Charity appeals for volunteers to help deliver shopping or to have a simple chat with lonely people this winter

By Rafi Mauro-Benady

A charity which provides volunteers to assist over-stretched public services is pleading for more people to sign up across two boroughs.

Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) is a charity partnered with NHS England to deliver the NHS Volunteer Responders programme, and is looking for more recruits in Lambeth and Lewisham to help the health service through the winter months.

The NHS Volunteer Responders programme was launched in April and will be in place until at least March next year.

It works by volunteers carrying out non-clinical tasks such as delivering shopping or medication, providing transport to medical appointments and providing a telephone chat service to help combat loneliness.

There are more than 3,000 volunteers in Lambeth and just under 2.000 in Lewisham who have collectively completed 12,738 tasks.

But as people have started returning to work from furlough, some of the original volunteers are no longer able to give as much of their time. Meanwhile, requests for support are rising.

Train driver Anis Ali, 36, from Morden, is a check in and chat volunteer, providing telephone support to those who are self-isolating or who have limited contact with others during lockdown.

He said: “We take so many things for granted. Some people don’t have anyone at all they can talk to and it’s such a difficult time for people.

“I was desperate to do something to help and I will continue to do my bit for as long as I am needed.

“Having the chance to get to know people in my community and support the NHS at this difficult time has been the best opportunity I’ve ever had and I would love to encourage other people to volunteer as I have.”

Anyone wanting to apply can do so via the NHS Volunteer Responders website here.

Pictured top: Train driver, and volunteer, Anis Ali


Please support your local paper by making a donation



Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.

So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *