far more often all over the country in future.’ We couldn’t have put it better! Make no mistake, your unfailing generosity means this campaign has the potential to transform the NHS.
And even though the deadline to sign up ends at midnight today, this really is just the beginning.